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In business, just as in life, there are peaks and valleys, highs and lows, and ups and downs. Some days you‘ll feel like you can take on the world and other days you‘ll wonder if you should pull the plug.

If you are going to be in business for yourself, know that the peaks and valleys are a natural part of the process. I have found that expecting this up/down swell of emotions and challenges helps you better cope with them when they come.

Sure, the ride up is pretty breathtaking … but so is the ride down! It comes with the territory, so relax and go with the flow.

Manage the Doubts

You are going to have those days when you think you can‘t take it any longer and you are ready to quit. You will. Don‘t fret or worry, just be ready for it.

However, in that moment, things can really go from bad to worse if you start doubting all of your decisions. Doubt naturally makes you self-examine, and before you know it you‘ll be wondering:

  • Why did I ever start a business?
  • Am I crazy?
  • Will I make it?

You have to quarantine those types of questions! They are runaway thoughts that will lead you down roads you should not go down.

But the questions are not bad. They force you to address real issues, and that is actually good for you. Why? Because:

Until we have dealt with and can manage our doubts, we cannot be totally committed to our business.

Hit those questions and thoughts head on! Don‘t back down. Face to face, address the issues, because in so doing you are strengthening your resolve to win! That is, of course, a very good thing and it will serve you well for years to come.

How to Fight Smart

You want to address issues in such a way that you (metaphorically speaking) put them under your feet so that you can stand on them to reach higher and go further. That is the goal.

But in reality, some days are just bad days. That is a fact of life. It is also dangerous, for:

When you bring fear and worry into your life, you start to decrease your ability to think clearly and rationally, and therefore you are less productive.

If only you could put those days on ―pause and address the issue another time … but you can! I call these bad days ― hold days.

On ―hold days, you do not make any major decisions because you are too emotional and you are not thinking clearly. Remind yourself that tomorrow will be a better day. That is fighting smart.

When everything is going right, just as you planned, I call these days ―banner days. On ―banner days, you are not as emotional, you should be able to make rational decisions, and because you have less worry and stress, you are also much more productive. Those are great, confidence-building days!

It‘s tempting to make your big decisions on these peak-like ―banner days, but I recommend that you not make any major decisions on ―banner days, just as you don‘t on ―hold days, until you are experiencing at least 80% of your days as ―banner days.

To summarize … make your decisions when your normal day is a good day and you are emotionally steady, you are rational, and you are not worried or stressed out. That is fighting smart!