You love your work, don’t you?
Isn’t that why you decided you wanted to be an entrepreneur, to take charge of your own destiny so you could do the work you believe is most important, in the way you want and make a difference for the world?
So how come you find yourself rocking silently in the corner of the room, questioning your sanity, exhausted from working ridiculous hours and doubting if you’ll ever be successful?
Let’s face it, it’s tough being our own boss and running a business.
In the glamour images of what we imagine our future will look like we often choose to ignore those other less fun bits that are our reality.
That’s why knowing how to stay on track, future focused and happy in the process counts for so much.
Happiness increases our confidence, elevates mood and makes us more productive.
Happiness isn’t something we find lying around on the carpet and is not something we need to pursue, because we can create it ourselves.
Finding ways to get happy include:
- Adopting the right mindset
How can that be a problem I hear you asking, “I’ve already decided to give my all to this project to achieve success?”
Having the desire to succeed is one thing, what counts is the attitude you bring to the table, and that’s your choice.
Your mindset is your set of values and beliefs concerning a particular situation. You may be mostly open minded, but we all have “those” topics tucked away where we hold a more fixed opinion.
If you hear yourself saying;
“That will never work.” “I only want things to be done THIS way,” or “I’m not good/strong/clever enough.”
STOP! Challenge those thoughts. Are they valid, or just stories you are telling yourself because you’re afraid of success or failure?
- Begin with the end in mind
The old saying “failing to plan is planning to fail” is true. Mapping out your journey to your goal helps your brain is get comfortable with what’s expected.
For example, if you’re looking to double your revenue in the next 12 months, what will you need to have achieved in 9 months-time, in 6 months, in three, in one, in a week, and by the end of today?
We’re very good at hoodwinking ourselves into thinking we can get more done in one day than is possible and underestimating the cumulative effect of all our efforts.
It is consistency that enables us to see the tangible results of our work which feels rewarding and makes us feel happy.
- Review your progress
We track the delivery of the goods we order on line so why do we forget to check how we are progressing towards achieving our own goals.
Scheduling in that progress review provides the time and space to our review progress, “Jeesh. See how far we got already!” It also provides the opportunity to reflect, is this still what I really want, do I need to change tack, tweak or stop?
There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of your destination and realising you’re in the wrong place. It would be like setting out to climb Kota KInabalu and realising you meant to be on Mt Kilimanjaro. There’s a difference!
- Be accountable and responsible
OK so we’re all responsible grown-ups, yes?
That means dealing with the frequently messy and sometimes smelly aftermath of accepting responsibility for when things go wrong and knowing you can survive.
So, you didn’t meet your quarterly KPI’s.
Did the world stop spinning?
Were you being hounded down the street by protesters wearing placards and calling you rude names?
Taking responsibility helps us to accept and feel better about our mistakes. We’re not perfect and thank heavens for that because we can learn so much from failure, we become less risk averse and more willing to experiment and try alternatives to get a different outcome next time.
This magically reduces stress levels. It’s like taking out the right health insurance. You know you’ll feel better now. So, sign up for more accountability and responsibility here.
- Implement YOUR non-negotiables
OK so this is a biggie. Taking care of business means taking care of you. So, give yourself permission and stop treating yourself as if you’re a robot. You can buy one of those.
Running a business needs a clear and level head that operates better when it’s had sufficient rest, has been refuelled correctly and is physically active.
- Manage the EXPECTATIONS of others and yourself
As the owner operator of your business, who are you reporting to?
Are you doing all this to please others? Are your expectations of yourself too high?
Many of us have bought into the notion that to be and stay successful, we have to stay glued to the never-ending treadmill of hard work and effort and sure, we do need to apply those, but knowing when it’s time to stop is important too.
Otherwise you risk getting stuck on the looping intercity line. This is exhausting and puts you at risk of missing out on getting home on time to celebrate your achievements, which leads me to…
- TAKE TIME OUT to restore, replenish and reinvigorate
As owner operators or entrepreneurs working from home, we easily get caught in the booby trap of “I’ll just.”
Before you know it, I’ll just (insert the most appropriate response here) send that last email/ stay behind to finish off/spend time polishing up that proposal has gobbled into your time away from work.
Over 50% of Australians fail to take their annual leave.
We feel guilty about leaving work on time beause we think we’re showing a lack of commitment, or that we’re slowing down our progress to success.
When we don’t get enough down-time we lose that opportunity to restore our mental batteries, replenish our energy and reinvigorate our creativity and imagination to think outside the box. We lose our edge.
- Don’t be BORING get bored
If you have nothing to contribute to a conversation except what’s going on in your work life, admit it, you’ve become a bore!
Yes, it’s OK to be fascinated by your corner of the universe but if you stay there all the time you’re missing out on what else the world has to offer.
How often have you caught yourself entranced by updating your social media feeds and then realise you’ve missed out on having that special time to do, absolutely nothing.
The gentle art of doing not a lot has been shown to be really important for reducing stress levels, reconnects us to the rest of the world and reminds us what’s really important.
- Nurture your relationships
Spending time with those who mean the most to us, nurturing strong and positive interpersonal relationships is the greatest gift we can give ourselves and others. If you’re in business, you’re in the business of relationships at work AND at home.
That’s why taking time out to spend with family and friends, having real conversations, counts. It makes us feel safe, creates a sense of belonging and builds trust.
It means we will be loved through the good times and the bad and that’s what works best to keep us happy.
- Go green for gold
Green is the “in” colour for greater happiness. Eating our greens packs a punch because all those lovely antioxidants that keep your body, mind and soul healthy.
Enjoying time out in a green space is especially good for us. It’s been shown to lower the markers of stress including cortisol levels and blood pressure, so you feel calmer, more confident and capable.
Feeling more relaxed helps us to appreciate the good we see around us, it opens us up to broaden our world view and reduces our negativity bias.
It’s a good place to be.