2020 was a tough year for many small businesses and this year is off to a rocky start, to say the least! So, how do you stay positive and motivated to push forward? Well, we have asked the inspiring CarolRoth.com contributor network of business owners, experts, advisors and entrepreneurs to share their own best tips for keeping a positive mindset in small business. Their answers are presented below, in no particular order.
You may notice some similar ideas listed, but I kept them separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.
1. Plus, Minus or Equal
Who are you hangin' with? How do you feel after time with them: Plus, minus or equal?
Assign to each person, podcast, book, etc.
If you can't put a '+' by their name, delete or spend less time there. Why would you want to fill your brain and precious time with minus or equals?
When you read/listen to books, podcasts or calls/zoom with family/friends, those all matter to your mindset.
I spend 30 minutes, twice daily, filling my brain with positivity. Mental health is health.
Vickie MacFadden of PROMOrx
2. Remember Your Why
As a Business and Life Coach to women over 50, I've learned and teach my coaching clients, the way to cultivate and maintain a positive mindset for your small business and your life is: "Remember your WHY!" WHY did you start the business and WHY don't you want to go back to or remain in a situation where you work for someone else?
This is important because when you feel like giving up on your small business, remembering your WHY will help keep you motivated and moving forward!
3. RubberDuck Everything
“Rubberducking” is a term in programming for fixing your code by explaining it to inanimate objects, ex: a rubber duck. You literally explain problems out, to yourself. This has translated well into our business Hoamsy. For me, the hardest part about staying positive is keeping all our problems to myself. It’s lonely and hard to find answers that way. You’ll feel like Tom Hanks from Castaway at first, but “rubberducking” any problem helps me find solutions and stay positive for everyone else.
Richard O'Brien of Hoamsy
4. Gratitude Journal
One of the best things that I think I have implemented is constantly ending each day with my gratitude journal. Every day, I'm writing down 3 things that I'm grateful for. Many times, we can focus on the "bad" but it's not so much changing things that we can't control that we should focus on. It's just like going to the gym and working our gratitude journal, where we are maybe able to see the things we can either look forward too or might even be in front of our face.
5. Remember Past Successes
It's hard to stay positive and optimistic when you are neck deep in challenges, so I try to think back to past successes to help motivate and power me through those difficult times. You've overcome challenges before and drawing on that experience and confidence can help you navigate the obstacles ahead of you right now.
6. One Dance Away from Joy
When I hit my moment of "Dear God, can this please be done already!" I get out of my chair and turn on my music. From Dolly Parton to Lizzo, Sam Hunt to Chase Rice, doing a crazy dance can pull me out of a funk and back into the work that needs to get done. It's up to small businesses to choose moment by moment to continue to work. We built our country and we will sustain it. But, first, let's dance.
7. Ditch Mainstream Media
Too much mainstream media from any side of the political spectrum can have a dramatically negative impact on us.
Their focus on assigning blame, spreading fear and highlighting people's differences distracts us from what truly matters.
Try cutting out mainstream media whenever possible and starting each day consuming content that inspires you.
Regardless of what that inspiration is focused on - your business and personal life will thank you.
8. Have a George Patton Mindset
When I was 21, I made my mind up to “retire” by 30.
It ended up taking me 2 years longer than I planned, but by 32, I became financially independent.
A simple mindset that I owe my success to is an unrelenting bias towards action.
"A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week."
9. Celebrate the Small Stuff
One of the best tips for keeping positive is to celebrate all the good things that happen in a day. Don't wait for big milestones, look for even small victories - a new customer, a better idea, a good review, a birthday, anything that comes with a positive vibe is worth highlighting. Big wins are wonderful but the interval between them can leave your team drained, so give everyone a mini-boost daily by sharing some good news. Invite your team to contribute and you create a culture of positivity.
10. Limit Your Media Intake!
As a former news reporter, I'm accustomed to watching, reading and listening to the daily news 24-7. I was bombarded with the angst of the moment. I have to be very careful in protecting my mind so that I can stay motivated. Now, I choose a single news source and decide how much time I'll spend with it each day. This allows me to stay focuses on what really matters the most... the success of my business.
11. Treading Water is Not Drowning
We need to always remember that treading water is not drowning and that every step forward, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, is a step closer to realizing eventual success.
12. Finding Your "Why"
Several months back, during an especially rough day in 2020, I needed some extra motivation. I took some time to think about my goals with my family, business, finances, etc. From there, I wrote 4 sentences outlining my "why" for doing what I'm doing. I read over this mantra as part of my morning routine to focus my mind on why I am working so hard. When I am frustrated or overwhelmed, I remind myself of my "why" and continue pressing forward.
13. Resiliency is Key
At some point in your life, someone has probably told you "what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." While obviously hyperbole, the underlying sentiment is true, and 2020 has proved that. If your small business survived 2020, it is a testament to your adaptability and resiliency. Many small businesses didn't make it, so take pride in the fact you're still here and thriving. If you made it out the other side in 2020, your small business can conquer anything. Look at 2020 as a catalyst.
14. Rediscover Your Happy Place
It’s easy to fall into the trap of working on the business 24/7 right now. You need to give yourself a mental break multiple times per day. Find an outlet that helps you recharge, even something as simple as taking deep breaths or listening to your favorite music. If you haven’t thought about taking care of yourself lately, now is the time to rediscover your happy place. Once you are destressed, you will feel better and have a more positive mindset, no matter what is next on your to do list.
15. Look at the Smile on My Girls
Yes, this and last year was rough! But if I look into my daughters' eyes, I see honesty and a lot of smiles every morning. All they know and care about is how to smile and giggle. That will change your mindset daily to look at the world in a new way.
Smile and the world will smile with you.
Christopher Carter of Approyo
16. Choose Your Attitude
Many small businesses are suffering a variety of negative effects because of Covid. We didn’t choose them or have any control over their impact.
But, we can choose our attitude and how we react about them. Decide to embrace a positive outlook - not idealistic, not naive, just positive. Keep telling yourself and your team that you will get through this challenge.
And when it’s over, evaluate those changes you made to survive and incorporate those that make sense going forward.
17. Wellness for the World
Stop! Stop thinking about yourself. Stop thinking about your business. Start thinking about others - your employees, customers, vendors, mentors, coaches, partners, even your competitors.
The world is waiting. Show and share the care you have for them because without them, you have no business. Do something nice for them. Call them. Wish them a great day. Send inspiring photos/quotes. Give referrals freely. Keep sharing and caring to keep ourselves & our world well now and always!
18. Your Powerful Vision
Vision is the foundation for creating success. Creating a clear and compelling vision of the future motivates, inspires and keeps you on a positive path. Make your vision work for you, with a vision board and vision story that you look at, read and engage with every day.
19. Letter to Your Future Self
Before I started my business, I wrote a letter to myself and wrote the date for 6 months in advance where I could read it. I filled it with reasons why I was starting my firm and positive thoughts about the future. I write one every 6 months and dedicate each letter to myself and remind me of how hard I work. This works well for me to stay positive in the ups and downs of owning a business!
20. Stay Curious & Keep Growing!
I started a branding/marketing firm and worked in world class businesses before with growth mindsets and l have tried to create that culture in my company, too. It helps successful people realize that the more happiness and wealth they acquire, the more they can help others succeed, too. Their gratitude becomes a multiplier and virtuous circle creating a positive environment for future success. The key is to make the know-it-alls see the power in becoming learn-it-alls. Keep the synapses firing!
21. Always Dress for Success
Did you know that what you wear affects your mindset? According to the study of enclothed cognition by Hajo Adam and Adam Galinsky, what we wear affects the way we feel. Since we're not seeing each other in person as much, many of us have let go of wearing real clothes in favor of those that offer pure comfort. But to be positive, I suggest wearing clothes that are not only comfortable, but also help you feel confident, productive and happy. What we wear matters for our mindsets. It's just science!
22. Tomorrow Is Another Day
Anyone who has ever run an SME knows that you have bad days and difficult periods. But you can't give up because there are always new opportunities just around the corner. That's why it's important to remember that tomorrow is another day. Just keep going. Keep working your contact network, keep engaging with new contacts, and leave no stone unturned. Just stay the course, be creative in how you approach new networking opportunities, and don't let your baggage from today affect your tomorrow.
23. We Must Decide to Be Positive
Finding the positive in life or business takes practice. But once you make the process of finding the good in your life a habit, you will start to notice positive people, events, and experiences everywhere. Think of what happens when you lose your Phone, keys, or TV remote. You know it's there somewhere. And you keep looking for it until you find it. If you still don't find it, you ask the family to help look. So, please start working to find the good in everything today. Please make it a habit.
24. Prioritize Smart Sales
Focus on sales to survive and thrive. Feeling stuck in a rut and obsessing over the problems instead of solutions leads to anxiety, overwhelm and panic. Now is the time to brainstorm and create new revenue streams for your business - trust me, the stress will start melting away as soon as you start proactively adapting to the new world. Social media followers are cool and all, but they're pointless if you're not converting them to customers.
25. Following Success!
My tip is to follow social media accounts of leaders and business owners that inspire you. Choose some in your industry and some that have nothing in common with your field. Seeing success inspires success! Most leaders and business owners have public social media accounts, and many of them regularly share business advice. You will have regular motivation, get ideas to share with your staff, and feel connected to inspiring, successful people. Finally, remember to pay it forward!
26. 2021 to 2020: R U Ready yet?
Adversity makes us stronger. Think of 2020 as a gift. I think about 2020 as an incubator. The adversity forced me to be creative and think differently regarding business. I fought my way through the year. My business is stronger than ever. After 2020, I feel that nothing can stop me now. If I can through that...
27. Release That Inner Negativity
If you constantly allow yourself to dwell on the negatives, you will become self-sabotaging and your own worst critic. Stopping and releasing your inner negativity is another positive thinking strategy that can benefit your success with your small business. First, take a step back and a deep breath, then empty your mind from negative thoughts and finally, turn those failures or setbacks into lessons learned that can be implemented moving forward.
28. Make Things Happen
Staying proactive cultivates a healthy outlook on business during difficult times. Instead of waiting for things to happen on their own, a “making things happen” mindset always improves the circumstances. Personally, I feel when I am proactive, I perform vigilantly. This, however, requires flexibility to give new or different perspectives a try because you might find a better and more productive way to get things done. So, never say ‘no’ at first and give it a fair shot.
29. Talk About It!
I find that talking with other small business owners is a great way to keep a positive mindset. Whether it's hearing about a win they've recently had, discussing marketing ideas, or even talking through challenges, it gives me perspective on owning a small business. It's one thing to listen to a podcast, or read an article, but actually being able to talk to other business owners going through the same things as you (both good and bad) is great for staying positive.
30. Don't Forget Your Goals!
I’ve always found it helpful to outline your goals and remind yourself of why you started in this business to begin with. Looking at the bigger picture can help you embrace a more optimistic mindset and can help with organization, too. Try writing down your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals to help keep you motivated!
Brandon Brown of Grin
31. Say Yes AND No in 2021!
In service of starting 2021 with optimism, I encourage clients (and myself!) to make a list of 3 things they’ll say YES to and 3 things they’ll say NO to in the new year. I say YES to a daily meditation, a weekly conversation with a colleague I don’t yet know well, and a 3-minute motivational dance every work day. I say NO to taking on clients who don’t inspire me, working with colleagues who don’t have a strong value of generosity, and fear of failure. What’s on your YES/NO list?
32. Friends and Mentors
As they say, you are who you surround yourself with. To kill the negativity of ‘what ifs’, include positive friends and mentors in your close circle that influence your own line of thinking. Most sources of negativity stem from a memory of a recent event or the exaggerated imagination of a potential future event. In such times, you need to hear positive affirmations and constant support regardless before self-doubt consumes you.
33. Small Shift, Big Results
With political divisiveness, Covid, working from home, and negative news 24/7, it's easy to become overwhelmed with anxiety and despair. We consciously begin every meeting by focusing on our Wins, Successes, and (most importantly) Gratitude. By focusing on gratitude, we consistently see people shift from reactive and powerless to proactive and powerful. That seemingly small shift has allowed us to find the silver lining in an otherwise chaotic world.
34. Try Practicing Meditation!
Something I’ve come to find increasingly helpful this past year is taking time for yourself to practice mindfulness and mediation. A few minutes of meditation each morning can make a large impact on your perspective for the rest of the day. In business, it’s important to try to be calm and collected at all times, and meditation is a great way to achieve this, while also maintaining a positive outlook on your future.
35. Find the Opportunity
Find the opportunity in the issue is something I say when things are not going as planned. Every issue presented also provides an opportunity to turn it into a successful moment in time. 2020 stressed my personal life, business, and finances. I took the issue as an opportunity to streamline my business, personal life, and finances, which allowed me to focus on the most important things. Relationships improved, business improved, and I ended up with a quarter million in cash flow. That is a win.
36. Rally the Troops!
My advice for small businesses that need a bit of extra encouragement to keep moving forward is to rally your troops. Your team members are one of the most important assets your business has for weathering any kind of storm. Use this unprecedented time to brainstorm new ideas for offerings and services you can provide customers. Communicate with each team member. Remember that this too shall pass, but it requires a team effort to get through it together.
37. No Man Is an Island
With a little encouragement from your mates, you often get by, and your circle is the strongest support structure to rely on if you're under pressure.
Whenever you need moral encouragement or an outsider's opinion on a strategic move for your business, you can always ask for a helping hand in your circle. You'll be shocked as to how many people are much happier to help you reach for your success instead of watching you fail.
38. Practice Deep Breathing
Live in the moment. This is easier said than done but I've found that if you practice deep breathing exercises, it can really help clear your mind and start each day fresh. As a small business owner, you must take each day at a time and focus on the task at hand, even when you have to deal with a million other things. This can get overwhelming easily, but closing your eyes and taking a few deep breaths is the only way to not let the stress get to you.
39. Ask Leading Questions
At Actualize Consulting, we support staying positive and motivated by finding out what inspires our people. We created a career tab as part of our goals and performance reviews to give everyone a chance to be heard. We ask leading questions like, “What can we do to best support your career aspirations?” and “What items are making your job less enjoyable?” Then, we follow up with a discussion and action plan.
40. Be the Pitbull of Perseverance
Create a unique name for yourself that you return to that reminds you of who you are. Here's what I mean: When I was writing my first book, Crappy to Happy, I called myself the Pitbull of Perseverance every time a rejection letter arrived. And I just moved on! Eventually, Crappy to Happy was sold to a traditional publisher, and even appeared in the movie, Eat Pray Love with Julia Roberts holding it up and buying it in a bookstore scene in that movie.
41. You Control the Energy
Despite all the best tips, it will still be hard. When you have a team, these hard days are where you need to take control of your mindset however you can and muscle through. As the leader, your energy is the driving force that sets the tone, feel, and attitude of your team. If you come in with your glass half empty, you will drain your team's energy. Despite how you feel, if you come in and add positive energy to those around you, you will lift the energy, mood and engagement of your business.
42. Find Your Tribe
Surround yourself with other business owners who can motivate you and provide advice. Being a business owner can be very challenging and you need a group of peers to bounce ideas off of. They will help inspire you, especially during these times. Find your tribe and stick with them!
43. Make People Your Focus
Three words - Put People First. By leading with this mindset and genuinely caring for people, you will ultimately create positive momentum and overall happiness that will continue to grow and strengthen during the journey.
44. Say Thank You
Being grateful is the fastest way to achieve happiness, and there are many ways to demonstrate your gratefulness. The fastest way is to say "Thank You" to everyone you come into contact with. It changes nearly every interaction to one of appreciation, as you are constantly on the lookout for the goodness in others. When you're saying thank you, you're on the road to a positive mindset.
45. Get Back Out of the Office
For my company to be at its best, I really need to get back out of the house and/or office and do more store walks to research products, packaging, displays and signage in a variety of retail environments. Seeing all of this different creative will in turn help me to become more creative, inspiring me to think of new ideas and keep the business going on an upward trajectory.
46. It Will Get Better!
In difficult times, there is a natural tendency to think things will stay that way or even get worse. Don't believe that. The best entrepreneurs & some of the most successful & happy people in history knew that everything always changes & one's mindset will have a lot to do with how things work out. Remember, many of the greatest business successes, breakthroughs in medicine, governmental changes, etc. were often preceded by very difficult times. A little prayer never hurts either!
47. Stick to Your Non-Negotiables
The best way to maintain your positivity is to honor yourself by sticking to your non-negotiables. 2020 was a really hard year for everyone, and a lot of small businesses found themselves in really precarious situations. Many of them ended up over-doing, over-giving, and over-extending in order to make everyone around them happy. We're problem solvers by nature! But this year, make a list of non-negotiables. If you don't want to do something, don't! If you don't want to offer something, don't!
48. Invest in Company Culture
I recommend small businesses invest in their culture. For example, before the pandemic, we provided employees with a gym membership and free personal training. Now is an opportunity to find different ways to cultivate a positive mindset among staff. This could mean organizing virtual team events via Zoom or connecting employees with mental health services. This investment can help employees feel more connected and supported during a difficult period.
49. Positivity For Productivity
My one tip for helping small businesses keep a positive mindset is to celebrate the little wins while keeping an eye on the big prize. Don't focus too much on the whole pizza that you forget to savor the bite of each individual piece.
So, celebrate your little accomplishments while waiting for payday! Until then, stay positive and stay productive!
50. Everyone Can Have a Great Idea
Give your employees a voice and truly listen to them. Everyone can have a great idea, and they probably do. If everyone feels they're being listened to, they'll feel they have a stake in the business, and that will translate into a positive attitude. Ask for feedback, mean it when you ask for input, and then act on suggestions. Even if it's just to say, "Not at this time."
51. Dig Deep
Get clear on the real reason you chose the path you are on. There are many ways to earn money, so dig deep to understand why you work? This understanding will help you stay positive during challenging times. I'm motivated knowing that my experience is being used to help other expat partners navigate the challenges they face. Yet, I know that I get as much out of each session as they do. When self-doubt creeps in, I remind myself that I'm learning and growing right alongside my clients.
52. My Customers Keep Me Positive!
I have always strived to cultivate a positive and wonderful customer experience no matter when and what year it was, but 2020 offered me an additional chance to pamper and love on my customers. In return, they loved on us back. This kept me positive, even during the worst of NY Covid-19 shutdowns. We pivoted and shifted gears to add a private label and wholesale model to our business on top of the retail and that is happily expanding. I am grateful on a daily basis. This helps.
53. How to Keep a Positive Mindset
Forma is a digital marketing agency based in Raleigh, and we strive to maintain a positive atmosphere for our team at all times. One of the most impactful things we did is create a dedicated "Wins" channel in our company Slack. The goal was to encourage employees to share positive experiences with the team, and it's worked very well. Whether it's a personal win like learning to cook a new dish, or a professional win like landing a new client, it's a great source of encouragement for the team.
54. Be Pulled By the Future
One tip I can share that has worked for me when cultivating a positive, strong mindset through the challenges and difficulties of building my small business is to focus on a future state. When I continue to focus on the future and what I imagine the business to eventually look like and how successful it will be, it inspires me to work harder and stick with it. The more I can anchor myself to those positive feelings, the more resistant I am to wanting to give up or quit.
55. At Least You're the Boss!
When things get tough and you're feeling overwhelmed, pause for a moment and ask yourself if you'd rather be working for someone else right now. If you're going to be stressed and get through hard times, would you rather do it for your own company, or someone else's? Remember that everyone else is struggling right now too, so just keep going!
56. Use Nature to Boost Your Mood!
When you find yourself slipping into a negative mindset, schedule a day for you to go to a national/regional park. By going somewhere that is filled with nature, I find that I am better able to reset and appreciate where I have come and where I am going. It gets me back into a positive mindset every time!
Kyle Vamvouris of Vouris
57. Don’t Forget to Rest
It’s easy to be discouraged when things aren’t going exactly as planned, especially over the past year, but it’s important to always continue pushing forward. Reward yourself for the great work you’ve already done, and take necessary time for relaxation. When you have a well-rested mind and body, you’ll likely feel confident to take on more challenges than you would’ve previously, and you’ll have a more positive outlook on business overall!
58. Go With the FFFFFLOW!
Faith: Believing that this too shall pass. God is still in control.
Focus: Keep the focus. 20/20 still means clear vision in spite of what we see.
Flexible: Be willing to shift and pivot at any given moment.
Fashionable: Get up, get dressed and show up.
Fellowship: Talk to your network of business owners and motivate and encourage each other.
59. Importance of Perseverance
All successful people must commit to the idea of perseverance. That is to say that one must be motivated to perform even in the face of adversity. A person who wants to overcome any obstacle must learn to stay positive and motivated even under challenging circumstances. All negative thoughts must be tuned out. A person should train oneself not to shrink in the face of difficulties, but rather to confront the challenge and view it as an opportunity to prove oneself through rugged determination.
60. Communicate the Changes
Being able to maintain a positive mindset while in a customer-facing role is a skill every small business needs to possess. My team and I have had to adapt how we interact with our customers this past year, and change isn’t always easy. However, I always strive to explain the "why" behind our changes so it can be easily understood by staff and customers. That way, everyone is on the same page and can continue utilizing the great services we offer!
61. Setting New Goals Each Day
As a GM, I’ve learned how to ensure I keep a positive mindset throughout my day so my positivity can be reflected in my team's and customers' minds. Although it has been difficult to plan ahead with the unknowns of the COVID-19 pandemic, I've found that setting small, achievable goals each day helps my team stay motivated to continue working hard each and every day. Even if it’s something small, we can keep checking items off our to-do lists and keep feeling that sense of accomplishment.
62. Unlimited Gratitude
I cultivate a positive attitude for my small business through unlimited gratitude. I am mindful to be grateful for my business and my customers, especially now. I remind myself that many businesses have been forced to close due to the pandemic and that customers can choose whom they wish to support. I never take their support for granted because it keeps my business going. Unlimited gratitude fosters a positive mindset for small businesses by making good customer service its primary mission.
63. Don't Hold Yourself Back
I turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones. Navigating business during a time of such turmoil and confusion has led to a lot of mistakes and messy decisions. Instead of holding myself back, I allow these pitfalls to usher me into better decisions.
Kevin Miller of GR0
64. Learn to Pivot
Learning when and where to pivot has been a great tool in staying positive amongst the madness. Pivoting, in essence, is the ability to make a sharp and assured move when you are at a turning point. If you want to be successful, you have to accept that not everything you think up will work; not every idea you have is actually bright. Last year felt like a year of dead ends, but keeping in mind that I can always go in another direction and reach a better outcome kept me going.
65. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Complaining is easy. So is being hard on yourself. But so often, what can be so hard for many small businesses is the simple act of gratitude. Yes, things may be tough. But remember, you always have something to be thankful for. Maintain a positive mindset by keeping a gratitude journal, recording everything you are thankful for -- even if it's as simple as having lights and air conditioning. You'll find that when times are tough, a bit of gratitude will go a long way in turning things around.
66. Remember Your Mission
A positive mindset comes from intention. You have to wake up with goals to accomplish and know that you have the systems in place to get there. You have to understand that there are tough days and that it’s going to weigh you down but be confident in the plan you have in place. Also, be willing to admit when things need to change. Track and adjust along the way and remember your mission of service.
67. Everything Makes a Difference
Ensure that your small business has a clear purpose. Positive psychology research shows that individuals who feel a “meaningfulness” or purpose report fewer episodes of depression and anxiety. This relates to small businesses in that both small business owners and their employees want to feel a sense of purpose at work and know that their contribution makes a difference. Even if 2020 was a tough year, it’s important to focus on the differences your business made even if they are small.
68. Develop a Plan
Cultivating a positive mindset comes from inner work and outer work. You have to develop a plan for success and steps to implement that plan. Having a plan will help you stay on track on the days your head isn’t in the right space. Always see your vision, write it everywhere, have messages pop up on your phone. Do what it takes to make sure you don’t forget why you started.
Oliver Walsh of ASYSTEM
69. Remember Your Purpose
Remembering our business' main purpose, which is empowering young students through our tutoring and mentorship programs, helping them realize their full academic potential—and their dreams— motivated my team and I to get through such a difficult year and stay positive.
70. Start With the Company Culture
Every company needs to cultivate a positive mindset to reach growth or your productivity levels will never match your objectives. The best way to breed positivity is by inserting it into every aspect of your company culture. For example, when giving performance reviews, focus on the positive, and if you need to make a change, explain how the pivot will be an opportunity. Open-door policies, incentives for the implementation of innovative strategies and inclusivity will also promote positivity.
Greg Gillman of MuteSix
71. I Get to Run My Own Company
There is a simple trick I use every morning. Just as I am getting ready to work, I tell myself: I get to go run my own company today. As opposed to: I have to go work today. Framing it this way gets me pumped up because I have a company to run, which was always my dream. It works well and I suggest other business owners try it.
Matthew Meier of MaxTour
72. Look at Employee Engagement
To cultivate a mindset that is rooted in positivity, companies must look at their employee engagement. With retention at an all-time low, if they aren't feeling happy and engaged, then there's not much positivity at play. Usher in positive goal-setting by ensuring that team members are receiving incentives for their work, and that they are in the roles that best suit their skillsets. Promoting from within and offering opportunities for growth are also ways to maintain a more positive environment.
73. Serving Others Will Serve You
To build a positive mindset over the long term, focus on developing the habit of serving others (your employees, customers, friends etc.). When you consistently seek out new ways to make small improvements in someone else's life, you end up developing indisputable evidence that suggests "situations can change for the better and I can help make that happen." The next time you find yourself in a tough situation, you'll have a stronger conviction in your own abilities to make things better for you.
74. Have a Plan B
To stay positive and motivated, I plan ahead and ensure that I am prepared for anything that may come my way. I have a Plan B, C, D and beyond, as I know circumstances can change in an instant, and I should always be ready to make a pivot. If the pandemic taught us anything in the realm of business, it's that we must face uncertainty with data, research, brand visibility and a strong project management app.
75. Focus on a Big Win
To be sure that negativity doesn't creep in when you least expect it, focus on your latest big win, and how you can gain momentum from it. Often, some leaders don't build off of a successful strategy or a record-setting marketing campaign. Complacency can easily replace motivation, if you let it. Instead, keep moving in the same direction, and see what other avenues you can explore. This is a sure path to positive thinking.
Amir Yazdan, M.D. of GroMD
76. Attitude Makes the Difference
Positive thinking and reframing can have a profound effect on your ability to cope and succeed in stressful situations. It's highly applicable to all aspects of your life and has been proven to have positive outcomes by numerous studies. I personally like to practice daily mindful thinking and meditation. I remind myself that life will be full of hardships and challenges and that's what builds character and makes us all the stronger.
77. Improve 1% Each Day
Focus on improving the business by 1% each day. Running a business can be overwhelming. However, it is easy to concentrate on small accomplishments every day compared to making monumental changes. While it may not seem like progress is being made initially, consistent, small improvements are sustainable and will lead to exponential growth over the long-term.
78. Don't Fear the Unknown
We are a small business and often, we are intimidated by the big players. However, this year, we’ve agreed that we will not fear doing unknown things. It need not be expensive, but it can be impactful.
For example, if it is about answering HARO queries, we know that it isn't going to cost us anything. If anything, we will win a few journalist and reporter friends, which is a good thing. But, we will not shy away from trying because even if we fail, we become richer by the experience.
Karthik Subramanian of Picmaker
79. Celebrate the Small Things
Classic Blinds has been in business for over 15 years and seen our share of hard times. I’ve found the best way to maintain a positive mindset through the rough patches is to celebrate the little wins. Made it through stocktake? Paid all the bills on time? Got a great new client? Did someone on your team bake muffins and brought them in to share? Celebrate it! Make the ordinary novel and get your team in on it. It’ll bring a little joy to your day and make your team feel appreciated.
80. Mid-Week Brekky!
Plumbing is a trade that requires a lot of physical and mental energy every day. Taking the time to have some brekky with colleagues makes a real difference to the whole day – especially mid-week, when the weekend is close but not quite close enough… A good feed and a chat can make all the difference in maintaining that positive mindset when things get tough and helps the team bond.
81. Have a Laugh Together
It’s been a rough 12 months, especially for those workers whose jobs are in trades or can’t be done remotely because they are on-site roles. One way of lightening the mood and cultivating a positive mindset as part of the culture of your business is to pick a space in a common area – like a kitchen or office – and make a funny board. Team members can put up jokes, memes, or funny images to share with everyone. A good old laugh just takes the edge off and helps your team stay positive.
82. Tips for Small Businesses
Never forget your purpose. It's normal to experience negative thoughts as an entrepreneur and get distracted from time to time. After all, we are only human. However, it's important to get back on your feet as soon as possible. Negative thoughts tend to distract you from your main purpose, and refocusing back on that purpose will help you put things in a better perspective and keep a positive mindset.
83. Do a Little Brainstorming
Whenever I need to get really motivated, I have an impromptu brainstorming session. It can be with members of my team, or even alone. While I could make a few bullet points on my computer, there's just something about putting pen to paper that feels more creative. New ideas always positively inspire me, and they can help clear my head so that I can focus on all of the possibilities that are before me, rather than on the obstacles.
84. Name 3 Good Things
As a small business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in tracking all of the things that went wrong. But, here’s another approach. Take a moment at the end of every workday to Name 3 Good Things. It might be something like: “1. Had a great call with a prospect. 2. Sent off a proposal. 3. Our team’s presentation rocked.” Just as we can rewire our individual mindset to be more optimistic, the same is true for the mindset of our business!
85. Focusing on What I Can Control
The best tip that’s helped me navigate the difficulty of 2020 is the mantra: focus on what I can control. And much of that, as a small business owner, is myself and business. The world around us may be stress-filled and full of challenges, but so many of those we, as business owners, can’t do much about. By focusing on what we can control: our self-care habits, our morning routine and our business decisions - we can focus the nurturing growth energy within to continue on our path forward.
86. Practicing Positive Self-talk
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, I, as an owner for 2 small businesses, have been transforming towards a positive attitude with this easy practice - I started doing positive self-talk. I tell myself to be positive about managing business, people and achieving goals. While I appreciate myself for the small wins and hope to have things turn out fine for the losses, it is like an optimist voice inside me killing all the miserable thoughts and believing things can be done.
87. Focus on a Positive Mindset
Mindset is key this year, as with any year, but this year it is that bit harder to see through the fog. The best way I've found for keeping a positive mindset is to keep things close.
Don't look too far ahead and get overwhelmed. Plan and strategize yes, but don't let the uncertainty of the future become overwhelming. Make your goals long term, but take small, manageable steps.
88. Give Quality Customer Service
If you focus on improving services for your customer, you create better relations and they refrain from going over to your competition. And that is true even when it's a global crisis. During the pandemic, many small businesses have realized that it was only great customer service and experience that helped them survive. And when you have customers actively engaging with your business, it overall keeps your business environment positive and motivated to push forward.
89. Happy Photos of Then and Now
I surround my PC with photos of things I love or places I want to visit. Anything that when you look up makes you smile and think. Include some that are currently unattainable, so you can think of what you will achieve and what your future will be like. But also include things that make you happy right now, like family, pets, past vacations that you enjoyed. I also have beautiful nature photos that just make me smile. It helps me push forward through hard times.
90. Be Grateful for What You Have
When it comes to running a business, there are plenty of great things to be thankful for, along with struggles and challenges. Instead of just focusing on problems you are facing and dwelling on what needs to be done, you should take a little time to be thankful for what you have. And it’s preferable to do it every day. You should be thankful for the opportunities you have and for the people around you. That will help you keep working hard towards your goals.
91. Choose Good Company
It’s difficult to be positive and happy when people around you aren’t. You should surround yourself with successful and positive thinking people because they will also spread that state of mind to other people around them. Positive words of your friends and team members will affect your own way of thinking. There is no room for doubts when you have people around you who believe in you, inspire you, and want you to succeed.
92. Dig Deep, Then Dig Deeper
A positive mindset is as much about what we consume as it is about how we manage our breath. Intentionally detaching from the morning news cleared space for me to focus on work.
Over time, wellness replaced the morning rush creating more time to work out, meditate, and drink water. It is empowering to give yourself grace and space without questions of worthiness or time or seeking permission from others to give yourself what you know you need.
93. Look for Multiple Solutions
Running a business is challenging especially during uncertain times like COVID-19. To encounter a difficult time, you must identify multiple possible solutions to a given problem. Figure out the solution that is easy and doable. Check its positives and negatives. Implement it in your business strategy and ask your team members to prioritize it in every department.
94. Create a Folder "WHY"
My small business suffered a lot during the covid-19. But I feel that my mission is to support it and never give up, no matter the situation.
So, how to stay positive to grow your business?
1. Create a folder on your laptop with positive and supportive words from your clients, partners, users, and friends.
2. Name this folder "WHY".
3. Always remember why you started.
95. Find the Inner Calm
We all have experienced fear, anxiety, and hopelessness during the pandemic. Above all, there was additional stress of how to win the customers and make your existing customers happy. To deal with such nerve-wracking situations, you have to find inner calm and set a schedule for self-care. This is one of the best ways to make better decisions and lead your business.
96. Focus on Good Things
Being a business owner, you have to encounter lots of challenges and obstacles. There's no such thing as a perfect day. The only thing that can help you go through your tough times is having a positive attitude and focusing on good things. So, whenever, you encounter some challenge or difficulty in your way, think about the benefits or the results it may bring.
97. Keep a Steady Hand
Part of running a business is remaining steady during good times and bad. Most of the time, things are never as good as they seem or as bad as you fear. For me, I find a quick daily meditation helps me clear my head and think more positively, which allows me to be more present and creative.
98. Planning Ahead
Market conditions are changing constantly. For cultivating a positive mindset, you need to revisit and update your business plan regularly. See what's in demand, and focus on strategies that may help you win the clients. As your business grows, your strategy needs to evolve to suit your changed circumstances. Just like in COVID-19, only those businesses survived which became successful in creating their strong online presence.
99. Good Vibes
I spend time researching inspirational quotes. In the last year, I published lists of positivity quotes on my website. One list told people "you matter" through inspirational quotes. The other list shared over 50 good vibes quotes full of positivity. I asked experts to help with both, so the quotes come from all walks of life. Having this arsenal of quotes serves two purposes: I spread positivity to people I encounter in my business and I am full of good cheer, as well.
100. Show Gratitude
One tip that I follow on a daily basis is showing gratitude. Wake up, skim through emails, exercise and find things to be appreciative for. Exercising, even just a 20 min walk while you consider all the good things in your life, can really help uplift your mood. I try to learn from the mistakes or things that didn’t go well. I try to never look backwards and try to find the silver lining in anything that didn’t turn out the way I had planned. I consciously focus on the good.
101. Identify the Good Strategies
Change is inevitable. Thinking that you will continue to be successful simply because you have been in the past is not a good idea. Be prepared for any worst circumstances in business. Make sure that you keep up to date with new technologies. Train your employees and identify what strategies you need to tackle with the change in the way.
102. Throw Yourself a Dance Party
During difficult times, it’s easy to obsess about your business but this is counterproductive. I’ve found the best way to forget about it is to throw yourself a dance party. Sometimes, I’ll play a song that pumps me up like Smashmouth’s “Allstar” and dance around. Other times, I’ll do a choreographed dance routine from YouTube. In my experience, taking a few minutes each day to move and have fun is the best way to instill a positive mindset and it makes us more productive.
103. Keep Moving Forward
Keep moving forward, both literally and figuratively. I find that the rhythmic action of walking provides a state of meditation. It helps me relieve stress and helps me to focus on my goals as a business. Getting outside daily for a walk is a reminder to keep moving forward at a time when it may seem easy to become overly burdened with both mental and physical fatigue. It gives me exercise and clears my mind.
104. Be Present to Stay Positive
Two words: be present. Remember that your team is going through the same issues as you regarding adjusting in a new virtual work environment and dealing with the pandemic. Offer daily or weekly check-ins with your employees and plan for fun activities that can take some of the pressure off working from home and adjusting to a new lifestyle. We are all in this together, and 2021 can be filled with positivity by creating the support systems we all need.
105. Get Your Sort Together!
Mindset: Sort tasks into categories, sort categories into segments of time. As a behavior analyst and owner of Applied Behavioral Happiness LLC, I partner with parents to overcome challenging behaviors through skill building programs and play. This means I spend a lot of time working directly with kids. Other business priorities can fall to the wayside if I'm not careful. Scheduling specific times for specific categories of tasks helps me keep everything on track and moving forward!
106. Stay in School!!
My tip is watching as much positive, educational, inspirational videos as you can. Listen to audio-books that remind you of the Law of Attraction and power of intentions and keep focused on growth. One great way is listening to the "School of Greatness" on You Tube. There are always inspiring, empowering interviews with successful people that you learn so much from.
107. Have a Look at Your Goals
I’m sure you have several goals set for your business. They are still there and need to be achieved. One way of staying positive and motivated in the New Year is by looking at the business goals. The goals you set for the business set a direction and encourage the entrepreneurs and their teams to work with motivation and enthusiasm to achieve them. I would suggest you look at the goals so they would entice you to move towards them.
108. Proactiveness is the Key
Don’t just wait for things to happen, take strong and well-planned steps for it. If you try to stay ahead of things, it shows how much faith you have in yourself. Being proactive is an indication that you believe bad times or a mediocre situation won’t last for long; you’re willing to put yourself in a better place. These small efforts of “proactiveness” give oneself hope that there are better opportunities out there. If you have an optimistic mindset, good things will happen.
109. Move on from Failure
Everyone has faced failures in 2020. It is the will to keep going and keep rising to the occasion that pays off. Dwelling on the past brings you no good, but regrets. Hence the best way to tackle a failure is to start working towards your next goal and stay positive, looking forward to upcoming achievements. Failure is inevitable, and it can ruin your mindset; immediately shifting your focus to the next goal will keep you positive.
Peter Byrossi of Byrossi
110. Keep the Mind Positive
Your challenge has already been faced and overcome by someone. The problems and obstacles that arise in everyday life are not enough for just one person. Thousands of workers and entrepreneurs around the world face the same 'monsters'. Thinking that millions of people have already overcome these challenges can help to keep the mind positive to find a way and solve the whole mess.
111. Nothing is Impossible
Technically, nothing is impossible. Sometimes, the solution so sought after may be hidden around or appear in brutal ways to imagine. The individual must be open to looking at all aspects and all possible places. A tiny percentage of things in life have no solution. Just be patient to wait for the right moment and explore all the ways to resolve it.
112. Help Others to Help Yourself
The best way I've found to help myself maintain a positive mindset is to help other people. There's something about seeing other people find solutions and solve problems that helps me keep moving forward. Whenever I'm struggling in my own business, I look for ways to add value to other people's lives.
113. Daily Business Affirmations
My one tip for a positive mindset includes a morning ritual. Every morning, after meditation, I say to myself the five reasons that I love my business. It needs to be made into a daily habit to be fully ingrained into who you are. There was a reason that you initially went out on a limb and decided to do things differently. Tapping into that motivation is key to pushing you through the daily "sludge" of business ownership.
114. Swap Pessimism for Motivation
There will always be a way out. Many people indulge in negative thinking when they face a very complex and seemingly hopeless situation. Forget arguments like 'it will never work' or 'there is no chance that this will work out'. Thoughts like this infect an entire team and hinder progress. Swap pessimism for motivational stances that encourage the team to seek a united way out.
115. Yearly Company Staycations
At our company, we like to organize yearly staycations by picking a random location in the world to co-work for a month. In the past, we have done Bali and Costa Rica and this year, we were hoping to be in Colombia. The idea is to gather all our employees on a staycation where they can enjoy an exotic country for a month. It gives everyone something to look forward to, especially this year, knowing that sunny beaches and tropical weather await us at the end of the year.
Torben Lonne of DIVEIN
116. Kindness is Key
No matter what's going on, the only thing you can control is yourself and how you respond. Even if you can't control customer issues, billing issues, or banking issues, you can control how you handle the problems that pop up and how you treat other people during their resolution. It can be tough sometimes to smile through difficult situations, but the kindness you share with others will usually be returned to you.
117. Ask For Help
It is okay to ask for help. Asking for help from someone more experienced is an excellent way to broaden the view of problems and solutions. Learning from other people's mistakes and trajectories is very positive. There is no problem in needing an external opinion. Don't punish yourself for not being able to solve everything yourself.
118. Control the Energies of Mind
Controlling the energies of the mind is controlling the outcome. It is essential to recognize that the right balance of points can make things move forward or backward. Staying open and positive can bring fluidity to your mental environment, reflecting on the practical way to resolve a situation. A closed and negatively charged mind will not work to empower the individual when overcoming a problem.
119. Money Can't Be the Motivator
If money is your biggest business motivation, then tough economic times will completely deflate you. You won't be able to see past the red.
Yes, it's essential to manage your business' finances responsibly. Yet, remember the real reasons you got started in the first place — be that autonomy, opportunity, or to solve a real-life problem. These motivations keep your head in the right space, even during turbulence.
120. Help the World AND Yr Business
Always remember that when your business helps the world, the world helps your business. Create and market products/services that make a difference on hunger, poverty, racism, climate change, war, etc. while making a profit. Use COVID as a lever to deepen the change. It's against common wisdom but totally doable!
121. Dreaming and Scheming
When I feel myself turning negative, I mentally retreat and engage in what I call “dreaming and scheming.” I focus on the future. I remind myself of my personal vision and mission. I stop focusing exclusively on the current state of things. I think about the next phase and the impact it will make. I think about possibilities and opportunities. I give myself a few minutes or a few hours to detoxify and replenish myself. Then I get back to work, fully motivated to press on.
122. Don't Be Too Hard on Yourself
It’s a new year, but we’re still dealing with many of the uncertainties and hardships we faced in 2020. My advice to cultivate a positive mindset is to recognize that you can’t and won’t be able to do it all. You’re going to run into new challenges that disrupt your business plans and force you to adapt. It’s important to remember that change doesn’t always have to mean a defeat, and even if it is, chances are you’re a lot stronger than you give yourself credit.
123. Offer Mentoring Opportunities
Nothing engages remote employees as the opportunity to develop their professional skills while we are all stuck indoors. Learning opportunities can be tailored for each employee based on their interests. One way for keeping employees engaged while WFH and thinking positively, is assigning a mentor to each employee. This gives them the chance to advance their career while socializing, which is crucial for keeping everyone in a positive mindset during these times.
124. Visualize Your Success
One tip I practice in my own small business and with my SMB clients for harnessing a positive mindset is visualizing success. This daily ritual entails focusing on the positive results you want before it occurs, so success is expected (research shows this actually works!). Small businesses can do this as a team or individually every morning as what I call their "Morning Formula"- writing the success down or collecting images of the positive result they envision.
125. Seek Out Positivity
Leave every day on a good note. Take note of something that went well, congratulate a co-worker on an achievement, or drop a thank you note to a customer. Even on tough days, find something positive that makes you feel good about your job. If you have staff reporting to you, say a few words of encouragement before you leave out the door. All employees deserve to be respected and shown the positive impact they have on a team.
126. Boost Motivation with Hypnosis
As a hypnotist in Manhattan, my business dramatically slowed when the pandemic hit. With free time on my hands, I decided to utilize self-hypnosis for motivation and stress relief. I began to revamp my website, focus on search engine optimization, and create a complimentary hypnosis download for pandemic anxiety. This helped me to give back and stay positive. The free hypnosis recording eventually led to new clients. In hypnosis, the mind can be programmed to stay motivated and positive.
127. Leverage Regular Breaks
Taking regular breaks in between work is equally important as work itself. When you are following a monotonous routine, it can get boring and unexciting. Thus, it becomes nearly impossible to have a positive mindset. To create a positive mindset, every now and then, take a break from your routine. You can do something spontaneous that will re-energize you and help you come back on track. You can go with your friends to movie or even just relax at home. Whatever you feel is rewarding will work.
128. With WHY You'll Figure Out HOW
Being an entrepreneur can be a very lonely place in the best of times. When something unexpected comes up, like 2020, it is easy to question your life choices. I survived (and in some ways thrived) 2020 by remembering my Why. When I first heard Simon Sinek speak on the subject, I didn’t fully understand my Why? After years of digging deeper, I understood my true passion and purpose. Reminding myself in those difficult times of WHY I was doing what I was doing inspired me.
129. Read Customer Testimonials
I keep a label in Gmail called "testimonials", where I file the nice emails that customers, blog readers, and podcast listeners send me. Whenever I'm in a bit of a funk in my work, I can open up that folder and remind myself of the impact I'm having on people's lives. This is super helpful to get above the to-do list and other stresses for a moment.
130. Look to the Future
Look to the future. Fear comes from facing the unknown. In such uncertain times, focusing on how your life is getting off track will only increase your tension. Everything you pay attention to will happen. Look to the future then. We will all go back to work, and your business will eventually reopen.
131. Keep a Gratitude Journal
My best tip to help small business owners remain positive is to keep a daily gratitude journal. Running a business is not easy and challenges will always present themselves, but having a gratitude journal as a reminder to honor how far you've come in business and life is very motivating. If you write everything you are grateful for in life, this can give you the inspiration you need to work through trying times. This has truly helped me stay focused and positive through a tough year like 2020.
132. Stop Criticizing Yourself
Stand up and ask yourself what and how you can do to improve and get to it without hesitation. Stop constantly criticizing yourself. Be kind and understanding when faced with personal mistakes. We all err, and as you have read before, you learn everything. The only man who is not wrong is the one who never does anything.
133. Start Saying, "We Will See."
A simple way I’ve cultivated a positive mindset in business is to say, “we will see.” I’ve learned that sometimes it takes a while for good fortune to become clear and sometimes, what looks like a series of good luck can end with a negative outcome. Because of this uncertainty, I find that saying “we will see” helps me keep a level head, and overall positive outlook. In a way, this assurance actually helps produce better outcomes, since I can focus on work instead of worrying.
134. Search for Diamonds
My number one tip is to hunt for the "diamond in the rough." Often, even the worst circumstances have at least a silver lining or tiny positive outcome. If you focus on the positive portion, it is a lot easier to maintain a healthy and upbeat mindset over time. Also, note the focus is on hunting for the diamond, and not necessarily finding it. Even when the positive outcome is negligible, the process of looking for it can keep you going.
135. A Positive Personal Mindset
To keep a positive professional mindset, you have to cultivate a positive personal mindset. I try to exercise every day because it keeps the chemicals in my brain balanced and wards off stress, anxiety, and depression. There's obviously a lot more to mental health than working out—diet, purpose, genetics—but I think the key to keeping my mind right is to stay active and keep moving. When I'm optimistic, it makes optimism for my company a no-brainer!
136. Stand & Shine
Since working from home, I learned that staying indoors for too long can negatively impact my mood. To prevent this, I make it a point to stand outside several times a day to soak up the sun and breathe. Making a conscious effort to incorporate stepping outside into your daily work routine makes a huge difference in fostering a positive mindset, especially when running a business.
137. Focus on Your Passion
When I branched out to create Noémie, I committed to changing the landscape of fine jewelry by eliminating the middleman. I’m passionate about making luxury items accessible to anyone who wants them, and that passion is what drives me to push forward even during these unprecedented times. I suggest that other entrepreneurs focus on their passion and the need their company is fulfilling in the market place, allowing their unique mission to keep them positive.
Yuvi Alpert of Noémie
138. Tips for Positive Mindset
Showing empathy and understanding has been huge this year; it’s more important than ever to realize that everyone is having a unique experience that may be more difficult than your own. Displaying gratitude and extending support is vital in maintaining a positive remote work environment. We try to encourage team members to take time off, even if they’re not traveling anywhere. A vacation is a time to unplug and recharge – you don’t have to fly to a beach somewhere to avoid burnout.
139. Tip For Positive Team Mindset
Team morale flows from top to bottom; as a leader, you are responsible for setting the standard. To establish trust, you must be willing to provide your time, knowledge, and long-term support to your employees. Allow each employee to have a voice within the company and make them feel a part of the family.
140. Be Grateful
Gratefulness is a major key to cultivating a positive mindset and gives me momentum to move forward on projects.
I am grateful as an entrepreneur to have freedom and control over my own projects.
I am grateful for my business, as it allows me to put food on the table for my family day in and day out.
Lastly, I am grateful as an entrepreneur for the opportunity to take risks.
Gratefulness is the key to maintaining a positive mindset through the ups and downs of running a business.
141. Empowering Your Employees
I stay positive by reading positive reviews from my customers. When I see the positive effect Emjay is having on people's lives during quarantine, it helps me push forward because I can visualize the individuals that keep my business afloat. At the end of the day, companies are about people. They're about helping your customers and empowering your employees. And looking at concrete evidence that strangers are connecting with my cause is all I need to stay optimistic, even during tough times.
Chris Vaughn of Emjay
142. You Need You First!
Self care is critical and must be your top priority. Self care - in a nutshell - is giving yourself what you need on a regular and consistent basis. This includes eating well, exercising, nurturing relationships, spiritual practices and protecting your time and energy. As a result, you'll gain and maintain the clarity and resilience necessary to navigate the ever-changing landscape of small business ownership and show up in service to your clients and customers in the highest possible way.
143. No Zero Days
Using the concept of "no zero days" can improve your mindset and productivity. Everyone wakes up feeling lackluster some days, and it’s easy to accept that if you’re “not feeling it”, the day can become a loss before breakfast. Committing to a non-zero day means that no matter what, each day you take at least one action towards your goal. If that means you send one email, so be it. The majority of the time, just getting started is enough to build momentum into a positive, productive day!
Blessings: Count your blessings. A grateful heart attracts more joy, love and prosperity. The power of gratitude helps us to express thankfulness and appreciation, which impacts the overall experience of happiness. A journal is a great way to jot down blessings that come to mind and reflect on them later on. Make a gratitude list or simply repeat affirmations to yourself that ground you. There is always something to be thankful for!
145. Tips for Positive Mindset
I recommend to start thinking and planning for the next 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year from now. Planning for the short term and long term goals will keep you motivated and provide perspective away from the small missteps you might be currently experiencing. I also suggest to celebrate and acknowledge all the small achievements along the way. Celebration and acknowledgment are what will make us motivated to continue and move forward until we achieve the goals and results we are looking for.
146. Tips for Positive Mindset
Dedicating time to myself every morning before jumping into the workday helps to get rid of anxiety and stress from the previous day, increasing my likelihood to succeed by allowing me to start my day with a clear and focused mind. Waking up an hour earlier in the morning and setting aside time for physical exercise, followed by a 10/15 minute meditation, has been transformative for my mental and physical health. I follow my workout and meditation with a healthy and nutritious breakfast.
147. Tips for Positive Mindset
I have always been passionate about my work, which led me to dedicate lots of my time and energy to learning new skills and taking on exciting challenges. I devote my time to learning and working because I enjoy it and I wouldn't want to be doing anything else. I find that my best work is done when I’m excited about a project. I need to be constantly learning and taking on new challenges. I have never looked at my work as sacrifice of my time. I think it all comes down to your perspective.
148. Tip for Positive Mindset
My main tip to keeping a positive mindset is to be passionate about what you're doing and always set reachable goals. Every day, I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to grow my business. I get to show up and work with incredibly talented people that are just as dedicated as me in growing this company. Having a strong team around me that challenges me and keeps me going is inspiring. It helps to keep me on my toes, avoid cabin fever, and break up the day a bit.
149. Tips for Positive Mindset
A lesson I have learned as a business owner this year is to not look at unpredictable situations as setbacks, but as opportunities. I believe being forced to adapt as a company can bring growth. If we can measure the results our team gets at home and goals are being met, then the virus does not have to be negative. If we aren't getting results, then our systems need to be improved and we have an opportunity to then make the company better.
150. A Positive Company Culture
In order to truly cultivate a positive mindset during and beyond work, small businesses and companies need to check if their business practices make it easier for their employees to achieve a work/life balance and prioritize their health. Making sure that you create a positive company culture that values every single one in your business will make it easier for your workforce to stay positive, motivated, and determined to work.
151. My Secret Weapon to Thrive
I tried a different approach to cultivating a positive mindset in 2020.
That approach was breathwork.
Or tactical breathing as the Navy SEALS call it.
It was my secret weapon to thriving in 2020. Even postpartum with a new baby in the house.
I practiced breathwork just once a week for 30 minutes. I had no depression or spiraling negative thoughts, and I had increased creativity and motivation for my work.
152. Clear Vision, Clear Direction
The biggest thing that has kept me going through good & bad days with my small business is having a clear vision. This includes a clear vision statement and goals for both personal & professional aspects of life. I have made a habit of visualizing every day what the end goal is for my business. Along with having a vision board in my home, I physically drive to and around the area where I plan on having an expanded office space. I do this drive about once a week to strengthen and test my vision.
153. Use Music to Your Advantage!
Try listening to music to help boost your mood and creative thinking throughout the day. Music can be relaxing and can help boost your serotonin levels, helping you have a clear mind and feel more prepared to take on the challenges of your week.
154. Thought-analysis: Gatekeeping
As an entrepreneur, what we speak to ourselves builds the foundation of our decisions. A poor foundation could be disastrous to the business. Too many “what-ifs”, “but”, or “maybe” create self-doubt, which affects decision-making. I act as a gatekeeper of my own thoughts. Any negative self-talk or self-criticism that goes against my next big business decision is stopped right before it affects the positivity or enthusiasm around.
155. Treasure the Small Wins
For me, the greatest drive of motivation is the sense of improvement. Keep on making progress, however small, to motivate you and your team.
Track the small wins, and celebrate them. Strive to become 1% better day by day, and you'll be amazed how far you have strived forward one year from now. That's my secret of staying positive in difficult situations.
156. Social Media Break
Put social media aside. They are a great marketing channel, but it is also easy to compare our success with someone else's. Social media platforms are time thieves, as well. You want to check Twitter quickly, and suddenly you find yourself scrolling for one hour. Take a break, mute notifications and throw yourself into the work with full focus without comparing your achievements with others who are not always accurate because social media life is sometimes partly artificial.
157. Hand Written Thank You Cards
2020 was almost a disaster for one of our clients.
Inquiries dried up and their sales team was at the brink of despair.
We suggested that they reach out to their previous customers with hand written thank you cards.
Thanking somebody makes you feel good and it also creates goodwill for the receiver.
Their sales team hand wrote over 6000 thank you cards...
...and shortly after, referral bookings starting coming in.
That made everyone feel great!
158. Set Small Progressive Goals
As a business advisor and expert, my number one tip that is sure to help entrepreneurs stay motivated and positive is to set small, progressive goals, and reward themselves for each goal they achieve. This way, there is always something to work for, and look forward to. Focusing on the small goals can also help reduce anxiety over the tough economic position many entrepreneurs are finding themselves in at the moment.
159. When in Doubt, Try Certainty!
The way to restore your entrepreneurial motivation after a rocky 2020 is to remove all controllable doubt.
Step 1: Recommit. Know without a doubt, this is the path for you.
Step 2: Let go. Anything that pulls you from your primary goal must be set aside. Singular focus.
Step 3: Act as if. When you become the person who already has your dream biz, you can use that wisdom to show up differently and the world will take note.
160. Pause on the Positive
An actionable tip for a positive mindset is to “pause on the positive." As entrepreneurs, we can get wrapped up in the hustle and craze of our lives and often dismiss our small successes. Take an intentional pause at the end of each week and look for your win of the week - whether it's small or big, personal or business-related. Make it a habit of sharing your win with a fellow entrepreneur or friend. You're cultivating a consistent, positive mindset for yourself and those that surround you.
161. Small Business Advantage
There is an incredible advantage that small businesses have right now. In the past, small businesses had to market on the same channels, and at the same costs, as their big brand competitors through mass media. It was highly cost prohibitive and made the playing field unbalanced. Today, social media provides the direct channels to build and nurture an audience at virtually no cost. Every member of my family has a small business, including my kids. There has never been a more encouraging time.
Clay McDaniel of Ripl
162. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
The long-term impact of the pandemic has meant evaluating the direction of McCrea’s Candies and creating a careful strategy for the next five years. That means reducing unnecessary expenses, prioritizing high margin business, reducing debt as much as possible, and, most importantly, keeping our company strong so that our team can count on having jobs long term. Together, our team works to understand our challenges and identify our strengths, creating the strongest company position we can.
163. Look at Things You Can Control
Last year, it was easy to feel overwhelmed because of the pandemic but we decided to look at the things we do know and can control. These were keeping a good rapport with our customers, and that the online space was the best place for us to be. We channeled our efforts to the things we knew we could influence, such as how we marketed ourselves and connected with our customers. This knowledge alone kept us positive and hopeful for the future.
164. Gratitude is the Best Attitude
It can be so easy for entrepreneurs and small business owners to focus and dwell on negatives, what-ifs and fears (often things we can't control or hypotheticals). If we shift our focus to things we are grateful for, it can truly transform our business and lives by choosing positivity and gratitude.
I am grateful for:
-What I learned from working with a difficult client
-My health and support system
-The ability to do what I love, even when it's hard
165. Morning Goal Distribution
I'd say my one best tip for cultivating a positive mindset is goal distribution for the day. In the morning, I start out writing 3 goals that I want to accomplish by the end of the day. I make sure to keep the list visible on my desk, so that I can check in and check off what's done throughout the day. This keeps me on track, and helps me to feel accomplished by the end of the work day!
166. No Dwelling Allowed
I don't let myself dwell on self-sabotaging and/or unproductive thoughts. If I'm not feeling particularly motivated one day or something happened that I'm not thrilled about with my business, I go back and work on something that I really enjoy doing; the one thing that got me into my business to begin with. I'm usually feeling better after a few hours of creating and am ready to get back to running my business.
167. Work Smart, Not Hard
Anyone can “work hard” and mindlessly keep doing the same tasks over and over again. Setting yourself apart from the competition requires constantly thinking about new and innovative ways to do things that increase your revenue. Take a step back and think whether the methods you are using are developing the success that you desire. Instead of blindly working hard on techniques that aren’t bringing you results, work in a manner that is best suited for your business specifically.
168. Keeping a Positive Mindset
My best tip is to ask yourself daily, “What can I control?” and “Am I focusing on effort or results?” As humans, we are hardwired to focus on the negative and everything going wrong and what we don’t want, instead of staying focused on the positive and what we do want. By asking these questions, it helps get your mind out of the gutter (aka the negative dark place you don’t want to be) and helps get you focused on the positive because the only thing we can control is ourselves.
169. Cherish Accomplishments!
At the end of the day, close your eyes, smile and find at least three things that you are proud of, meaning accomplished pride. That can be small things, like you have brushed your teeth, or got dressed. Write those down in a journal and do this on a daily basis. Of course, more is allowed, just make sure you have at least three. After a while, you will notice more positive things. This refocuses your mind towards positivity and builds your self confidence in the same process. Just do it!
170. The SPECIAL Positivity Pill
Hard times–as we saw in 2020–will FUMIGATE your business space, disinfecting it of extreme competition.
By decongesting your space (reducing the density of rivals), the remaining businesses enjoy cheaper customer acquisition and increased sales.
The hardship of 2020 will probably weed off that nagging competitor that keeps you up at night. But, will you be gone with him?
This is why you need a balanced diet of positivity and strategy to weather the storm to enjoy the after-party.
171. Competitors Will Drop Out
A simple way to feel more positive is just the simple realization that everyone is going through the same thing and many businesses are suffering right now.
That means that many of your competitors will drop out like flies because they don't have enough motivation to keep hustling - which you do.
If you can stick it out, you'll get rewarded with more market share, and learn to see recessions as opportunities.
172. Start With Gratitude
Start and end each day with gratitude. Notice the things we all take for granted, and acknowledge them. The hot water for your shower, the fluffy towel you use to dry off, the fact that you are warm and dry when it's cold and rainy out. Our minds can't be both grateful and frustrated at the same time, and asking ourselves the right questions, i.e., who do I love and who loves me? What am I truly thankful for that I often take for granted? These are transformative when used consistently.
173. Talk That Talk
As a small business owner, it's important to have daily hype sessions! I wake up giving kudos to my team members and myself. It's a struggle to stay encouraged during this time, so the more you recognize your team for their commitment, the better service they are prepared to give.
Take the extra initiative to customize an email for kudos/career affirmations to improve your team's positive mindset/morale. We all love to be appreciated because it lessens the stress.
174. Positivity vs Adversity
In order to cultivate a positive mindset, we must learn to enjoy the process over the profit. "If you can’t be happy washing dishes, you can’t be happy." Along with learning to love the work over the end result, you must embrace adversity through learning the most important skill any human being can possess, adaptability. Pandemic is limiting my ability to do business? Good. I'll handle it. Learning to love the work, adversity, and your ability to adapt will make you impossible to keep down.
175. Make it Physical
January is always difficult for companies and their staff, when energy levels naturally dip. It is well known that exercise can improve mental well-being, and online exercise or yoga classes are a great way to help get staff moving. The new year is the perfect time for companies to introduce initiatives to help staff maintain mental wellbeing. Consider introducing a meditation app to help with mindfulness, or a wellbeing group on Workplace or Teams.
No matter what happens, keep smiling.
As strange and simplistic as it may sound, it's actually rooted in neuroscience (https://cutt.ly/0jHWVLc
You can try it right now: simply smile, (with your whole face, mind you) and hold it. In a matter of seconds, you can sense a feeling of positivity flowing through your whole body.
And, you'd be surprised at how effective this is!
Positive attitude attracts positive things. Keep smiling and working hard. Good things will come.
177. Reframe Your Thinking
I have built 6 companies over 25+ years and you learn one constant in business, there is no constant. There are ups & downs in a business and the economy. The #1 tip I have for small business owners to stay motivated when the economy is down is that things will eventually improve. You want to use this slow time to double down on projects that will allow you to capitalize on the market when things improve. Reframe your work and it will drive you and your team.
178. Slow Down and Breathe
Take time to stop, slow down and just breathe. It really helps to make sure your brain can perform at its very best. When your brain is performing well, you can focus more, be more productive and simply live a better life.
179. Action and Reaction
It may not exactly be scientific, but I like to apply Newton’s third law to everything: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” As a small business owner, my partner and I have invested a lot of sweat equity in our business. That’s starting to pay off. But for a long time, it seemed like we were sweating our way into a tunnel with no end. Keeping this principle in mind helps me remember that the effort and love I’m putting in to my business will come back to me.
180. Positive Staff!
My tip is simply having a good rapport with your team and staff. Without being able to cultivate relationships with those you have hired, you will consistently feel like you are alone going forward. You have to have a team that believes in that mission as much as you do, versus those who are always going to say "I️ told you so" when something goes wrong. Always hire members that will share in Being Fearless in the pursuit of your mission, in pushing forward, and in working through adversities.
181. Manifestation is KEY...
See yourself in the picture one year from now. Where are you? What have you accomplished? How do you FEEL? How many details of that picture can you conjure? Now can you step into the picture and feel it as if now?
182. Failing to Win
Failure is what helps me keep a positive mindset. I'm an ideas person, and when I have an idea that I want to see come to life, I keep iterating on it. 2 years before I started my company, I started a small agency called, Hire A Mama, and it was not the right approach or time. It didn't work and I felt like such a failure for a while. I took the time to re-evaluate and dig deeper, I began asking potential clients about their needs and wants, that's when the idea of Allobee started to take birth.
Brooke Markevicius of Allobee
183. Make Space for Yourself
2020 was one of the worst years for small businesses. Struggling through something like it feels so dark, but it’s important to take care of yourself so you can show up confidently for your business. Focus on your health and of your family’s. Eat well, practice patience, and stay open-minded. Communicate clear boundaries with your team to make mental space for you to take care of yourself and your family. Apply the same to your business: treat it well while celebrating the fact that you are.
184. Say Goodbye to Social Media
Staying off social media has helped me stay positive and reach my business goals. Since I’m able to avoid comparing myself to others, I feel better self-worth. It’s also a huge time saver. The time spent on social media per day can be reallocated into handling my to-do list, practicing personal development, or setting business goals.
185. Remember (and Track) the Wins!
My trick for staying positive: keep a running Notes list of user testimonials. Whenever I get an email or text from someone, or even hear them say something positive about Birdie over the phone - I add it to the list right then and there. I have the Notes app on my computer and phone so I can look at it anytime I'm down or need a motivation boost. It quickly reminds me why what I'm building is so important and, most importantly, I'm not the only one who thinks so!
Lauren Rosenthal of Birdie
186. Action is Better than Inaction
At F4S, we studied entrepreneurs in 55 cities, looking specifically at mindset success factors. And our biggest finding was that a bias towards action is correlated with more rounds of venture capital, large businesses, more ambition, more revenue, and more value in the business.
This means taking steps (even wrong ones) to turn your ideas into action, is the single biggest focus an entrepreneur can have in 2021. When feeling stuck, ask yourself what's the first step on your idea and take it.
187. Focus on the Small Wins
As entrepreneurs, we will consistently encounter challenges, big and small, but it's how we deal with them that makes the process of navigating tough times more manageable. So, I suggest focusing on the small wins, regardless of how small they are because every bit of positivity helps cultivate a positive mindset and attitude.
188. Values -> Goals -> Actions
When times get tough, I like to remember my "why". I do this by making sure that my Values, Goals, and Actions are aligned. When I see that my Goals are supporting my Values, and my Actions are aligned with my Goals, it re-energizes me. And if I find that I'm doing things that aren't aligned with my Values, I refocus my effort. When my "why" is clear, it makes moving forward easier.
189. Burn the Boats
Laid off last year and the primary earner in my household, I split my time at the end of 2020 looking for another job and starting a new business. Being half in each mindset, I wasn't advancing as decidedly as I wanted in either place.
So, I took up the mantra "if you want to take the island, you gotta burn the boats," abandoned the job search, and went all in on setting up my business.
Focusing priorities is much more fulfilling and yields more results: two new contracts already in 2021.
190. Every Person Counts!
My tip is simply having a good rapport with your team and staff. Without being able to cultivate relationships with those you have hired, you will consistently feel like you are alone going forward. You have to have a team that believes in that mission as much as you do, versus those who are always going to say "I️ told you so" when something goes wrong. Always hire members that will share in Being Fearless in the pursuit of your mission, in pushing forward, and in working through adversity.
191. I Train My Mind Via Meditation
To keep the momentum of going forward, I train my mind. The doubts and fears in it often led me to inaction. So, I train my mind to focus on a single point via meditation. And, I also train my mind by feeding it with stories from successful entrepreneurs. It greatly helps to shift my stream of thoughts from “It’s hard. I won’t succeed. I should give up.” to “My doubts are there, but they are not dependent on my success. Only my actions are.”
192. Stay at the Top!
Having a positive outlook, despite all the chaos, will help you keep your business afloat & moving forward. When times get hard, don’t give up. Breathe! Change your mindset from negative to positive! Sit down & evaluate how to make your business situation better. Ask yourself, what change can I make to advance my business? Then, get to work! Having positive money techniques, regardless if business is performing well or not, will allow you to have a cushion when times are hard in the business.
193. Kickass Past Negative Mindsets
The "Love My Life" peace journey empowers you to kickass past your negative mindset, so you can become more self-confident. These simple, but soul boosting tips are based on your expectation of joy and peace, not someone else. Get unstuck with creative techniques such as art projects, meditative walks, visualization journals and reading fun books to keep your brain alert. Fall back in love with your purpose, balance peace between your home and biz and spark creative ways to increase biz profits.
194. Pick a Part, Any Part
Stay motivated and engaged by thinking about a different body part each day this year. Yes, a body part, start anywhere you like. How does that part make a positive impact in your life? What do you appreciate about it? That may sound silly, but when we look at something in a new, appreciative way, it can spark curiosity and creativity. That creativity can help us power through issues in our business and personal life and see possibilities where there had been limitations.
195. Convert Setback to Advantage
When it comes to a small business, the best option is converting the setback to your advantage. Use your free time to come up with better creative ideas that can draw customers towards you. Initially, it will be hard to focus but at a later stage, it will prove to be a constructive time utilization. It will help your business grow.
Christian Velitchkov of Twiz LLC
196. Opportunity Behind Adversity!
There are opportunities behind adversities. This single thought keeps me positive and motivated to push forward as a small business owner. I constantly remind myself to find these opportunities no matter how small. For example, the acceleration of remote working has cut down my commute time when meeting people. The time I saved along with careful planning has given me more time for my family and more time to develop ideas to further improve my business.
197. Keep a Positive Mindset
When it comes to keeping a positive mindset, remind yourself of your purpose. Why does your business exist in the first place? Read comments and feedback from your customers. Talk to your team. When you keep in mind that your business is helping a lot of people, it will give you the fire to carry on.
198. Look Back at Your Progress
Look back at your progress and celebrate small wins. Sometimes, it’s so easy to dwell on what’s lacking, what goals you didn’t hit, and other setbacks. But to keep a positive mindset, always see how far you’ve come and celebrate your milestones. It will help you keep things in perspective and change your focus so that you can plan better how to change your course when things don’t go as you previously expected.
199. Reflection is a Must for Me
I stay positive and motivated to push forward by keeping a list of my wins. Many people are focused on their goals, which they should be, but not many people take the time to reflect on what they have already accomplished. I journal and write down what I want to accomplish and then check it off as I go. Then, when it is hard to stay focused or hard to find a light at the end of the tunnel, I go back and look over how far I have come. I reflect back on all of the wins I have written down.
200. Be Patient, Trust the Science
I'm really putting my trust in science and counting the days until we see the decrease in COVID numbers as a result of more people being vaccinated. I think patience, optimism and trust in science are key to maintaining a positive mindset as we enter a new year of business.
201. Learn to Compartmentalize
It's easy to become overwhelmed when you're constantly doing damage control during a pandemic. I find that breaking down the issues and tackling one at a time makes each situation much more manageable. We have multiple restaurant locations, so if we add up all our landlords and all the rent we have due, it's a pretty daunting number, which can seem insurmountable. I've learned to focus on each situation one at a time. This, coupled with flexibility, prevents task paralysis and promotes positivity.
202. Believe in the Magic of Hopes!
When you are a small business owner, you get sunny days and rainy days. However, it's crucial to not forget the sunny days, and work hard to achieve it. My mantra for keeping a positive mindset is “Prepare for the best and be ready for the best”. It sounds like a cliché. The mantra gets me out of the bed and pushes me to do better and work a bit harder. So, I would say keeping an open mind, and believing in yourself and your business should be your go to move.
203. Positive Mindset Works 100%
My #1 tip will be to avoid overthinking and stay open minded.
Studies have shown that overthinking can lead to unproductive efforts, preventing you from taking the right decision at the right time. You need to accept your mistakes and move on quickly. Listen to your subordinates and do not rule out possibilities of new, innovative ideas coming from employees.
204. Remember Why You Started
2020 made us numb. Staying home, working in PJs, as day blurred into night and then day again. People are questioning their work, their purpose, their contribution, and what the world can offer them. More than ever, people need a reason to get up in the morning, to take on the rote tasks, and to care. Right now, they need a north star. A purpose. A mission they feel a part of and can get behind and care about. Leaders must remind their teams why they started and connect them to the dream again.
205. Keep an Open Mind
Keep an open mind. The pandemic presented new challenges that business owners didn't expect or prepare for. In such a case, having an open mind goes a long way. You will be ready to hear new ideas and even try them out. Don't be closed-minded and fixated on what didn't work. Open yourself up to new possibilities.
206. Practice Gratitude
We’re all faced with doubts in our professional lives at one time or another. But, we should always remember that a positive mindset in business can be the difference between success and failure.
A tip that can get you started to help you train your brain to think positively is to practice gratitude. You can do this by writing in a gratitude journal every day, or jotting down a list of things you’re grateful for on days you’re having a hard time.
207. Think like a Mentor
When things get rough in business, what you can do is to think of yourself as a Mentor. No matter what field you’re in, adopting this attitude will help you. Tell yourself every day that you have a chance to achieve success, just as a mentor would tell his mentee to never give up.
Why search somewhere else to tell you this when you can have a more vocal approach like daily affirmations?
State positive things about yourself and a positive attitude could follow.
208. Reflecting On Your Journey
Trying to be positive and full of hope after a year like 2020 is difficult. Instead of forcing my mind to look at the silver lining, a more effective way is reminding myself of how we made it, and how far our team has come — against all odds. This gives me hope when I think of how far we still have to go.
If an idea failed, I now spend more time reflecting and taking notes on how we can do things better next time.
209. Set Small Goals
My one tip for small businesses keeping a positive mindset would be to set small goals for themselves and their business and then make a roadmap on how they'll achieve them.
Small wins can improve your morale, and seeing your progress in front of you on a roadmap is a nice reminder that although we might take one step backward, we can always take two steps forwards!
210. Exploring Cultures
I have personally found that (this works if you have culturally diverse companies like mine) by asking your staff what an event or tradition might be that is culturally significant to them, and as a company, acting on it. I have seen that individuals feel more included and other members of staff feel intrigued and a part of something greater than them having been given the opportunity to explore their coworker's cultures.
211. You're Already Doing It
When you get overwhelmed with "what ifs" and imagine the hundreds of ways you could fail, you have to stop and look at yourself. You're working. You're succeeding. You're already doing it. You can keep going today because you're already going. You can keep pushing forward because you're already pushing forward. You don't have to take a giant leap, you just have to continue taking the next step.
212. Positive Mindset of SMBs
Your problems are your challenges and they are given to you only because you can win at them. What you need to do is to find the critical path to your win. This was already done by others, so it can be done by you too. Just enable your critical thinking and don't fear. Small business is... you know... small, but that gives you opportunity to make fast moves and change direction quickly. Unlike in a big company, where incorrect move is the path to the abyss.
Dmytro Okunyev of Chanty
213. Look for Inspiration
Inspiration doesn’t arrive without making any effort for it. If you want to be positive and motivated in 2021, you need to seek inspiration from the surrounding environment. I would suggest you see what your competitors and peers are doing to be inspired and motivated to give them a tough competition or do better than them. It has always been a successful way of feeling motivated to achieve something big and emerge as a valuable player in the market.
214. Positivity Is a Must for SMBs
Having a plan and sticking to it has been what kept us positive over the years. Obviously, it isn’t a perfect plan, so first we needed to make sure it worked. And later, we had to regularly tweak it when we came across problems. Once we did those, it gave us even more confidence that we would get through whatever problem we were having.
215. Focus on Forming Good Habits
My best tip for cultivating a positive mindset for fellow small business owners in 2021 is to focus on forming good habits. Good habits don't have to be grandiose or extravagant. As long as they are achievable daily, make them a non-negotiable part of your daily routine. For example, making sure you hit 10,000 steps daily or drinking 2 liters of water every day. Nothing too fancy or complicated, but small wins that will compound over time to lift your spirits and sense of achievement.
216. Adaptability is Key
There have been plenty of down cycles in business over the millennia. Even farmers in medieval times faced them, so this is nothing new. The key is to seek out the gaps and find innovative ways to fill them. In other words, when it’s raining, it's time to become an umbrella salesperson. That’s the mindset you need to stay positive when times get rough. If you’re adaptable and can react quickly to changing circumstances, your business can survive any down cycle.
217. Head, Marketing & New Business
In April 2020, I sat down with my father - we’re a family business - and we decided to write-off 2020. That was not pessimistic. We realized that instead of lamenting what lay ahead, we had 7 months to reevaluate & fortify the plans we had made in 2019 for the next year. Only now, the plans would be realized in 2021. It has allowed us to overcome psychological blocks so we could concentrate on growing our business, stay motivated and maintain a consistent work ethic throughout the pandemic.
Prashant Motwani of Senszio
218. Visualize Your Goals
I'm a former athlete and I learned this technique in training. Athletes are trained to visualize their goals before a competition. They imagine themselves emerging as the winner, and this dramatically increases their chance of success. In business, my process is to focus on a specific goal and visualize achieving that goal and celebrating with my team. By doing this daily, I was able to achieve all my goals for 2020 despite the unpredictable and challenging circumstances.
219. Positive Mind Set
Aspire to be the local superhero. Keep taking small steps to help the local community through your business and team efforts. Good efforts - even if small - get noticed eventually and create a ripple effect that will boost your business. Even if a couple of efforts don't get recognized, the feeling of being a good samaritan will stay with you. So, be the local superhero!
220. Flow Yourself to Positivity
Introduce a 'Flow Hour' into the working day. This can work for a solo person or a small business. The state of flow where a person is totally absorbed in an activity in the moment, one that challenges but is within their skills set, increases feelings of happiness and wellbeing. A flow ritual helps to set up entering the flow state and the more it’s practiced, the easier it becomes to enter into flow. It’s important to limit distractions and not get tempted to pick up the phone!
221. Celebrate Accomplishments
A recipe for staying positive at work is acknowledging and celebrating every success. Mistakes are inevitable but people often focus on them too much, yet forget to emphasize the accomplishments, as well. It’s not always about the final result - sometimes the effort and energy people put in the work need celebrating. This way, everybody will feel valued and thus, develop a positive attitude in the workplace.
Stefan Chekanov of Brosix
222. Create Small, Achievable Goals
One of the easiest ways to keep a positive mindset is to consistently achieve small goals that will give you a sense of accomplishment. People often make a mistake of setting big peaks that take a lot of time to complete and they get frustrated in the process. However, if you tick off a task each day, no matter how small it is, it will make you feel satisfied and happy, which eventually leads to a positive mindset.
223. Be Rational
Focus on the things/aspects of your work that you can control. Be rational, put your energy towards identifying ways you can adapt your business e.g., increase your online presence, join seminars, do online networking, etc.
Key is to think of ways to adapt your practices to fit the current situation we are facing.
Another fun tip: get an everyday positivity book, with positive and inspiring quotes for each date of the year. It can serve as a quick reminder to stop being negative and refocus.
224. Look Back on Where You Started
If you look back on where you were 3 years ago, and how far you've come, it can help you see the progress rather than the shortcomings. Sometimes, this gets missed in the day to day, but entrepreneurs get so distracted with the big stress of the moment, and forget to reflect.
225. Be of Service to Others
Throughout my career in healthcare, being of service to others is what motivated me. I’ve added more services to my pain management practice, so my patients have the ability to receive mental AND physical health. They continually ask me for help with their mind, body, and spirit, so in three years I’ve built a practice encompassing behavioral health, medication management, pain management, and nutritional therapy - and gone back to school for a Post Doctorate in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.
226. The King of Dad Jokes
I've had my fair share of being down in the lows when it comes to managing businesses. Thankfully, because of them, I've discovered the secret of how to always stay positive no matter what happens. This may sound weird, but whenever I'm struggling with something at work, I take that stress and turn it into a joke. My employees think I'm just being a dad with bad dad jokes, but how I see it is if you can laugh at it, why stress about it?
227. How to Stay Positive in 2021
We have discovered that through intense focus on a goal, it helps to “crowd out” any negative thoughts or doubts that may creep into our mindset. I literally have no time to entertain any fear, doubt or negativity. I am always thinking about the tasks that need to be completed to reach our ultimate goal. By reaching our goal, my team and I will enjoy high levels of personal and business success, and ultimately financial freedom. That is what keeps us positive and focused on our common goals.
228. Write Out the Positives!
If you need an infusion of positivity, then write out all the good things that are happening right in front of you.
Pull out a whiteboard or start an online collaborative document and write out all the good things that are happening for you to see.
Sometimes, we only see negative emails from clients, a decrease in numbers in our reports, and more. We never see the positives unless they're literally written out. So, do exactly that and remind your company of the good things!
229. You Need a Complete Reset
2020 was basically a throw-away year that brought us all down and it's tough to find plenty of positives right now.
I think all small businesses need a complete reset. Sit down as a company, forget about what happened in 2020, lay out a new strategy for 2021, and mentally wash all the misery of 2020 away!
Justin Grau of BizDig
230. Set Aside Time for Yourself
As founders in unprecedented times, many of us have had to pivot and work more intensely on our business to make ends meet. When you are in problem-solving mode as a founder, the urgency of every task feels like it’s priority #1. This is why I set 15 minutes aside mid-day and do something that will put a smile on my face, If you’re wondering how that’s helping your business hear me out: It helps you stay in a positive mindset and keeps you sharp & focused.
Ravi Uppal of skinso
231. Start By Being Mission-driven
To build a positive organization, start by being mission-driven. When the going gets tough, it is helpful to be guided by a north star or an agreed set of values. Typically, a mission represents a formal summary of your organization’s aims, but it can also be an expression of greater purpose or a commitment to customers. Whatever mission you choose, it can ground your team in times of turmoil and help see you through to better times ahead.
Greg Wood of MASV
232. Focus on What You Can Control
Focus on what you can control and ignore the rest. What happens with the economy, the virus, and the vaccine is largely out of any individual, small business owner's control. What is in their control is what their business plans are, and how they execute. If you’re planning and executing well, then your business is doing well with the things that are in its control. The more a small business owner acknowledges that fact, the better they can maintain a positive mindset.
233. Appreciate Your Hard Work
In every little thing you do or achieve, take some time to appreciate your hard work. Daily affirmations can help cultivate a positive mindset and keep you working towards attaining your goals. Your simple gesture can empower the rest of your team and generate a whole new level of excitement that creates momentum when at work.
234. Rediscover Relationships
We all know that customers come first. But as a small business that had a not-so-fruitful 2020, focusing on each of our existing customers has made it easier to remain hopeful for the future of our business. We can’t control that there is less demand. But we can control how we communicate with our customers, and how we cultivate relationships with them. Take the opportunity to focus on each customer as though they are your only customer - and rediscover your values as a small business.
235. Staying Positive Despite Covid
Maintain a positive, motivated outlook by over-delivering for your customers. Providing top-notch customer service will maintain your base and build loyalty. Create reasons for customers to come back. We strengthen our client relationships by showing them we care and that we’re looking out for them by providing new, creative ways to generate business. Be brave. Experiment. Engage with your employees to see what they can offer. Build trust within your team and provide better customer service.
236. Just Do Something
Just do something that moves your business forward. I find that taking action, no matter how small, helps to stay positive. Those actions create momentum so you can see actual progress and that is motivating.
There's nothing like progress to cultivate a positive mindset!
237. Small Business, Bold Mindset
2020 was hard for small businesses - we don’t have large reserves for when times are tough. When resources are in short supply & the atmosphere around us is mostly negative, we have to rely on our mindsets to carry us through. The most important thing we learned in 2020 is to zoom out of the picture & figure out how to deal with each aspect of it. Temporarily, long-term plans are gone because we don’t know what the future holds, so we have to focus on the now & the things we can control.
238. No Such Thing as "What Ifs"
Starting a business comes with a lot of risks, and you need to be prepared for them. Future planning is quite important. However, you can’t always dwell in the days to come and be unable to concentrate on the present. If you want to get somewhere, you need to take that one "unexpected" step. Think positive and work positively. Have faith that things will work out, instead of always thinking of hell breaking.
239. Enjoy What You Do
It is always important to remember that whatever field of business you are in, you chose it for yourself. This is what you’ve been passionate about. So, in times when you’re not sure of things, or the business isn’t performing well, just remember that things will get better. Don’t lose hope in your dream just because of a “phase”. Take a deep breath and recall this is what you really wanted and today you’re actually trying to convert it into reality.
240. Share Vision & Lead the Team
One way we try to uplift our positivity as a company is by sharing a clear vision and direction as to how we will navigate through these tough times with the entire team. As a small business, we want to make sure every member is accounted for and feels secure and confident—not only in themselves as an individual team player, but also having the same confidence for the company as a whole.
241. Positive Affirmations
I start each day with a positive affirmation. I encourage my employees to do this daily, as well. As long as it’s positive and uplifting, it doesn’t matter what the affirmation is related to. Although it may make sense to have business-related positive affirmations, happiness and positivity lies in every aspect of our lives. I have found that with doing these daily affirmations, I feel more grateful and confident to take on each day, especially in my business.
242. Remember Your Own Strength
Although it's been difficult to maintain a positive mindset during this pandemic, we make a conscious effort to keep looking ahead and remind ourselves that if we thrived prior to the virus, we can do it again. We have confidence in our leaders and their ability to distribute the vaccine quickly and safely to bring down the case numbers. Keeping this in mind really helps us stay optimistic about our restaurant's recovery and the future healing of our industry.
243. Why Self-Care Is Important
2020 was one of the worst years for small businesses. Struggling through something like it feels so dark, but it’s important to take care of yourself so you can show up confidently for your business. Focus on your own health & of your family’s. Eat well, practice patience, and stay open-minded. Communicate clear boundaries with your team to make mental space for you to take care of yourself & your family. Apply the same to your business: treat it well while celebrating the fact that you are.
244. Chef- Turned- Entrepreneur
As someone who had to pivot my career due to the pandemic and is now an entrepreneur, I'd say the best way to maintain a positive mindset is to realize that because nothing is certain, you can take control of what you want to do with your life. Many of us had career trajectories or a sense of security that were completely destroyed in the wake of the pandemic, and there is a certain comfort in embracing the fact that since nothing is certain, you need to do what is best for YOU!
245. Focus on the Present
Look at each day as an opportunity to grow. Keep in mind that when running a business, you might make mistakes and experience failure, so always focus on the present. Instead of putting all your energy into dwelling on how you failed and what you could have done differently, be optimistic! You have to create the right mindset to succeed with your business, so turn those failures into learning opportunities and focus on moving forward.
246. Use Your Intuition!
Intuition is made of real pieces of energy such as oxygen and hydrogen with subatomic quantum waves of power that sync together and share encoded information. That syncing and sharing of information is your intuition at work. Research shows that tuning into this communication of calm inner hunches can help you make better business decisions. CEOs who used their intuition when choosing new products had higher company profits compared to other CEOs. So pay attention to your intuitive hunches!
247. Highlight the Bright Spots
In challenging times, there are always positive outcomes. I use an exercise with my team where we list the positives that occur during challenges. There are always lessons and opportunities discovered when reflecting back on what we could have done. During crisis, bright spots may not be obvious. Similar to when a pilot is faced with a problem in the air, how issues are resolved creates new experiences to be leveraged in the future. In crisis, there are always bright spots; use this to be positive.
248. Every Opportunity is Priceless
Don't lose focus, don't compare your accomplishments with other business, take every different situation that arises as an opportunity and build on it. Remember to find mentors that you could consult with during your struggles. Focus on your goals for your business. You need to have razor sharp focus and not be distracted. If you hit a wall and feel like you failed, get back on track and don't dwell on your mistakes. Accepting you made a mistake and moving on is an art. Enjoy the ride!
When you can see adversity as a chance to learn and grow, you will always keep a positive mindset. Many people used their spare time during quarantine productively. To take a long hard look at their lives, and make positive changes. This is a result of cultivating the specific flavor of optimism where you realize that there are no accidents, only opportunities. If you possess this mindset, you now have to learn how to teach it to the people around you, and the best way to do that is by example.
250. "Set and Setting" is All
My team has regular check-ins with each other that have nothing to do with work, but we also use guided Inner Work to keep our mindset positive. It’s almost like guided meditation, but with some intention setting beforehand. We find that by going deep, we rediscover the goals and values we have in common. The sessions last for about an hour and are a refreshing—uninterrupted—break from the day that results in a refocusing and recommitment to the vision of our company.
251. Build a Positive Armor
Learn to be unassailable by developing armor to protect your positivity. Learn to deflect negativity. Don't bombard yourself with the news and social media and negative people. Surround yourself with those who see the glass half full or refillable, not empty. Focus on new or unusual opportunities in your market, instead of what you cannot do. Think in terms of limitless possibilities, not limited choices. Pay attention to how you feel and reboot your positivity when you need support.
252. Take the Stoic Approach
Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do, so take a stoic approach and do what you are currently able to do for your business, rather than worrying about things that you cannot affect. This idea pushes you to innovate and move with the possibilities at hand. This has been a defining principle during the pandemic to uplift my spirit and the people working with me.
Chris Bolz of Coara
253. Zooming in Style
Shops/boutiques, to boost positivity, invite customers to a Zoom fashion show & announce prizes will be given. Say there's a secret word you're listening for, & a prize for each person who says it. Make it a brand name, store name, street name, whatever, but note your winners & wait until the end of your fashion show to announce them & say what the prizes are & what the secret word was. Lastly, do a grand prize drawing from all attendees. Winners pick up at your store where they can shop & see your latest offerings.
254. Careful Optimism
My one tip is to look at the last year as a blessing in disguise.
Last year was tough and extremely challenging, yet here we are still standing.
That's the first reason for optimism.
The second reason is that we're better prepared now than we were this time last year.
Finally, it's going to be hard for this year to be worse than the last one and it probably won't.
I think we have much to hope for from this year, as long as we put in the work.
255. Uncertainly Offers Opportunity
Every business has struggled over the past year due to Covid-19. The ‘new normal’ post-pandemic is still out of sight for most of us. To stay positive amidst these ever-changing circumstances, remember that there is opportunity in moments of uncertainty. There is an opportunity to reimagine what is possible, for your business and your industry. There is an opportunity to innovate, to explore new ways to grow and to serve those who matter most to your business and industry.
256. Our Sales Dropped to $0!
Pre-COVID, our biggest clients were hotels, caterers, and venues that would schedule temp staff through our HR platform. When COVID hit and brought our sales down to $0 in 48 hours flat, we pivoted to the healthcare industry. We are now proud to announce that we help long-term care centers with our scheduling software and temp staffing services. What’s helped our team stay positive is focusing on the things we can control and responding to our customers' needs.
Eropa Stein of Hyre
257. Have the Tough Conversations
Host regular check-ins with your team to address the current state of the company. Transparency builds respect and relatability. The toughest meeting I ever had was in March last year. I was worried whether we'd stay afloat. My team didn't know if their jobs were safe. Management and I decided to be vulnerable and share our struggles. It ended up building a new level of trust and opening up new communication channels. Our team is thriving now more than ever before.
258. Get Out of Your Own Head
The best piece of advice I can give to small business owners and entrepreneurs on maintaining positivity is to get out of your own head. No matter how bad it ever appears to be, it's important to realize that everyone had to start somewhere. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs faced huge step backs early on in their careers and continued forward. In the end, the process of owning a business will never be easy, but it can be easier if you keep a healthy mindset. Keep moving forward!
259. Unwind from the Grind!
There is a new societal health crisis on the rise WFH Work From Home Burnout. The Japanese have a word for death by overwork and it is Karoshi.
Take time to unwind from the daily grind by reflecting daily on your life.
R-reflect and refocus on what is important.
E-eat healthy for vitality.
F-fun activities to keep you smiling.
R-reward your work and wins.
E-exercise for electrifying energy.
S-share your life with a close friend.
H-heal any hurts in your heart.
260. Change Your Advertising
The best way to increase your business mindset right now is to try to get business that might be going to your competition… and the best way to get business away from your competition is to make your advertising much more effective and much more aggressive. So, you might want to think about changing some of your advertising copy and some of your advertising media to try to get a lot more business a lot faster! Also, look at what your competition is doing and see what's working for them.
261. Plough Ahead
The truth is, if you don’t push forward, you fall back. It’s that simple. When you have your eye on the end goal, you have to stay positive, no matter what. A positive attitude not only effects the way you behave, but it is also contagious. Leaders have to recognize that when they are upbeat and motivated, the effect trickles down, and that phenomenon is, in and of itself, very motivating.
Steven Page of Stalco
262. Build On the Little Things
In 2009, I launched my digital marketing agency amidst one of the most difficult economic climates in history and without funding. So, I understand the difficulties entrepreneurs are facing during the pandemic, especially in terms of uncertainty and financial losses.
My advice for maintaining a positive mindset is to build on the little things, like small sales and gains in industry knowledge. Focus on the good things, no matter how small, to gain momentum.
263. So Much Room To Grow!
While your business is small, it is probably the closest you will come to knowing the intricacies of how it works, especially when first starting out. While much time and work go into making it a success, it’s also great knowing that you have so much room to move up. And with all the digital tools available, it’s much easier now than ever to gain market share.
264. Never Get Old
Some things should never get old. When we first started 22 years ago, customer service and getting our clients results by landing them media coverage were our top priorities. This is what has kept us positive and successful throughout the years. Regardless of what kind of clients we work with from construction to consumer products, great customer service and, being a PR firm, media coverage is what they want, need and deserve.