6 Ways to Keep up With our Emotional Hygiene as an Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur's New Year’s Guide
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A teammate of mine was concerned about his uncle’s health today morning. When asked I was told, the innocent old man was betrayed by a manager he had helped grow from poverty. The old man was so devastated thinking about how will he ever be able to give ownership of important tasks to others. Given the fact that he was aging and the business was at a stage of innovation.
I could connect with the old man dearly and felt bad for him.
At the end of the day we, Solopreneurs are humans too. We are subject to the usual share of emotional outbreaks, like everyone else. No matter how hard we deny it, we get hurt most when things don’t go as planned in our heads. Emotional hygiene makes for a very crucial factor in every entrepreneur’s life. This doubles up in the case of a solopreneur functioning alone. But surprisingly emotional hygiene is one of the most neglected aspects of a typical solopreneur journey. One might not realize it, but a bad emotional health gradually leads to a lot of frustrations and failures.
The usual disasters or accidents that make solopreneurs emotional health suffer are-
Disagreement with a partner.
Misunderstanding and clash of ideas with team members.
Being duped by a third party vendor or a partner.
Having to deal with an extremely fussy customer.
Chances are, you are facing all the above and more simultaneously. You might be feeling worthless and reconsidering your venture. What’s important right now is to re-evaluate your past journey. Remember that you started with absolutely no experience and a bright idea. If you believe your idea can change things for good, it’s never a bad venture. All the other aspects can be worked upon with outside help.
Here are some ways you can manage your emotional hygiene-
Understand that the relative value and the absolute value of money are different concepts-
Like every business, finance plays a big role and causes the most stress even in startups. It could be a third-party vendor not delivering, a partner dwindling accounts or customer refunds. These lead to severe issues of mistrust and gradually frustrate you. You might end up losing your cool in front of teammates and others. This lapse of judgement brings in permanent strains on your relationships and your character. Always evaluate what amount you have lost and what you are putting at stake for that amount. Understand that you can always earn that money back if you maintain your sanity. This is possible only if you don’t create bigger challenges while stressing about that problem.
Understand that opting for the cheapest option is not always smart-
Most times we try to outsource work that we are not experts at. The problem you face here is, communicating the exact message you want to be delivered. What ideally should happen is you get in touch with a consultant who works as a catalyst between both parties. He understands your requirements and passes on the message to the vendor in a way he understands. Do not hire a vendor straight away if you do not have the budget to allot a consultant. Chances are high, the deliverables will be different from what you have in mind.
Spend more time on understanding personalities-
Personalities can tell you a lot about an individual’s behavior and the next step. It’s not possible to judge a person in entirety with just his personality, but major predictions can be made. Take help from online tools like to know more about your own and other’s personalities. What usually happens is, we keep thinking over and over again why a certain person behaves in a certain way. More so, when it is not in alignment with our ways. What you need to understand is, every person has a different personality and it is all for a good reason. Understanding it will help you see the person better and create lesser conflicts in your mind.
Understand that it’s not always possible to satisfy everyone-
As solopreneur we all try extremely hard to be good at what we do. This process of pushing ourselves so hard in satisfying our customers gets frustrating. I am not saying to stop working harder to be better at your business. I am saying to get past that one nagging customer that comes along your way. It’s practically not possible to satisfy everyone to the fullest. Its basic human nature, some customers will be extremely satisfied with even the most basic of services, while a quite few wouldn’t be. Learn your lessons and get over it to move further with future projects. It could be a refund or a rework, but don’t let one unsatisfied customer impact your other tasks.
The policy of “Non-Violent Communication” will do you more good than you can imagine-
I have found this theory to be impactful even in my personal life. Having a violent conversation where both parties are equally egoistic and are trying harder to be hurtful, is devastating. When you are angry, you tend to forget your normal ethics and try hard to be more hurtful than the other person. This is a never-ending game and you eventually end up thinking over ways to stoop down a level than your opponent. The right way to get over violent conversations is understanding the 4 basics of “Nonviolent communication”.
Be extremely careful not to trust people/vendors selling magic-
I have covered this in my previous blogs on the steps to keep in mind while working with a vendor. With the number of tasks increasing, the urge to outsource certain tasks to vendors seems compelling. In times of distress, we end up giving the contract to the vendor who is the most convincing. These are the same vendors who sell magic, use phrases like,” You can relax, I am here now. I will treat it as my own”. I know these statements sound convincing to us but are plain bogus. Instead ask the vendor which are the ways he has in mind to take up the task, which industry approved standards will he keep up to. Never believe in anything that doesn’t have numbers or facts attached to it.
Would you believe me if I say I am a successful entrepreneur if I don’t tell how much my company’s revenue is? It’s as simple as that!
At the end, it’s all about you and your idea. I know it’s easier said than done, but I speak from my own experience as a Solopreneur. You can always count on someone from the same tribe, can’t you?