By Malla Haridat
Recently I watched five groups pitch business plans ideas. They were innovative. Well researched. Huge focus on creating a positive impact.
What was so amazing was it was young girls presenting. They were participants in a pilot program, the Girl Scouts Leadership Institute.
I know they had to feel empowered after dealing with numbers and infusing their own ideas into business models. But what really caught me off guard was the “aha” moment I had in the middle of one of the presentations.
The best idea in the world is not as important as how strong your mental game is.
Why? Because you can have the best idea, but not be able to handle adversity – i.e., tough questions from judges. Or you can have a so-so business idea but have the heart, courage and determination to do the work – i.e., answer a tough question honestly by saying “I need to research that.” It’s so much more about picking yourself up when you deal with the adversity, asking good questions to figure out what is working and what isn’t, and pivoting and adjusting until it works.
Yes, you need to be educated on business plans, models, lean startup and a whole host of other entrepreneurship topics. But the thing that is hardest to “educate” is your heart. How willing are you to take risks? And how well do you bounce back from mistakes?
I’ve encountered that “bounceback” in my own business and can easily think of stories of my entrepreneurial friends who’ve done the same.
So how do you do it? How do you handle yet another prospect telling you “no”? How do you handle launching a new product or service line and getting ho-hum results? How do you deal with the endless list of “lessons” that come with operating a business?
There are numerous ways you can address your mental game. Books. Mentors. Coaches.
I’ll share one that has had powerful impacts on my business.
Start your morning positively.
Before you check email, put your feet on the floor or deal with anything, start your day with something positive. (And no, coffee doesn’t count!)
Find a routine that allows you to focus your mind in a positive place to start your day. It’s more than just “thinking positive.” It’s about setting the intention for how you want to approach everything that comes your way during the day.
I start with three things:
- 10 things I am grateful for (usually I can’t get past five because I start really thinking about how grateful I really am…even when things are rough.)
I’ve found my days are not only more productive but I’ve saved myself countless hours spent thinking, “Why did that happen?” or “Ooh, she did me wrong.” Instead, I stay focused on the positive, and things somehow seem to work themselves out.
I encourage you to find a method that works for you. Be willing to commit at least one week to doing it. It will cost you nothing–and there is so much that your business could gain.
Malla Haridat is an award-winning strategist for small business owners who are tired of being overwhelmed and want to see real results in their business. Malla produced the “Save Your Sanity” Small Business series and works with entrepreneurs who want to build a business that earns $100k with fewer headaches.