Getting Through Your Bad Days

After I published yesterday’s post, I remembered another question from Friday’s Q&A session that stood out to me:

How do you push through when you’re having a bad day?

Someone who asks this in an open forum is probably seriously struggling with the issue. And there are probably ten more people experiencing something similar but suffering in silence. For this reason, I felt it was an important question to take seriously. I answered it Friday during the session, and I’m addressing it again in this post.

The most important thing for entrepreneurs to understand is that they’re human beings. They’re not superhuman or indestructible. They experience the same emotions as everyone else. And like everyone, they have bad days. It’s OK to have an off day. In fact, it’s normal. When entrepreneurs have an off day, they should be honest with themselves and acknowledge what they’re experiencing. Sounds simple and maybe even stupid, but it’s important. Being honest with yourself is the first step in dealing with a bad day.

Then you can be honest with others. I’ve written about this: support systems are critical to entrepreneurial success and mental wellness. Bad days are one reason that’s true. If there’s someone you trust to act as a sounding board, you can talk with them to work through what happened, and why. Such conversations often help you let go of the troubles of the day and move forward.

Even if you’re having a bad day, stuff still needs to get done. Retail stores don’t close because the staff is having a bad day. You won’t have sympathy for your HR department if your paycheck is late because someone had a bad day. What things do you have to get done, regardless? Create a system under which you’ll be held accountable. There are lots of easy ways to do this. Email updates are a simple approach with numerous benefits. Another effective tool is a daily team huddle or stand-up meeting. Any of these can unlock the power of accountability. I credit accountability for some of my more successful periods. Avoiding it is a huge mistake that many early entrepreneurs make (I know I did).

Everyone has bad days. The key is to recognize one and take steps to turn it around in time to prevent a bad day from turning into a bad couple of days or a bad week.