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The risk of being discouraged

Even Pollyanna would tell you that being a small business owner can lead to times of discouragement. Why? People who are pursuing a dream that involves risk and a small team – or no team at all – can experience the hardest discouragement. Would agree that small business owners fall into this category?

We have goals, expectations, dreams, demands, pressures and risks. This combination will always lead to disappointments, and if we are not careful, those disappointments can lead to discouragement.

Dealing with discouragement

I have seen discouraged people make rushed and illogical decisions. You may have even seen extreme decisions like someone closing their businesses down, when they really just needed to deal with their discouragement so they would be able to do what was necessary to succeed in their businesses.

Are you discouraged? If you are, it is certainly not the end the world – or your business. Here are some ways that you can overcome discouragement:

  • The first step to dealing with discouragement is to admit that you are discouraged. It’s easy to avoid, ignore, or lie about it. Rather than try and continue to run your business while being discouraged, address the situation head-on.
  • Identify precisely what you are discouraged about. Recall the nature of discouragement. Disappointments will come and go, but discouragement is a choice that you make. It is easier to deal with a problem when you know exactly what it is.
  • Find a way to take some time off to recharge your batteries, refill your emotional tank and distract your mind. Often I find that I need to write down everything that is on my mind before I can begin to relax. Then when I do come back from some time away from my business, it is amazing how I can see solutions that were always available to me, and problems do not seem so impossible.
  • Have a realistic appreciation for your limitations. We must seek to do what we can do, and not anguish over what we cannot. The more positive our attitude, the more we will be willing to try, and try again, even when we fail.
  • Get help. Connect with a trusted friend, business colleague or even a Pastor or a counsellor. Don’t battle alone.

How can you reduce the risk of being discouraged?

Prevention is important. You cannot avoid disappointments, but you can certainly reduce the risk of set-backs and let-downs turning into discouragement. This will be to the benefit of your wellbeing, your relationships and your business’ health.

  • Work with a coach or mentor who is totally committed to helping you achieve success. Let them help you give your vision depth, breadth and sustainability. If you cannot afford a coach, get into or form your own Master Mind or brainstorming group.
  • Read motivational quotes and books. Spend quality time with successful, positive-thinkers. Keep yourself in the orbit of visionaries who build you up, instead of critical, underachieving, narrow-minded people.
  • Get better organised. Whether it concerns our time, or our living space, disorganisation and clutter can produce confusion and stress, and ultimately discourage us from fulfilling our duties or tackling the work at hand. A practical way to ward off discouragement is to create a realistic schedule of work to be done, and also to see that the area around us is as free of chaotic clutter as possible.

Discouragement is not only unhealthy, painful and depressing, it can be crippling for your business when you do not have the hope and determination to do your job well and to persist in your business. Discouragement can lead to quitting and this is not always the best option. Running a small business can be challenging enough without limiting your ability by suffering from discouraged

Do you know of any other ways to deal with discouragement in business?

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Rick Mapperson

Rick Mapperson

Rick Mapperson is the founder and managing director of Rick Mapperson and Associates ( http://sydneyinsurancebroker.com.au/), a personal insurance brokerage. Rick has been insuring people, particularly small business owners, for twenty years. Rick combines his skills as a licensed Financial Planner and his understanding as the co-founder of an Australian charity focused on families, to understand the best interests of his clients. You can follow Rick on twitter @RickMapperson

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