Emotional Mastery for the small business owner

Woman looking stressed at desk : Emotional Mastery for the small business owner conceptWhy Emotional Mastery for the small business owner is important

The small business owner is important so you need to look after yourself. It may sound wonderful to set your own work hours, pick your projects and be your own boss. But, as a business owner, there is no boss handing your deadlines, no manager setting goals. That is all down to you.

As a result, it is important to recognise your strengths and weaknesses and work with your emotions. Without this, it is likely that you will find your business going backwards not forwards.

Emotions have an impact on us whether we like it or not. I’m sure you’ve had a day where you just can’t get motivated, or when a bad mood has impacted on your productivity. As a small business owner, days like those can have a knock-on effect on your business, especially if they happen often. When you are working harder and longer on your business it can also mean your family or hobbies are neglected.

As a result, it is essential that as a small business owner you learn to master your emotions. That is not to say that you should suppress your emotions or turn off your feelings. Instead, you should pay close attention to them and use them to guide you.

By practising emotional mastery you will:

  • Begin to understand patterns in your work. Do your most important work when you are most motivated and save mundane tasks for lower energy periods.
  • Learn to control your emotions. This will help you develop techniques to create a more positive mindset. It will also help you use your emotions to drive your business forward by not letting difficult situations or setbacks get you down.
  • Be able to change emotional state. This will help you reset when things are not going to plan by switching to a more productive emotional state.
  • Work better with employees and partners. With emotional mastery, you can not only control your own emotions but also recognise emotions in others. You will also be better equipped to deal with them.

Manage your emotions and keep your motivation high with these tips

The biggest challenge faced by many small business owners is motivation. Emotional mastery can help with this by allowing you to push through procrastination and slow days. Here are a few tips to keep your emotions balanced.

Have a plan: most companies you worked for probably had a mission statement or a business plan. Do the same for your small business – even if you are a sole trader. Think about where you would like to be in 2, 5 or 10 years and make a plan showing how you will get there.

Review: take some time each day, week and month to review what you have done. Think about what has gone well and what could have been better. As Walter Chen says in his article The Science Behind What Motivates Us to Get Up for work each day:

“A regular practice of reflection helps you recognise patterns, gain insight about your work and work relationships, celebrate and appreciate achievements and gestures, and puzzle out what helps and hinders progress. Journaling itself will improve your inner work life, lifting your emotions and aiding cognitive processing and adaptation. Take ten minutes out of your day to reflect, vent, and celebrate.”

Celebrate success: set your own incentives. Maybe you’ll buy something when you hit a revenue goal or a client number or have a holiday.

Keep learning and being inspired: make time to learn both about business and about things that interest you. Practice a musical instrument, learn to knit or paint or learn a language. Or learn something that benefits your business such as social media management. Read blogs or articles or watch TED talks for inspiration.

Remember self-care: when you are immersed in your business, it can be hard to remember to take care of yourself. But self-care is important. Exercise can help release feel-good endorphins as well as keeping your body in shape. A good night’s sleep makes all the difference, as does a bit of me time for a shower or even a coffee.

Don’t try to do everything. Remember as a small business owner it may not be wise to everything. Before you commit to hiring permanent staff, you might find contracting freelancers is a cost-effective alternative to getting some of your tasks completed. Finding your website stressful or want to improve its performance? I’m here to help.

Want to learn more about Emotional Mastery for the small business owner?

If you would like to learn more about emotional mastery and using your emotions to best effect, I really recommend Fred Kofman. Kofman is vice president and philosopher of leadership at LinkedIn. He has many years of experience in leadership and personal mastery and his book Conscious Business: How to Build Value through Value, is often cited as a must-read for executives and entrepreneurs.

Kofman is an excellent teacher and can guide you along the way. You can find short articles here – www.huffingtonpost.com/author/fred-kofman

He also has some courses on lynda.com. If you have an Auckland library card you can get free access to this site. If not you can sign up for a free trial.

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