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Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Mind over matter

49% of you work alone. And 45% of you hold yourselves up as your greatest source of strength when things get difficult.

But being your own boss, and taking responsibility for the people that work for you, means taking maintaining a resilient mindset - one that can turn challenge into opportunity.

You need to be in plenty of places at once, and your brain needs to be capable of staying across the skills you use day-to-day, as well a host of other small business tasks you might not be expert in.

There are plenty of rich sources of information out there about why embracing simple practices to keep your mind in gear are important to busy, high-performing individuals. And plenty of examples of groundbreaking businesspeople and creatives who embrace these kinds of tools.

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Ask yourself

Am I passionate about what I do?
Am I able to avoid “taking work home”?
Do I look forward to tackling each day?
Do I feel stressed about work?
Do I ever avoid working?
Am I proud of the work I do?
Am I confident in my abilities?

Strength starts upstairs

Switch off to stay strong

Giving your mind some down time can make a difference. 29% of those we spoke to see maintaining work-life balance as a challenge. Being constantly tuned to the ins and outs of your business uses up a lot of brain power, and that’s before you even have time to think about a personal life. But there are things you can do to help. Embracing mindfulness practices, switching off from technology and setting clear boundaries around when and where you work can do wonders.

Try: Our article about apps that can help
Developed in partnership with psychologists and mindfulness experts, there are a range of apps designed to help you switch off your mind a little. We’ve published an article on The XYZed about some you can try.

Reframe your difficulties

Think of challenges as opportunities, not setbacks. 41% of you find comfort in the chaos of difficult circumstances, but all of us can find strength when things get tough. Cognitive reframing was born in the schools of psychology and therapy, but it’s a tool you can use everyday as a self-starter. It’s about taking a different approach to how you view your challenges. When you’re up against it, spend some time plotting out the positives and what you can learn (or have already learned) from each difficult situation.

Try: Reframing the way you see a difficult situation
1. Identify what about the situation is making you feel negative.
2. List some ways it could have been worse.
3. Look for positive aspects of the situation, no matter how minor.
4. List what you’re learning, and how it will benefit you in the future.
5. Don’t forget that failure is often a prerequisite for entrepreneurial success.

Be your own cheer squad

Keep track of your successes, and how your growing resilience has helped. 87% of you agree that having a sense of meaning in your work is important. We’re not surprised, either. You wouldn’t have put yourself in this situation otherwise. That’s why it’s important to celebrate when things go well. But when you’re focused on the job, it’s not easy. Make sure you’re always putting time in your schedule to reflect on what went well, where and when you showed resilience. Don’t be afraid to share your success with the world, either!

Try: Keeping a daily journal
Making time each day to list what went well (and what didn’t) can help you stay positive and focused on what you’re doing. It’s easy to get lost in the minute details of running a business, and having a record to check back on weekly or monthly mean you can stay connected to your success.

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