The idea of staying positive when starting a new business is tough, especially with the long hours and a fair number of setbacks! Although the statistic that 9 out of 10 start-ups fail is false, the high- risk of failures is prevalent and believe me, I’ve had my fair share of failures and set backs in the different things I have tried over the years.
Don’t be isolated
Starting a business can be lonely. It can involve long hours, few employees and often no fixed schedule. Shared workspaces can help, but for me I have had the most support from my peers. Networks like the Guardian Small Biz Network, IoD 99, Princes Trust, NACUE and others are fantastic, as well as communities lead by the likes of Shell LiveWire, Virgin Startup, UnLtd are again really great. All of these are peer focused with members really there for you in times of loneliness.
Remember that you’re not Superman or Wonder Woman!
Although you want to save the day fast, remember that you are never going to get through the million and one tasks you have in one day. Make sure to eat properly and do not skip breaks, in order to ensure that you are more productive when you are working. Also, make sure to fit in some physical activity. Get a few minutes outside, take a walk, go to the gym.
Remember that a business failure isn’t a personal failure
This one is easier said than done. Be it failing a pitch, losing a client, a launch going wrong, not getting the reception you had hoped for your product or ultimately having to shut up shop and move on. Remember that any failures in your business are no reflection of you as a person. You live and learn and move on. Many serial entrepreneurs experience failure – only to come out better at the other end.
Don’t forget to congratulate yourself
As simple as it sounds, once you’ve hit a milestone or passed a hurdle, don’t forget to take a moment to exhale and smile- feeling gratitude on a daily basis will help you be in a better mindset for your next day of work. One of my mentors told me it was so important to reward yourself for anything positive, no matter how small it might be. Everything positive is a step forward no matter how big or small.
Become a single-tasker
This links to the ‘Superman’ syndrome that many of us business owners have! Often when we multi-task, we spread ourselves too thinly. If you know me, you will know I am really bad at this. I have learnt the hard way that it’s far easier to get tasks completed if you focus on one at a time. To help with this persistent problem, you can jot down a timed schedule for your day- this way you can block out time for a spot of mindfulness or to take a digital-break. Many will skip planning, feeling it’s time consuming. However, most of the time, planning will actually end up saving you time and making it easier to make adjustments when needed.