Anyway...most small business owners are facing one of the highest stress and anxiety situations possible. The risk is total, with only faith in an idea as the future reward. Statistics show the number of people who fail; yet in the face of that failure, individuals persist. How?
I`m interested in how others handle the seemingly never-ending collapses in plans, letdowns, broken promises, rejections, disappointments, and so forth naturally associated with a startup.
For me, a couple of things have stood the test of time and experience. One thing I`ve learned is that WHATEVER happens, the first and foremost thing to understand is that your own choice of perspective will totally determine your next step. As people say, you can`t do much about what happens to you, but you sure as heck can affect how you`ll deal with those events!
"The universe isn`t broken!" That`s a good one. Is what`s happening a problem? Or is it that you don`t have enough knowledge of the future to see that it`s a good thing? Even if it`s a massive problem, does that mean the entire universe has collapsed overnight, and YOU are the person to fix it?
"What can I do in the next 20 minutes to solve this?" If you think about any major problem, say payroll is due tomorrow and you don`t have any money in the bank. Is there anything you can do in the next 20 minutes that will solve the problem? If not, it`s only your own choice to keep worrying about it. Instead, look at what you can actually do about anything at all in those next twenty minutes.
"This seems like a good idea--a fun thing to do right now." Okay, this is harder to explain, but what it means is that you can bang yourself over and over against a process that fails repeatedly, or you can let it go for the moment, and look for opportunities. Here`s a story, by way of analogy.
I like to fish, and believed for years that the only fish worthy of dinner were bass (in our area). I`d repeatedly be disappointed when I didn`t catch any, and would have to stop at the supermarket for dinner. Year after year, I`d always see countless "sunnies" swirling around the shores, following my lures, stealing my bait, and generally being a nuisance.
One day, I heard about a video that teaches an excellent way to fillet fish. I needed something to practice on, so went out and scooped up some of these small sunnies. The technique is so good I was able to remove the bones from even such little guys. With that much fish, I figured I`d just cook it up. And by gosh if it wasn`t at least as good as bass, maybe even better!
The moral is that I allowed myself to be continually disappointed, over and over, for years, because I was sure I knew the ONLY way to catch fish for dinner! There were literally thousands of opportunities for me to have a wonderful fish dinner, whether or not I caught those bass I assumed to be the only solution to my problem. Yet instead of enjoying the fun of catching them, I focused on the depression of not getting bass.
It`s all about perspective, rose-colored glasses, and so forth. People ask me do I see the glass half full or half empty. Me? I see a glass someone`s left on the table that I can pawn, sell on eBay, or that`s making a water ring. :-) Either way, it makes a good ashtray!