Here's the ugly truth: Entrepreneurship can be a tough gig sometimes. One minute, you're juggling a thousand tasks at once, and the next you're rapidly steering your business in the right direction.
So feeling burnt out, stressed, and overwhelmed can creep up on even the ultra-successful.
However, with a positive mindset, you can navigate these rough waters with ease and grace, and come out on top with a smile on your face--no matter what.
Here are the things successful entrepreneurs steer far clear of during their journey; and what they do instead to remain positive:
1) They don't believe in scarcity.
A scarcity mindset is the belief that the glass is always half-empty--and it's something that extremely positive people won't touch with a ten-foot pole.
Stephen Covey, the author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, said "Instead, I have an abundance mentality: When people are genuinely happy at the successes of others, the pie gets larger."
People like Covey see an opportunity in everything, and they don't believe that someone else's success eats away at their own. Whether it's collaborating with others in the field, elevating your teammates, or just saying "why not?" you too can start adopting that same abundance mindset, this very second.
2) They don't ignore fun.
Sir Richard Branson said it best: "Don't think of fun as a reward, think of it as a responsibility."
Yes, it's true that every successful entrepreneur has to sometimes put their nose to the grindstone and work crazy round-the-clock hours.
But they also realize that this G.S.D. (get stuff done) attitude isn't sustainable 24/7, because every top performer needs some bench time. More than anyone, I know how difficult it can be to make time for fun: so I literally schedule in "me time" daily. Even if it's 15 minutes out of your day, you should too.
3) They don't try to do everything.
A few years ago, Matthew Levey, co-founder of Field Trip Beef Jerky, came to the realization that his company was struggling. The reason behind it wasn't a lack of effort--in fact, it was the exact opposite: he was on the brink of failure because he tried to take control over everything and anything.
Eventually, by expanding and delegating out tasks like in-store demos, he could finally take a much-needed breather. "Even though it was a very important part of our business, delegating [in-store demos] to someone else freed up our time so we could focus on growth and building our bottom line," Levey says.
You too should realize that leaders maintain their positivity and sanity by delegating based on strengths. Your team will love the extra responsibility, and you'll be happier with the weight off your chest.
4) They don't work with negative or difficult people.
Positivity is scientifically proven to be contagious, and the same goes for negativity. So it goes without saying that positive entrepreneurs need to surround themselves with like-minded individuals.
Of course, this is easier said than done sometimes. When that otherwise "perfect" hire or business partner steps up to the plate, it can be tempting to overlook their Eeyore-like attitude. That's why I primarily hire for the right attitude first, and treat it as an absolute must-have.
Negative people constantly suck away your happiness and won't be worth it in the long-run, regardless of their other great traits.
5) They don't worry about pleasing everybody.
Lynn Nichols is a branding expert and CEO of X Intellectual Property. In her work, she has noticed that positive entrepreneurs are usually highly magnetic rule-breakers when it comes to their brand identity.
On the contrary, she said, "entrepreneurs who worry too much about pleasing everyone end up with a watered down brand name that either has no personality or that fits into a well-worn groove that blends into the noise."
While reputation is important, you'll be far happier with the realization that it's impossible to please everyone, especially when it comes to your success. Overly focusing on people pleasing can make for a pretty vanilla business, not to mention eat away at your happiness.
6) They don't feel sorry for themselves.
Barbara Corcoran discovered that her happiest and most successful employees had one thing in common: "The difference was not their education, not their contacts that helped in the beginning, not how hard they worked-[it] was that when they took a hit, the superstars took a lot less time to feel sorry for themselves"
When a positive entrepreneur suddenly encounters a roadblock in their business, they never shake their fists at the sky while shouting, "Why is this happening to me?"
They realize that crying over spilt milk (or lost dollars) will only drag them down further. By also learning from your mistakes and then moving upwards and onwards, you'll see your success shoot through the roof.
7) They never stop trying to do better.
It's tempting to rest on your laurels after seeing success in business. But whether it's after their first quarter, or decades down the line, positive entrepreneurs never stop improving.
Tricia Lucas, CEO of Lucas Select wants "to continue to add value and a positive experience" to her customers. So she continuously explores questions like, "What can I do that my competition [doesn't]? What can I provide that my competitors don't yet?" In doing so, she maintains her chipper approach to business and avoids stagnancy.
This mindset helps you to not only avoid complacency, but it also helps to keep a leg up on the competition and, most importantly, keeps you happy. And if you're already improving, it's a good idea to sit down and re-evaluate how you can reach even higher.
8) They don't dismiss negative feedback.
Alexandra Pierson, founder of Springpop said, "I've known many tech entrepreneurs who have received negative or even rude feedback from their users, only to respond by promptly deleting that user's account." She's consistently found success--and a surprising amount of happiness - by doing the exact opposite and diving headfirst into scathing feedback.
Being a positive entrepreneur doesn't mean you cover your ears and repeatedly say "I can't hear you!" when negative feedback eventually arises. Instead, Pierson and others turn that scathing criticism upside its head and use it as a stepping stone for success.
Granted, it might feel better (for a moment) to ignore any feedback, but in the long-run you'll be far happier--and avoid some gigantic disasters--by framing it as a learning experience.
9) They don't underestimate kindness.
Tchiki Davis of Berkley Well Being says, "Being kind is the best free advertising you can get. If you are kind, people seek you out and help you."
The Golden Rule--treating others the way you want to be treated--is more important than ever when it comes to entrepreneurship.
I've found that when it comes to everything - from reporters asking me for a quote to providing feedback - throwing a little bit of kindness in the mix goes a long way. A very long way.
So pretend to go back to elementary school and put this rule in full force. Your ROI and happiness levels will skyrocket.
How do you stay positive in your business and what would you never do as a result? I want to hear from you!