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10 Ways Successful Entrepreneurs Stay Calm There is an art to being cool-headed when situations become challenging, but like most things in life, that art is brought about by practice.

By Adam Toren

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Keeping your composure is something that will serve you in every situation. Successful entrepreneurs know that staying calm helps them navigate challenges with greater ease. There is an art to being cool-headed when situations become challenging, but like most things in life, that art is brought about by practice.

Here are 10 great techniques and ways that successful entrepreneurs stay calm.

1. They take a deep breath.

Oxygen fuels your brain and circulatory system and can actually help you relax. It's one of the reasons people in old films would breathe into a paper bag when they started freaking out. Where the oxygen goes, the blood flow follows.

Related: How Successful People Stay Calm

With your brain fully functioning, your synapses can fire off more connections and you can make better decisions, or at least have access to more options. Lots of deep breaths will help you mentally and physically stay calm. Try it.

2. They focus on the outcome.

One of the worst things you can do in an emergency is react. Yet that's what most people do. Successful entrepreneurs know that acting on their flight response in a tense situation may be the completely wrong action. Like the old saying goes, you can't see the forest for the trees.

By taking a moment to focus on the outcome or the big picture, they allow themselves the space to make a decision based on perspective. That bigger picture perspective helps them frame how their decision will guide them toward the intended final outcome.

3. They work out.

Physical movement is a great diffuser of stress, anxiety and even anger. All of those conditions are common during hard times and successful entrepreneurs know that by working out and staying active, they can actually help themselves stay calm.

If you need to make a big decision or you're about to return an important phone call, try to take a walk or go for a run before you take action. Whenever possible, preempt big decisions with some kind of physical activity. The endorphins you kick up will help you get balanced and keep you calm when it's most needed.

4. They meditate or practice mindfulness.

A good meditation or mindfulness practice will help you train your brain for calm so that you can access that cool, collected mindset when you need it most. Meditation isn't about perfection, it's a practice to help you manage your thoughts and tame "monkey mind," where your thoughts swing from place to place without your control or conscious input.

You can train your mind and access stillness when you need it most, if you practice consistently, and successful entrepreneurs make this a habit.

5. They listen.

Staying calm can often simply mean ceasing talking and truly opening up the floor for others to express their viewpoints. When you open yourself up to really trying to listen, you can stay calm in a way that is uncommon. Most people want to be heard and so they talk and talk but don't focus on trying to listen to others.

Related: 8 Ways to Stay Calm During a Crisis

Listening is a cultivated skill that can diffuse many situations. Successful entrepreneurs know that learning to be a good listener can help keep themselves and others calm in times of stress.

6. They empathize.

Empathy means more than just listening, it means allowing yourself to step into another's shoes. Sometimes people confuse empathy with having to do something for the other person. This isn't about solving everyone's problems, but when you can effectively listen and empathize, your mind is more open to a calm solution, suggestion or guidance that can be truly useful.

Learning to empathize will also help you to stay calm because you learn not to take things personally. Attacks that might have set you off in the past become opportunities and you begin to see that usually what another person is saying is about you, is not really about you at all, but rather something they're struggling to handle. That can help to diffuse tension.

7. They stick to their guns.

Just because you listen and empathize doesn't mean you'll need to back down from whatever decision you've made. Successful entrepreneurs know that when their minds are made up, they can be calm in the face of any obstacle because they know they can stick to their guns about their decision. Being resolute can help you remain calm.

8. They know their value.

Much like being firm in your decisions, when you know your value, you take things much less personally and are apt to stay calm. When someone tries to escalate a situation or when life gets tense in some other way, successful entrepreneurs know their value and as a result can calmly perform to their own expectations while also requiring respect from others. You recognize obstacles as temporary setbacks and can make cooler decisions as a result.

9. They forgive easily.

Successful entrepreneurs know that we can all lose our cool from time to time. That's why they don't hold grudges and forgive easily. If you are quick to forgive, you can maintain an inner peace that allows you to keep your composure during adversity.

10. They focus on the good.

Focusing on the good is always a good mantra to develop. It will help you to see all of life's silver linings, and when you can see the challenges as the catalysts for new opportunities that they are, you have the ability to stay calm during the trials of life.

Related: Stay Calm and Carry On: Using 'Extra-Sensory Perception' Amidst Chaos

Adam Toren

Serial entrepreneur, mentor, advisor and co-founder of

Adam Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of He is co-author, with his brother Matthew, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Phoenix, Ariz.

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