A Positive Mindset in Business: 21 Tips for a Balanced Life
A “positive mindset in business” seems like a term you could brush to the side – trivial and immeasurable in a world that requires hard numbers. With well-worn slogans like, “every cloud has a silver lining,” and “look on the bright side!” it’s hard not to cringe.
If you’re a pessimist by nature, it can be challenging to believe in the power of a positive mindset. But as you juggle multiple roles, managing dozens of tasks, how will you get everything done drowning in negativity?
That’s a trick question. You can’t.
A positive mindset can influence all facets of your life – health (mind + body), work, relationships, and your free time. The good news for all – optimism is a learned behavior. You can train your brain to search for the good in things; it’s never too late to evolve to the sunny side.
To give you a nudge toward the bright side, here are 21 easy tips to keep a positive mindset in business.
1. Give your body and mind a chance to recharge
When you’re first starting – whether it’s running a new business, changing careers or even diving into a passion project – you thrive on pure adrenaline. You’re psyched about all the fresh changes, new ideas, and the bazillion tasks that need to get done. Who needs to sleep?
Well, you do. Your body won’t survive on a diet of hype and excitement alone – you’re bound to run out of gas. Head off potential burnout with a regular sleep schedule and nightly routine that will help you unplug and recharge.
2. Live a lifestyle that embraces movement
It’s easy to shrug off the mind-body connection as senseless, but think back to the last time you had a rotten cold – how did you feel mentally? Or what about on those Saturdays when the shop’s so busy you want to laugh and cry at the same time? Stress can bring on a headache that’ll stop you in your tracks.
So if you know your current physical state affects your mental one, staying active should be an easy decision. Moving your body helps to pump out more feel-good neurotransmitters, known as endorphins, to keep your mood elevated.
Look at leading an active lifestyle as more than going to a Crossfit box a couple of times a week – it’s putting movement and activity into all parts of your day.
3. Get on board with automation, but choose wisely
Automation should make your life easier – not increase your frustration or elevate your stress level. Seek out easy to use tools that manage your time, and facilitate work-life harmony.
If you’re struggling with balance, what would help you flourish? Try to play by the rule of threes. If you have to do the same task three times, automate the process.
For example, if you find yourself spending hours chasing after clients with booking reminders, dealing with no-shows and last-minute cancellations – how about using an appointment scheduling app that will take care of it for you?
With BookedIN you get one easy-to-use appointment scheduling software, so you can offload all those time-consuming tasks and free up your day for more important things.
Related: Is there a perfect scheduling app out there?
4. Learn to laugh at yourself and spread joy
You need to negotiate with clients daily, which can be a serious business – most of the time. Your clients want you to listen to them and be the problem-solver, but it never hurts to inject humor into appropriate situations. Laughing will lower everyone’s stress level and help you communicate in a way that strengthens your relationships rather than breaking them down.
5. Take control of your inner dialogue
You each have a running dialogue inside your head, whether or not it’s evident to you – it’s there. You use that inside voice to pump yourselves up for the big day, run through essential decisions, and weigh out the pros and cons of life.
Problems arise when that self-talk turns to: “You’re not talented enough to make it. No one cares about your opinion. Why are you even trying this?”
Negative self-talk can prevent you from leaping to greatness, shrink your motivation, and drop your mood to an all-time low. The sooner you can recognize the turn your inner dialogue has taken, the quicker you can flip the switch back to positive.
6. You can’t solve the stress you don’t understand
Stressors are different for everyone; you may thrive in a networking environment where you have time to shine, while your friend is hiding in the corner, wishing they could disappear.
And while stress is a natural part of life, triggered often, it can inflict havoc on your mental and physical health. The first step in managing your personal stressors, or stress inducers, is to determine them:
- Work – deadlines, clients, staff conflicts, toxic environment
- Decision – career and life decisions
- Financial – personal, business, debt, bill payments
- Emotional – internal stress (worry, anxiety, fear)
- Social – networking, parties, public speaking
- Physical – sleep deprivation, overwork, overexercising, lack of exercise
Once you’ve identified your triggers, you can take steps to lower their effect on your body:
- Learn to prioritize
- Make any necessary lifestyle changes
- Speak with a professional or trusted friend
- Develop a resiliency
- Practice relaxation techniques
7. Avoid falling down the “what if” rabbit hole
Many of you have gotten stuck watching the worst-case scenario thoughts play out on a loop in your brain. The first agonizing step is experiencing the “what ifs” drag on until you reach the most negative outcome. Falling down this rabbit hole teaches you that becoming obsessed with playing all angles is only healthy to a point.
The trouble begins when all you can focus on are the things that might go wrong; it becomes paralyzing.
It’s imperative you stay optimistic that all your hard work will pay off. Once you begin cooking up “end of the world” scenarios your negativity can drag down both you and your business.
8. Embrace the rise and fall of business
Life’s unpredictable – and your lack of control over its ups and downs can make for a bumpy ride. When you’re trying to hold on too tightly to the reins, you’ll soon find yourself stressed, burned out and cynical. Let go of your stranglehold on control and try to live in the moment. When you change your mindset, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you have better control over your decision making and your business.
Related: Burnout: Are We On the Road to Ruin?
9. Don’t hold yourself to unrealistic standards
It’s human nature to be comparative and competitive with other businesses or industry influencers – but it’s an exercise in futility.
In the age of digital, it’s impossible to tell what’s real and what’s curated, so keeping up with the Joneses’ will only leave you exhausted and dissatisfied. Instead, shift your focus back to your business, your craft, and your journey to prioritize what you need to do for personal success. The most effective comparison? Yesterday you vs. today you-compete against yourself to stay focused.
10. Book time off for a getaway every year
In a 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, they determined the average worker with five years of experience at a company receives 15 days of paid vacation. The kicker – only 48% used them.
We may rant about the inequality between North Americans and Europeans (who avg over 30 days vacation a year) vacation policies; but what’s the point if we don’t take them?
Vacation recharges your battery away from the hustle of day to day business. If you find yourself on the verge of burnout, it’s time to get away. When all you do is work, you and your business will suffer the consequences.
When you do take this time for yourself, make it a tech-free holiday. Stay away from all your devices, and that includes laying on the beach scrolling through Insta. Set up an “out of office” message on your phone and email auto-response – only take calls if a real emergency arises. Give clients plenty of notice and delegate essential responsibilities to trusted staff.
11. Dust off that guitar and get ready to jam
What’s your identity outside work? If you’re scratching your head over this question, it’s time to add variety to your life. When you’re done for the day, instead of crashing in front of Netflix and mindlessly scrolling the net – spend the time doing an activity you enjoy.
Whether you play slo-pitch in a local beer league, jam with your friends in an 80’s revival band or fancy yourself the next Bob Ross; outside interests are phenomenal stress relievers and contribute to a positive mindset.
12. Say yes to cocktails on Saturday night
Let’s set the scene. After a stress-filled day at the shop, you finally get home, take off your shoes and flop face down on your bed ready to call it a night – when your phone buzzes. You’re oft-neglected friends are getting together to have a few drinks and chat at a local watering hole.
Your first reaction is, “I’m way too tired for this; I just want to be alone.” You’re over it.
However, seeing friends and family is one of the most effective ways to combat anxiety and stress. Connecting with them will boost you up, not drag you down. Don’t pass up connecting with friends because you have too much on your plate. That plate isn’t going anywhere, and it can often wait until tomorrow.
13. Put a priority on comfort in your workspace
It’s next to impossible to stay positive, focused, and raring to go if your working environment is in shambles. As a creative person, you need to stay motivated and inspired and should have a space to reflect that. Whether that means springing for a supportive chair, those cushy shoes that’ll save your back or injecting nature into your surroundings – you’re worth it. Emphasize keeping your workspace clean, organized, and inviting for you and your clients.
14. Believe in the power of positive thinking (if in doubt, change your perspective)
Think back to the last time you were thrown a major curve ball. How did you react? It’s simple to imagine the worst-case scenario for every situation or to pressure yourself to fix the problem immediately. No matter the case, you need to remain optimistic, reassure yourself that everything will be fine. If you’re struggling with the theory that positive thoughts breed positive outcomes, then perhaps changing your perspective will help.
The next time a crisis arises, ask yourself: “Will this matter in a year? Am I going to remember this in six months?” It’s easy to get caught up in the situation’s urgency, but pressuring yourself won’t solve anything. Crowding your brain with negative thoughts won’t bring about positive results in your life or business, push the doubt away, and get out there.
15. Find a reason to celebrate the small successes daily
Did you crush it with your linework today? Or maybe you had a client interaction that gave you the warm and fuzzies. Reflect on the small wins, focus in on the positive things in your business and life. When you take a moment to ponder daily successes, your mindset shifts to forward-looking, and your stress level decreases.
Reward yourself in a way that’ll stoke your motivation and encourage you to keep going. You need to give yourself a gold star for your wins – don’t rely on feedback from others to be the catalyst for celebration.
15. Foster a culture to thrive (not just survive) in
Build a team of people who want to be there, share a positive mindset, and value genuine connection. When you surround yourself with a staff that thrives on drama, it can destroy your business. Be upfront and honest about your expectations with your staff and encourage a non-judgmental dialogue to keep the lines of communication open. With the right people (clients, team members), you can create magic together.
17. Refocus on the heart of your business
It’s easy to get caught up in the craziness of business, so much, so you lose sight of why you started. Did you open your shop so you’d have the freedom to travel and guest spot more often? Or maybe, you’ve chosen to take on a hectic schedule so you can build up savings for a home.
Know your business values – and live them. At BookedIN, we thought long and hard about ours. They are: lead with empathy, maintain a sense of responsibility and fulfillment, speak with honesty, and place trust in your team. Hire people who embody your values, and let go of those who don’t.
If you’re struggling to list your business’s core values, it’s time to revisit the why behind your dream.
18. Learn from your mistakes and move forward
You all have a tape that tries to play on repeat in your head after you make a mistake. Don’t allow yourself to dwell on the situation. Take a hard look at what happened, take the lessons you need from it, and move forward. You create your life with the decisions you make, big and small, every day. The good news? If you don’t like what you have, you have the power to change it!
Take personal responsibility for the good and bad in your life. Looking behind you won’t alter the past, it’s creating plans to move ahead that will inform your future.
19. Take back the reins on your future (fate be damned)
There will always be times when you want to sit back and complain that “nothing good ever happens to you,” but a negative mindset won’t propel you forward.
You can’t wait for things to happen to you; instead, pick yourself up, go into the world and make something happen. A positive mindset comes from being proactive. Rather than being held down by your crisis, you’ll search for a solution to improve it.
20. The crazy idea just might work (if you stay open-minded)
Psychologist, Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph. D, released a study showing how negative emotions can narrow your focus and block out the options and choices that surround you; whereas, positive emotions can broaden your attention and thinking.
Prioritize staying open to exciting possibilities, fresh opportunities and “out of left-field” ideas. When you’re flexible, you may stumble upon a better way to get things done. With your new-found positive mindset, you’ll be willing to experiment rather than passing it by.
21. Keep a positive mindset in business to exceed your expectations
It’s hard to be crushing it at life without the motivation and determination you get from working toward those “pie in the sky” goals. However, every adventure has stumbling blocks and this is when you’ll need to harness the power of positivity.
Luckily those with a positive mindset reap the rewards of:
- greater resiliency
- improved decision making
- the power of persuasion (positivity is downright contagious)
- increased energy
Throughout your life you’ll see success, failure, be disappointed and happy-it’s a bumpy ride if you do it right. What matters isn’t the events that happen to you, it’s how you choose to react to them.
Are you ready to dive in the positive side of the pool?
After exploring the impact a positive mindset in business can have, is anything still holding you back? Let us know in the comments.
You can train your brain to find the good in things even if it’s not your natural tendency; it’s all about practice. Give yourself permission to enjoy the benefits of positive thinking and have faith that you’ll push forward and reach your goals no matter the challenges you face.