The problem is, it doesn’t come easy. It comes through perseverance, hard work, and discipline. And it only comes through failing and getting back up again… over and over.
If you have this thing, you will agree wholeheartedly. If not as much, you’ll most likely just sigh and roll your eyes.
What I’m talking about is mental toughness.
The reason you need this is because there are few things harder than running a successful business. There are ups and downs like nothing else. There are moments when you feel like you have absolutely no clue what to do next. There are moments you think you are the only one who is going through something this hard.
Mental toughness though, is an oddity.
You need mental toughness to make it through the hard times, but you don’t get it until you actually go through the hard times.
When you lose a handful of clients all at once, you’ve got to be mentally tough. When your family or team (or both) has higher expectations on you than you feel like you can meet, you’ve got to be mentally tough. When your bank account doesn’t reflect all the time you’ve been putting in, you’ve got to be mentally tough. When your market is saturated, and yet another competitor opens up down the street, you’ve got to be mentally tough. When you’re in a low income small town and trying to run a profitable gym, you’ve got to be mentally tough.
It’s hard to keep pressing through. It’s hard to hit your goals.
Increasing your mental strength is similar to building your physical strength – it takes consistency and discipline… day after day after day. But, once you work this muscle out and it gets stronger, things oddly start to shift in your favor.
Think about a new person who walks in your gym… it’s never the right thing to just tell them to “get in shape”. They won’t even be able to grasp what that means, much less begin to do anything about it. They need to have a plan, and push themselves to work that plan consistently.
And to make matters even more challenging, that out-of-shape, overweight person can work out and not even begin to see any changes except really sore muscles, until at least a few weeks into the workout regimen. Talk about a demotivator.
The same is true in business.
Oh, we all want to be mentally tough. To be able to persevere and fight through the hard times, but we also all know, if we’re not there yet, it’s never as easy as to “just be tougher”.
Mental toughness, in my opinion, is defined as the ability to work hard consistently with resilience and confidence toward success, even and especially in the face of adversity, failure, and challenges.
Mental toughness is the thing that enables successful leaders to reach their long-term vision and goals.
In the life of any business owner, there will be days where you’re just not motivated, you feel overwhelmed, and going back to just getting a paycheck feels like an appealing option. It’s ok, those days are to be expected. But, if you have more days like that than days where you are mentally tough, you need to begin working out that muscle immediately.
But if everyday, you work your mental toughness muscle out, the cumulative impact of this will pay off. I promise.
The most successful business owners I know have (and continue to) hit the same walls, hurdles, mental struggles, and obstacles as everyone else. It’s important to note that your situation is not different – whether you’re in a small town, or you can’t find good staff, or you’re in a saturated area, or whatever. Every business owner has her or his own set of struggles. The truly successful ones just don’t make excuses, but instead consistently execute and relentlessly pursue growth.
What you plant is always the harvest you will get.
Get mired in discouragement, and you will live constantly wishing that things were different. But, push yourself and fight for discipline now, and you will soon find yourself reaping the rewards you once only hoped for.
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