In a recent survey conducted by the OU Business School of 1067 small and micro-business owners, the top three reasons for running a business were cited as: being your own boss (50% of respondents), the flexibility of working hours (39%) and the freedom to be creative and innovative (29%).
But as any entrepreneur and small business owner knows, it’s not all glitz and glamour in the fast lane. The report found that the top three disadvantages of running a business were: long working hours (41%), work-related stress (38%) and the potential for failure or loss of personal assets (29%).
It’s tough to keep going, and it doesn’t get easier with just wishful thinking.
Here are 5 simple ways to stay positive:
1. Have specific, measurable goals for your business
It might be February, but it’s not too late to set goals for your business. It’s a well-known fact that your goals need to be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely – but it’s very easy to become despondent if you don’t have someone to help you be accountable for your goals. So why team up with an accountability partner to keep you motivated. Do also write down your goals in a monthly planner, so that you can regularly review your progress.
2. Don’t neglect the power of networking
Networking a great way to keep abreast of what’s happening in the big wide world outside of your office. It’s also a valuable way to build up a network of like-minded individuals you can call upon for advice, when the going gets rough.
3. Sharpen the saw
All work and no play makes Jack or Jill very dull indeed and Stephen Covey, in his book “The 7 Habit of Highly Successful People” explains the value of this, by showing just how important it is to preserve your greatest asset – you. You’ll find it far easier to stay positive if you pay attention to renewing yourself physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually.
4. Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back
We’re conditioned to think of failure as a major setback, so the fear of failure, or making a mistake, can hold you back from taking any risk whatsoever. Well-known entrepreneurs who have so-called failures behind them, include J.K. Rowling, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg and many others. If used as a positive catalyst, then, failure can lead to great things. Accept that making mistakes is part of the entrepreneurial journey and spend as much time as you can in the company of other entrepreneurs who will encourage you to keep going.
5. Get expert help
We all need help, whatever the size of our business, but entrepreneurs or solepreneurs perhaps even more so. It’s difficult to remain positive if you’re consistently tackling one challenge after the after, and doing so alone. Availing yourself of expert help – whether it’s a coach or mentor – can help you view those challenges with a fresh new perspective, and guide you to success