What do you do when the unexpected happens in your business?
As entrepreneurs, we deal with plenty of high-stress situations. We spend a great deal of our time operating while we don’t even know whether our plans will work out or not. When we constantly live in a state where we don’t know if something we’ve highly invested in will pay off, it feels like a lifestyle of stress.
How can you stay on track and not get overwhelmed as an entrepreneur when the unexpected happens? Today, I share three strategies I use when life throws me curveballs.
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Expect the Unexpected
As entrepreneurs constantly dealing in risk, we spend much of our time unsure about outcomes. Still, sometimes the unexpected comes our way and throws us for a loop. It happens both in business and in life. Maybe a strategic partnership doesn’t work out. Maybe a relationship turns sour. Maybe you run into financial or health difficulties. How can we handle these circumstances in productive, healthy ways?
Regardless of the origin, these situations usually affect our businesses, too. Sometimes, that might cause us to get so stressed that we spiral out of control. We need to know how to stay grounded and handle ourselves when these unexpected curveballs come our way.
Remember: It’s OK to feel your feelings. As entrepreneurs, we tend to think we should have all the answers. We’re used to doing everything ourselves. We’re the one the company looks to for a guiding light.
We often discount the times we feel scared, unsure, or vulnerable. We want to hide these feelings from other people to avoid looking inadequate or to appear strong. But we aren’t super-human. We need to give ourselves permission to feel those emotions and honor them for a time.
What do we do with these emotions in these situations? Keep these three pivotal tips in mind when the unexpected comes up in your life.
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3 Steps to Hit Curve-balls Out of the Park
I do these three things to stay grounded when the unexpected happens:
- Stick to Routines
When I feel overwhelmed, I first take time to process. My emotions are what they are, and it’s important to pay attention to them so I can understand them.
Then, I stick to my routines so I stay grounded, regardless of how I feel. For example, I have a regular morning routine, I exercise, and I produce a podcast on a weekly basis. I fall back on those things to carry me through rough periods. As I keep up with my routines, even when I think I don’t want to, I start to feel better and I continue with a sense of accomplishment.
Starting a habit of regular exercise made a huge difference in my life. I wish I had started sooner! I exercise with my wife, and it’s a good way for us to do something together, in a routine, several days a week. We encourage each other and keep each other accountable.
Exercise doesn't have to be extreme, and you don’t need to be a bodybuilder. Taking a walk for ten to twenty minutes a day will help you clear your head and get your blood pumping. It often helps me to consider new perspectives. I’m reminded of the important aspects of life and the activities I enjoy.
- Find Trustworthy People for Support
Cultivate a support network of trusted friends, mentors, colleagues, or professionals that you can turn to when life throws those curve-balls.
I’m not talking about complaining to your friends about your crappy luck. I’m talking about finding people you respect who have healthy perspectives. Tell them about how you feel and what you want to do about it. Your friends can give you an objective opinion about the next step you want to take. They can suggest how you may want to rethink your plans (or lack of plans).
Having people you can trust in your life will make a huge impact. Choose them carefully! They can be coaches, professionals, a church group, a support group, or from any group of reliable people. You want to find people who have dealt with a similar experience, and then listen to how they managed it.
If emotions become unmanageable, it’s also OK to seek professional help. Counselors have specific training to help people deal with overwhelming emotions and circumstances.
Our temptation, as entrepreneurs, is to think we can handle everything without any extra help. We have to remember that asking for help is a good thing, and we don’t have to do it all ourselves.
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