What should entrepreneurs tell themselves these days as we face a continuing economic downturn and the pandemic that brought it on? Are there ways to think about these challenging times that can help you and your business survive?
To find answers to this question, the personal finance site GOBankingRates asked 25 high-profile business leaders, most of them entrepreneurs, what "money mantras" they are using to get themselves through difficult times. You can find the full list here. These are just a few of their answers.
1. Mark Cuban: Don't let up.
"'How you do anything, is how you do everything.' [It's] a reminder to myself to make sure to get things right and not let up."
When everything is uncertain and so many businesses are failing, it can be very easy, and very tempting, to stop trying your best. This mantra from Mark Cuban is a reminder that even when things look bleak, it's still important to give your best effort to everything you do. Because that's who you are, and because it just might make all the difference.
2. Barbara Corcoran: Keep moving forward.
"You don't have to get it right, you just have to get it going." Barbara Corcoran's mantra reminds us that we're better off forging ahead than waiting to get everything perfect before we act. A personal finance expert I like refers to this as "Ready, fire, aim!" The idea is that if you try something and it doesn't work, you can always make adjustments and try again. And until you do try something, you won't know what adjustments to make.
3. Chris Schembra: Focus on one thing.
Chris Schembra is the bestselling author of Gratitude and Pasta: The Secret Sauce for Human Connection. He's organized dinners for business leaders at more than 70 companies, including Microsoft and Dell, helping those leaders create more than 350,000 relationships.
He told GOBankingRates: "I have a main mantra: 'You can't chase two rabbits at the same time; they'll both get away. Focus equals growth.'" Many of us these days are either working from home, or collecting unemployment. With less to do, more free time, and real anxiety about the future, it's led many of us (including me) to try to pursue multiple projects and multiple career directions all at once.
Ultimately, that approach won't pay off, he explains. "Focus your time and effort on becoming an expert on a specific thing, and you'll be able to monetize that expertise."
4. Phil Stover: Look for what you can control.
"'When times are tough and uncertain, double down on yourself," says Phil Stover, founder of PvP.com, an online community for competitive gamers, and co-founder of the VC firm Blue Skies Ventures.
He says he's learned this attitude from his own experience. "When going through difficult times -- business or personal -- it is a great time to look inward and find something that you can control that might drastically improve the situation. This leads to empowerment and a new purpose, as well as a feeling of control when everything else is out of your control."
It's a useful reminder that in almost any bad situation, there's some action you can take that might make things better. And it's always worthwhile to try.
5. Desi Bartlett: Add these two words to every sentence.
Desi Bartlett is an author, an international presenter, and a yoga and fitness expert who's been featured on many national television networks. Her mantra is to add the phrase "for now" to every sentence about our current challenges.
"When [my son] Cruz was a baby, I went to a child development specialist for mommy and me classes and she taught us to end all of our sentences with the words 'for now,' as in 'My baby is not sleeping--for now,' and 'I'm very tired--for now,'" she explains. "I'm finding that ending sentences related to Covid-19 with the words 'for now' is a big help."
Most people have recency bias, which means we give the most weight to our freshest memories. That bias can make us instinctively feel like the pandemic and its economic fallout will be with us forever. Adding "for now" to every sentence about our current times is a useful reminder that this isn't true.
"The gentle reminder that this is temporary brings me a feeling of peace and hope," Bartlett says. If you try it, maybe it will do the same for you.?