Entrepreneurs have great freedom in their work and personal lives, and most of us wouldn’t have that any other way. That freedom comes with responsibilities, one of which is to be conscious of one’s mood. Self-employed, we often work alone, because our team members are usually not co-located with us. And when we have an “off” day we can slip into non-action, downward spirals of negative thinking, self-doubt, depression, and lack of follow-through.
I’ve noticed in many of the fabulous, smart, talented folks I mentor that mood ends up being a huge saboteur of success. We all have what I call the “doubt days” – what am I doing, am I good enough, can I do this REALLY? – feelings of lower self-esteem, fatigue, or hurt that someone has acted rudely. Entrepreneurs need faith and resilience, and we need those to a much higher degree than those who can count on the workers around them to pull them out of a bad day or even to cover their work now and then. The joy and privilege of being self-employed also comes with a responsibility to monitor our own mood and have our Plan B in place to pull ourselves out of the dark places. I coach entrepreneurs to have their special Plan B people, those they can call on for a listening ear and new perspective, built right into their business plan.
I’m a fan of Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet. One of his poems instructs us about bad mood, and what to do when it hits. Here it is for you. Try a little Rumi the next time bad mood comes calling, and keep yourself on the path to success.
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.