I was reading this blog post from the Harvard Business Review about the tendacy to become depressed during a job hunt. In the article, a lot of the advice that the author gave applies to entrepreneurship as well. There is an inherent amount of volatility when you have your own business and sometimes it can be hard to stomach. I’ve been there and I’m sure all other entrepreneurs have been there too. Here is what you need to keep in mind as you go through slumps.
Stay Positive – This is so much easier said than done. When nothing is going your way, it is natural to become discouraged. However, the only way that you can get out of the slump is for you to stay positive. There was an excellent TED Talk recently explaining how happiness leads to productivity and not the other way around. The surefire way to stay in your slump is to degrade and berate yourself for not experiencing the outcomes that you expected.
Create a Portfolio of Tasks to Stabilize Your Emotions – The HBR article above talks about how job seekers quit looking for jobs once they land that first interview. If they are not offered the position, they go from cloud nine to ground zero. A way to battle this is to have many options working at the same time, creating a portfolio of potential options. I remember being shocked in my MBA finance class when the professor explained how even a portfolio of highly volatile stocks was more stable than any individual stock from that portfolio. I thought that if you mixed two volatile stocks together then things would become more volatile. I was wrong of course. This same concept is true for making sales in an entrepreneurial environment. Even if you have multiple risky options that you are currently working on, it is better emotionally than the alternative of only having one.
What are some of your strategies for making it through a down time while growing your business? Place in the comments below.