Restart Your Engine

Feeling low on fuel? Turn your bad mood around, and get back on the fast track to success.
Magazine Contributor
3 min read

This story appears in the May 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Our moods vary all the , based on what we have or haven't accomplished or by the satisfaction of our customers. As entrepreneurs, we are always trying to discover new ways to remain positive so we don't lose momentum.

Even the highest achievers have off days. However, experience has taught them that it's not how you feel, but rather what you do that defines the outcome of your success.

When you lose momentum, it takes a lot of to re-energize. Fortunately, there are some hidden rules that can help you turn your negative or stalled energy into positive progress:

1. Time may equal money, but it also equals . Rely on your ability to learn from experience rather than letting it drag you down. As you grow your business, you are venturing into untested territory--so stop worrying about always performing at your peak. There will be high-energy times when you have more business than you can handle and slow times when you are learning what to do next. Be willing to take time to acquire that wisdom.

2. The best comes from hard work. The universe may be a factor in your success, but it needs your help. Stop looking for a lucky break, and take action. If you are stuck on what specifically to do or how to take positive steps, choose one of your "I'll do it when I have time" ideas, and write it down on a piece of paper. Then simply put down two actions you can take to move the idea toward reality. The act of working on something new will charge your energy and reignite your .

3. If you are stuck, step outside of what you know. People are there to help; you just need to ask. Call a person whose opinion you trust, and seek some simple advice: "What is one thing I can do right now to gain exposure for my business?" They may suggest something relatively easy, such as updating your , calling one of their contacts, or sending an e-mail to previous clients. Others look at the world differently than you do and can provide new insights.

4. Yes, I can! It's so much easier to worry than it is to take action. You don't know what you're capable of until you step up to the challenge. So stop making excuses for why you can't accomplish something--be proactive. Don't let your insecurities stop you. Some of your greatest achievements can happen when your ego is low and your underlying creative genius is allowed to break free.

It's important to limit your lows by becoming "opportunity ready." Instead of overanalyzing, simply act on ideas that people present to you. The unexpected rewards--plus the wisdom you gain--will keep your momentum going and your business growing.

Editor's note: Looking for our "Countdown to Startup" series? We've compiled it into one easy-to-use feature. Click here to read it.

Speaker and consultant Romanus Wolter, aka "The Kick Start Guy," is author of Kick Start Your Dream Business.


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