8 Steps to Developing Thick Skin in Business
As you might have already experienced, owning one's own business can be an extremely personal experience. From the time you put in, to the ideas you craft from the ground up, to simply putting yourself on the line and trying "something different" – it's hard to say that a business isn't your own, even from day one. Though you might be regularly working with others and through a franchise, the venture is very much near to your heart.
However, that also means that when something goes wrong, or things don't go as planned, you're more likely to take that experience negatively. And not in the "I had a bad day at work" kind of way where you can go home and brush it off, but the way where something happens to you personally, and you can't kick the feeling. That's how it can feel to be a business owner.
Rather than punishing yourself each time a misunderstanding takes place, however, it's better to develop a thick skin. A reality where you know when something is your fault, and you know when others are expecting too much. But more importantly, learning to leave those feelings at the office (even if you don't have one yet), and move on with your day once it's time to head home.
Develop a thicker skin and earn days with less stress by:
1. Knowing What's Expected of You
You might be willing to go above and beyond, but that doesn't mean you should be pinned with every single business related task (and blamed, should they go wrong), either. Instead, develop a solid understanding of what's your responsibility, and what falls beyond. Then you can ensure you are doing the best that you can to keep everything under control. And, if you decide to over-achieve and take on more, stay in close contact with the person in charge of that operation while you're at it.
2. Brush it Off
It will get easier over time, but work on brushing off small digs or backhanded compliments in your personal life. This will be good practice for you to focus on what matters, while letting the small stuff roll right off your back. Don't let yourself get worked up, instead find a distraction, and before long, whatever was on your mind will feel like small peanuts.
3. Keep Up Your Confidence
Another way to gain thick skin is to remind yourself (and often) of what a great job you are doing. If you're constantly picking yourself up and focusing on all that's to come and everything that's going right, you'll have less time in the day to focus on what isn't. Stay positive and look toward the good, not what might not be perfect at the time.
4. Look at Things Objectively
If someone else were in the same situation as you, would they be spending as much time or energy looking at a problem? Or, would you as the outsider be berating them as much as they're downgrading themselves? Probably not. We are our own harshest critics, and learning that no one else is as bothered as you can help talk yourself down. It's also a practice that will become easier and better learned over time.
5. Ask Others for Advice
Chances are, you have a few trusted individuals who you can go to at all times. If you're not sure who this is, ask yourself who helps with business advice, etc. Now, keep them in close range the next time your feelings are hurt. Ask their thoughts, how they'd feel if they were in your shoes, and more. Additionally, the more they let you know you're overreacting, the more likely you can self-correct in months to come.
6. Put it in Perspective
In the grand scheme of your business, will this issue at hand play a big part? In a year, two years, or 10, will you even remember that this one thing happened? Pull back a few steps and gain a better-rounded understanding and you might even just change your train of thought – perhaps permanently!
7. Check the Rule Book
Just knowing you're right can do wonders for one's thought process. That doesn't mean you have to say it – or at least say it rudely -- but being equipped with this simple fact can help boost your mood, and your understanding of the business. Check facts the next time you're called out and then assure yourself you're doing what's right, and what's called by the law and your respective franchising brand.
8. Man Up!
While this isn't the most eloquent of titles, it might be one that's the most effective. When things get rough and tough, sometimes all you can do is power through. Take a deep breath and soldier on. Before you know it, the task will be done, the situation will have passed, and you were all-the-better off for not having overreacted. In the meantime, you got to save face through a stressful time.
It's important to save your own sanity when starting a new business. There will be plenty of strain along the way, which is why you should savor as much peace as possible. Especially if it's deserved!
For more tips on growing thick skin and working with your upcoming brand, get in touch with us today.