For many entrepreneurs, running a business is the emotional equivalent of riding a roller coaster.
On a bad day, any of the following can blindside you:
- An investor pulls through for you – you’re riding high. Then he backs out, which slams you back down to the ground.
- Your star employee has an amazing insight. Then the next day he resigns and goes to work for your competitor, taking many of your business secrets with him.
- Your product goes to launch ahead of schedule. You feel on top of the world. But you forgot some crucial steps in your marketing, and sales are underwhelming. Crash!
Riding this emotional roller coaster will quickly lead to burnout. It’s a mistake I see entrepreneurs making all the time. Their business matters to them. So they’re going to be emotionally invested, right?
If you really want to succeed in business, you need to step off the roller coaster. That’s not to say you can stop bad things from happening. But you can stop them from jolting you about all over the place.
Here’s the thing: the roller coaster isn’t so much what happens. It’s the story you tell yourself about what happens. In other word, it’s what goes on in your mind that counts.
To understand how you can escape the roller coaster, it’s helpful to understand how your mind works.
When bad stuff happens in business, you ask yourself questions to help you understand why it happened, and what it means for your business. You might not even notice yourself doing this. For a lot of people, it happens below the surface of their conscious mind. But it’s these questions that can lead to an emotional crash, especially if you’ve got a negative mindset.
Here are two of the most unhelpful questions you can ask:
- Why do bad things always happen to me?
- Why does everything always go wrong in my business?
What’s wrong with these questions? Your brain is like an internet search engine. When you’re looking for an answer, the results you get are only as good as the questions you ask. So questions that focus on the negative will pull up negative answers, and negative emotions. In other words, when you ask why bad stuff always happens to you, your mind will find thousands of things that are wrong with your business. Those thoughts influence your feelings, which perpetuate your negative mindset.
If you want to step off the roller coaster, then ask different questions.
These are the questions I find most helpful to ask when things don’t go to plan:
- What have I learned from this?
- What’s the best thing about this experience?
- How can I use this experience to contribute to the success of my business?
With these questions, your search engine mind will find thousands of reasons that your business is destined for success.
Asking better questions will transform your life and your business for the better. So why not give it a try today?