Successful businesses of any size or stage are a mixture of a few vital ingredients. I used to think the #1 item was cash flow. Without it, not much was happening. Then I shifted my beliefs to marketing. No marketing, no nothing. But today as I ponder—where I’ve been and where I want to go, and think about the true legends of business who have attained commerce glory—I am 500% convinced I was wrong for years.
The most important ingredient, the secret sauce, the one element that separates the good players from the superstars, the average companies from the breakthrough leaders is neither, marketing or cash flow, but emotional management.
I had a strange week. I traveled to Texas to celebrate my Mom’s 75th birthday. What should have been a nice, enjoyable three days, turned into a catalyst for a super stress melt down.
Was it the family thing? The hyperactive, slobbering, barking a lot dogs? The five-million kids that were everywhere? (I don’t appreciate kids as much as most people do) The technology issues with my iPhone? Or the fact it felt like it was 147 degrees outside?
It wasn’t one single item or all of them. They just all moved the dial on my stress zone into explode mode, and by Thursday of the same week, even through I was back in normal life, I felt a volcanic eruption of sorts.
For two days, I was immobilized. I was paralyzed from my head to my toes. I couldn’t think, write or focus. My energy was zapped. All I wanted to do was sleep and then I felt lethargic. I procrastinated about everything and was extremely grumpy.
Fortunately, all my consulting client needs were met and all my time-sensitive responsibilities handled. My Oddpodz list is forever running and that caused even more tension in my neck.
But, what was going on? And how was I going to snap out of it?
Saturday, I had invited friends over for dinner party. I prepped for the gathering. Finished by mid-afternoon and fired up my iPod. Maybe listening to one of my inspirational muses would help get me out of this funk.
Tony Robbins is one of my favorite gurus. I love his style and so admire what he has done and built. Plus, he is my age, so he’s also a relatable benchmark for me.
The playlist was called 5 Keys to Success. I’m not sure where you can access it. It was an old recording that I received by signing up to his New Money Masters Program.
It was just what I needed. A reminder to sort through what was happening and how I was going to correct the situation.
So what was happening to me this week?
Some would call it an entrepreneurial emotional meltdown. This is where your life and business emotions take over everything and literally shut down, you. They temporarily defeat you. It’s like a freakin power outage.
The few non-productive days, my cranky mood that I shared with my staff and family, that’s the bad news.
The good news is, it is totally fixable by the most important ingredient in life and success.
So are most of the other challenges we face as entrepreneurs, including: cash flow, personnel, new business, operations, you name it—this is where the cure starts and ends—because emotions run the show.
As entrepreneurs, if we can master emotional management, we have found the winning ticket and can achieve anything.
Going back to the Tony Robbins podcast on the 5 keys to success, Tony explores why Jim Smith of Federal Express and Sylvester Stallone, the mega movie star and businessman were breakthroughs in their own right. They managed two key huge factors with stamina and poise.
1) They knew how to handle frustration
2) They knew how to deal with rejection
I so agree. These are the roots of personal and business growth. How entrepreneurs manage these two items have a profound impact on everything they do.
Think about all the time you waste being frustrated. Even if you converted it into pesos’ it would be worth a ton. Frustration must be transformed into fascination or you are forever stuck in the dirt.
My frustrations ate my lunch every day, from not being at a breakeven on Oddpodz, to staff changes in my consulting practice, too many things to do, not enough time, to my hair falling out, YIKES!!
And how many times, did you buy into a rejection theory as if it were a fact and half the time the people rejecting you were serial idiots and it wasn’t even real rejection, but it stymied your ability to moving forward.
Last week I didn’t earn the emotional management badge of honor. In fact, I failed big time. But, what I did do was feel low enough that I took action (re-listened to someone who manages emotions well) and that resulted in progress. Emotional management from leadership brings immediate value to all business from start-ups to mega-firms.
So next time. . .
When you get a tendency to be frustrated, stop and ask yourself… “will this state of destructive dwelling increase my bank deposit”? Hell no! In fact, it will actually cost you money.
Instead, completely change gears into a mode of focus. What can I do in the next few hours that will generate added income?
And when somebody doesn’t want to buy your product or service, or they provide feedback that doesn’t feel so good. Have a fast chat with you. They just did you a big favor, now you have some new time to find a better client.
Remember, math, numbers and the law of average are much more real than any doubt you pile up from a fictional rejection.
So if the magical ingredient is emotional management, how do you keep it in abundance?
As entrepreneurs, we drive the car. It’s not always a smooth, easy road. I continue to work on this everyday.
Join me in choosing emotional management. Leave the frustration and feelings of rejection on the side of the road.
I’m very intrigued by how emotions play in the big game of life and business. And will continue to blog about insight on this subject. Love to hear your comments and stories too.