Stay Cool: Mastering Emotions in Entrepreneurship

Your Feelings Are Your Business Growth Tools. Stay Calm, Conquer Business Challenges.

Entrepreneurs’ Guide to Self-Control and Self-Improvement


If you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer, or small business owner, you’ve probably been through a whirlwind of emotions. There’s the joy of making your first sale, but also the frustration when someone, maybe a customer or competitor, says something nasty about your work. In the fast-paced world of business, understanding your emotions and staying calm can be your superpower. Let's find out how.

Keeping Cool in the Startup World

Understanding Yourself:

Imagine your mind as a control room with lots of buttons. Some people know which buttons to press to make you angry or sad. But what if you could be the boss of that control room?

When someone tries to make you mad on purpose, it’s like they're pressing those buttons. But, if you take a deep breath and think about why it makes you feel this way, you can start to be in charge. It’s like putting a lock on those buttons. This is called self-awareness.

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” - Oprah Winfrey

What’s the Big Deal About Insults?

People throw around mean words. Why? Often, it’s to make themselves feel bigger by making someone else feel small. It's like they are trying to steal your energy to power themselves up. But here's the secret: those mean words are like rubber balls. They only hurt if you let them stick to you. If you think of them as bouncing off you, then they can’t take your energy. Just remind yourself, “I decide what’s important to me, not them.”

Your Ego Is Like a Balloon:

We all like to feel important. That's part of being human. But imagine your sense of importance as a balloon. If it gets too big, it might just pop when someone pokes it. This balloon is your ego. It's okay to be proud, but don’t let your balloon get too big. If someone says something mean, and you think your balloon is getting poked, try to let a little air out. Think, “I'm more than just this one thing they're talking about.”

“The key to success is emotional stability.” - Warren Buffett

The See-Saw of Power:

When people try to push you down, often it's because they want to be on top. Imagine a see-saw; they want you on the ground and themselves up in the air. But guess what? You don’t have to play that game. Understand that when someone tries to push you down, maybe they are scared or worried about something themselves. Offer a helping hand instead of pushing back. This is like leveling the see-saw so everyone can be at the same height.

Offense is in the Eye of the Beholder:

You know how your favorite ice cream flavor might be yucky to someone else? Taking offense is a bit like that. What makes you upset might not bother someone else, and vice versa. Our backgrounds, values, and experiences shape what offends us. Realize that there are many flavors of ice cream and many ways to see the world. And that’s okay!

Practical Ideas to Stay Cool:

  1. Take a Break: If you feel worked up, take a short walk or a few deep breaths.

    Feeling like a soda can that’s been shaken too much? It's time to let some fizz out before you pop. When you’re all worked up, your brain is like a crowded room with everyone shouting. Step outside the room for a bit. Take a short walk, listen to your favorite song, or do some deep breaths. This gives your brain some fresh air and a chance to settle down so you can think clearly.

  2. Talk to Someone: Share what happened with a friend or mentor.

    1. Ever felt lighter after getting something off your chest? There’s magic in sharing. When something bothers you, it's like a tangled knot in your mind. Speaking to a friend or mentor is like getting help to untie that knot. Their perspectives might even show you things you hadn’t seen. Plus, just knowing someone’s got your back can be a huge relief.

  3. Write it Down: Put your thoughts on paper. It can help you see things more clearly.

    Grab a pen and paper or type on your computer. Think of this as emptying your mind’s overloaded backpack. When you write down what happened and how you feel, you can actually see your thoughts. Sometimes, they’re not as scary as they seemed in your head. You can also spot patterns - like if you always get mad when you’re hungry. Plus, you can make a game plan for what to do next.

  4. Practice Empathy: Try to understand why the other person acted that way.

    Imagine you’re a detective trying to solve why the other person acted that way. Maybe they were having a bad day? Maybe they were worried about something? When you put yourself in their shoes, you can see that their words might not be about you at all. This doesn't make mean words okay, but understanding this can help you not take them to heart.

  5. Reflect on What Matters: Ask yourself if this will be important in 5 years.

    Picture yourself 5 years from now. Will this moment be something you’ll even remember? When something feels like the end of the world, ask yourself if it’s really a ‘big deal’ in the grand scheme of things. Zooming out like this helps you focus on what truly matters. It helps you not waste energy on little things that won’t affect your long-term goals.

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” - Viktor E. Frankl

Remember, the calmer and clearer your mind, the better captain you are for your ship, especially in the choppy waters of the business world. These practical ideas are like your navigation tools, helping you steer wisely.

Wrapping It Up:

So, brave entrepreneurs, remember that your mind is your control room. Be the boss, keep your ego-balloon in check, and don’t play the see-saw game. Understand that people have different tastes in ice cream, and that’s cool. Use these tools to stay calm, think clearly, and keep doing what you love. Your business and your happiness will thank you!

The Golden Takeaway:

At the end of the day, the most important message we can take from all of this is: You are the captain of your own ship. Whether you’re steering through calm waters or stormy seas, your reactions and choices shape your journey. Understanding yourself, not letting others control your emotions, and being kind are like the maps and compasses for your ship. They guide you to make wise decisions and to build not just a successful business, but also a life you can be proud of. So, keep your hands steady on the wheel, your eyes on the horizon, and sail on with confidence and grace.