By Rieva Lesonsky
Like MAD Magazine spokesperson Alfred E. Neuman, I’m someone who’s not prone to worry. But now that I own my own business, I have to admit I’ve become a bit more anxious than I used to be as a (relatively) carefree employee. And if you’re keeping on top of current economic news, I’m sure you’re having a few sleepless nights of your own.
With continual economic uncertainty putting the nation and its small business owners on a roller coaster ride, it’s hard not to get a bit anxious. But while worrying comes with the territory of running your own business, it can also become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Worrying plants negative seeds in our heads that can germinate into reality. There’s truth in the saying, “What you fear comes near.”
Now, I’m not saying you should bury your head in the sand and ignore reality. But there’s a more positive way to approach your worries: by tackling them head on. Instead of thinking about all the ways you could fail, start planning for success.
Worried about your business finances? Get on top of them and start monitoring your cash flow daily. Worried your competition is encroaching on your market? Start watching them like a hawk and figuring out what you can do better. Worried your employees are going to bail? Get out of your office and talk to them to learn what would make them happier and motivate them to stay.
Entrepreneurs are sometimes portrayed as starry-eyed dreamers, but the truth is, those who succeed are hard-nosed realists. And that means facing reality—not running from it. So now is the time to face up to your worries, and take action.
And guess what? Once you’ve got a plan for dealing with your worries, I guarantee they won’t worry you half as much. That means you can get on with the business of running your business.