Julie Tucker
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5 ways to stay positive in business

There aren’t many universal truths in business, but it is surely undeniable that every firm – particularly smaller enterprises and start-ups – will experience its fair share of difficulties and challenges.

This often results in stress and doubt for the people responsible for running the company. Despite this unfortunate fact, it’s crucial to maintain a positive, constructive outlook if you want your venture to be a success.

Here are five techniques that could help you to stay optimistic, regardless of the obstacles facing your firm:

Remember you are in control of your mindset
As difficult as it is to remember at times, you are in control of your mindset, and you have the power to be positive and look for the benefits to be gained from any situation. Once you are able to maintain control of your thoughts and attitudes, the battle against stress is pretty much won.

In an interview with Small Business Trends, Clate Mask, founder and CEO of Infusionsoft, said the first three years for his company were “brutally tough”, and every day “was about survival”.

“Then I remembered a lesson from my father,” he continued. “Your mind is everything, yet it’s not what you know, but rather how you deal with it. It is about your mindset and positive thinking.”

Use positive language
The language we use can play a hugely significant part in how we feel, think and approach challenges.

Using negative phraseology when speaking about yourself and your enterprise risks creating an atmosphere of defeat and difficulty, whereas using positive terms can have the opposite effect.

For example, using words such as ‘challenge’ or ‘opportunity’ instead of ‘problem’ or ‘issue’ can change the way you and your colleagues approach day-to-day occurrences in business.

Take inspiration from success stories
Some of the biggest successes the business world has ever seen were preceded by failures.

In the 1970s, Bill Gates and Paul Allen – the future founders of Microsoft – started Traf-O-Data, a service designed to read raw data from roadway traffic counters and create reports for traffic engineers. The business didn’t achieve much success, but it taught these future corporate heavyweights some vital lessons.

As Mr Allen said in an interview with Fortune magazine: “Even though Traf-O-Data wasn’t a roaring success, it was seminal in preparing us to make Microsoft’s first product a couple of years later.”

Even when your venture is going through the most difficult times, remember no-one achieves success overnight.

Focus on your goals
Looking forward and concentrating on future goals can be infinitely more inspirational than reflecting on what has gone by.

If you find yourself dwelling on past problems or projects that didn’t deliver the intended results, make a conscious effort to adjust your mindset and think about what you want to achieve in the future. This could provide the motivation required to throw yourself into your next big challenge.

Learn from failure
As counter-intuitive as it might sound, it’s not necessarily a bad thing when something goes wrong for your business, as there is often a lot more to be learned from failure than success.

Rather than regretting or simply trying to forget about these events, analyse them to see what went wrong and how you can avoid the same thing happening again in the future.

These small lessons and experiences can all come together to form the foundations for a successful, profitable business.



Image courtesy of iStock/jacoblund

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