Master These Five Key Aspects of Your Entrepreneurial Life
As once noted by a brilliant psychiatrist, “life is difficult – but once we realize it is so and accept that fact – it becomes much easier because we don’t expect otherwise.”
What’s more, our most common, day-to-day psychological problems often stem from the “expecting otherwise” part.
The good doctor went on to say that the “cure” for the dilemma lies in disciplining ourselves in all areas of our life, including our emotions. The more discipline and lack of self-entitlement we display, the happier our lives will be.
Sounds simple enough, right? Not exactly.
It means we need to learn to view the world precisely as it is and not as we think it is or ever so often have the nerve to immaturely demand that it be.
Owning a vended laundry business, like all other aspects of life, is difficult. It’s not a linear experience. It’s dynamic and has many ups, downs and challenges over which the owner rarely, if ever, have any real control.
Of course, there is no single formula for harmonious living. However, I have discovered five tips that I believe lay a pretty decent foundation. In other words, if you first latch onto these, you likely will realize the other parts of the grand formula on your own, because they often will show up on your radar automatically. In other words, once you’ve got the fundamentals down, the rest is largely just a matter of details.
Discipline Yourself Regarding Your Anger
Anger is a natural emotion, but that doesn’t mean you have to express it as an emotion. Sure, it should be expressed if appropriate, because anger will corrode the container if not let out, but do so as an intellectual event.
For example, when dealing with a chronically late-arriving attendant, rather than displaying your angry side, show your intellectual side by using words to explain your disdain. That way you will feel as if you made your point and will maintain the respect of your employee without destroying the future of that relationship.
Discipline Yourself Regarding Customer Complaints
As a laundry owner, you’ve no doubt heard a few customer complaints along the way. When speaking with an upset customer, be sure to use the following phrases, because they are “softeners,” which indicate your respect for the customer:
- “I’m listening.”
- “I hear you.”
- “I get it.”
- “I respect your opinion.”
- “My commitment to you is…”
- “You are in control.”
- “You decide.”
Simply use the appropriate phrases based upon the circumstances. Doing so often will lead to an acceptable compromise and with no hard or long-lasting negative feelings on either side of the table.
Discipline Yourself Regarding Advertising Results
Developing effective advertising can be a real challenge. This is especially true when you don’t achieve the results you were expecting and feel as though you’ve wasted your money.
The likelihood is that you feel disgusted with yourself. After all, you have tried your best, but received nothing of significance in return. Your self-image has been in a fender-bender, and you don’t know where to look for a collision shop.
The best solution is to think outside of the box when writing advertising copy. In fact, think as if there is no box at all. I also suggest that you change the tone a bit – from “preaching” to gentle persuasion. Use some of your self-depreciatory energy to chart a new course within the boundaries of good taste and creativity.
Discipline Yourself Regarding Money
The subject of money affects laundry owners in so many ways. Some operators are easygoing about money, while others are completely consumed with the subject as a measure of their self-concept.
Yes, money can buy freedom from many issues, but it can’t buy freedom from fear – the fear of not quite having enough or having enough but being afraid of losing it.
I believe you’ll find that you will have enough money if you adhere to all five of the disciplines outlined in this article, because I have discovered over the years that they work best as a complete set.
If you are always scratching for money, look at how you relate to all of the various aspects in your business life. The likelihood is that you will realize how one aspect of your business life – perhaps your advertising methods or maybe the way you treat customers or employees – is the foundation of your monetary worries.
If you look closely enough, you will find the answer you’re looking for. Perhaps not at first glance, but the absence of proof is not proof of absence. Keep looking because dirty windows make life difficult to see.
Discipline Yourself Regarding Your Physical Health
Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson is famous for the great line, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”
It’s true that the human body is remarkable to behold from a physiological standpoint. Its ability to heal itself and recuperate on its own are literally wondrous. However, you still have to do your part to maintain it. And, after all, without your health you have nothing.
To maintain your health, you must make it a top priority. You owe it to yourself, your loved ones, your employees, your business and, yes, even your customers. To that end, focus on good nutrition, develop an exercise schedule and regularly visit your doctor so that you know you’re doing all you can to preserve your health.
A while ago, my doctor suggested four basic practices for maintaining good health: eat a good diet, get regular exercise, don’t smoke and don’t ride a motorcycle. He added that anything else that occurs beyond those four “rules” are beyond your control, so don’t worry about them because it will just needlessly raise your blood pressure.
I believe you’ll find that mastering self-discipline can be an extremely refreshing event in your life. Changing your outlook and reaction habits can most certainly be accomplished. However, in life milestones reached are sometimes not milestones held. Therefore, be aware that you must constantly focus on maintaining the steps you have taken forward until they eventually become automatic over time.