As a solo entrepreneur, you need all of the positive mindset you can get. When self doubt and negativity creeps in, it can cause you to panic and reverse course – stopping you from ever achieving your dreams.
Seeds of negativity are constantly being sewn in your life, and it’s up to you to spot and weed them out as soon as they take root. If you leave these influences to flourish, it will someday feel out of control and you won’t know how to get back to a place that’s manageable.
Eliminating Inner Negative Self Talk
Aside from all of the outside influences, which we’ll discuss in a moment, one of the biggest negative factors stems from your own mindset. You’re trashing your decisions and never giving yourself a chance to succeed.
Part of why we do this is self preservation. We want to be smart about thing. If we predict failure, and it comes true – then we’re insightful and it won’t sting as much as if we had falsely pinned our hopes on success.
You might say things like, “No one will want to listen to me in this niche – look at all the other experts out there who are much better than me!” Or you might start to make a video blog and see yourself in the camera and turn it right off, picking on yourself for being too fat, too old, or not handsome or pretty enough.
You might just lightly criticize yourself, doubting your decisions on which niche to choose or what kind of business model you want to implement. And every time something goes awry (as it does for all marketers), you beat yourself up brutally, calling yourself stupid.
Sometimes your negativity is with other people. There are thousands of people working toward online success who do nothing but blame others for their failures. Everyone scams them.
They tell themselves nothing works. Other marketers are liars. Basically, they’re saying these negative things because they couldn’t get it to work, so instead of shouldering the blame and working out any issues – it’s easier if they just say it’s someone else’s fault.
The first thing you have to do is be honest about how negative you are. Start to recognize if you call yourself names (or other marketers). Then correct yourself in mid-sentence.
If you say, “Ugh! I’m so stupid for not realizing that,” stop and say, “Actually, I’m learning and giving it everything I’ve got, so I’m still proud of myself for trying, even if I made an error this time.”
You have to replace the negative with the positive. You can’t just stop saying the negative – you want to put yourself on the path to success and productivity. Practice positive affirmations if you want to – but don’t copy any from the Internet. Make up your own so that your affirmation sounds like something you’d say.
Dealing with Negative Family Members
Once you get your own mind sorted out, you’ll be dealing with those closest to you. Family members can wreak havoc on your success just by being negative about your efforts – or about life in general.
It’s hard to wake up positive and motivated every day when you’re around someone who drags you down in life. It’s worse when they direct their negativity toward you. So as an entrepreneur, you’ll hear a lot of that.
You spouse might say, “You still haven’t made any money yet?” Your in-laws (or even your own parents might say, “When are you going to get a real job?” You might have aunts, uncles, and cousins who chime in to make fun of your journey if you happen to share it with them.
It hurts to not be fully supported – especially by loved ones who should be the very people cheering you on. There’s nothing that can stop that pain, but you can decide whether or not you’ll put up with it and let it affect your progress.
Keep in mind that negativity often isn’t about you. The person can be a miserable man or woman in general – always complaining about the weather, their job, the traffic, and so on.
Even these little irritations can sabotage you with work because you’re constantly trying to make them feel more positive and cheer them up. It’s very toxic being around negative people on a regular basis.
Why do your loved ones act negatively toward your dreams? Well, some of them honestly think they’re trying to help. They assume your pursuit of an online income is ridiculous (because they’re uneducated about it), so they try to save you from yourself.
Others are just the kind of people who aren’t happy unless someone else is the target of their misgivings. With these people, you can either limit your time with them, or learn how to deflect the criticism – and that includes keeping your entire journey to yourself.
If they ask what it is you’re doing for a job, you tell them you’re studying a new career and you’ll let them know when you make a firm decision. Or just smile coyly and let them keep wondering.
Really, it’s not anyone else’s business what you’re doing. It’s your decision. You need to take back control of what’s shared and what’s available to the public for the gossip mill. A corporation would never disclose all of their pursuits, and you don’t have to, either!
Handling Negative Friendships
Friendships are very treasured to many people – like a second family of sorts. But friends can also be casual acquaintances. Either way, you’re likely going to encounter well-meaning (or not) friends who disparage what you’re doing.
Again, it’s not always about you. Sometimes these friends are just negative, miserable people. They call you up to unload their problems on you. That’s fine, until it becomes something that puts you in a sour mindset.
Other times, what they say does have to do with you. They might tell you that it’s ridiculous to waste time with online work – that they heard it was all a scam. Again, this is simple ignorance.
Why do people who are supposed to have your back try to cripple your progress? Sometimes, like your family, they mean well – and they think they’re saving you from making a big mistake.
Other times, it’s a jealousy issue with friends. Maybe they hate their job and they wish they could do what it is you’re doing. Maybe they feel more qualified than you, and wish they had the guts to pursue an online income.
So what comes out of their mouths isn’t supportive and well-meaning. It’s a cheap shot, aimed at defeating your mindset so that you’ll get on par with everyone else and they won’t have to feel bad about their own decisions.
You have to set firm boundaries with people – whether they’re minor acquaintances or long-time friends. Let them know that you’re proud of what it is that you’re doing and if they can’t be supportive, then the issue will be off the table for further discussions.
Don’t try to explain every element on being an online entrepreneur to someone who puts it down. They won’t understand because they don’t want to. You’ll be wasting your time and end up frustrated.
Instead, set boundaries, and if they continue invading your space about the issue, make a decision about whether or not you need to have this person staying in your life any longer.
Weeding Out Your Negative Network
You may think that as long as you keep yourself and those closest to you in real life, you’ll be well on your way to a positive mindset. Unfortunately, as solo entrepreneurs, we often rely on our online support network to achieve success.
Your network can consist of customers, affiliates and joint venture partners. Everywhere you turn, you’ll be inundated with people who like to harp on what’s wrong, instead of what’s right.
Even friends you make online – who you’ve never met in person – can drain you if you let them. Take time to analyze who you’re surrounding yourself. You want to be positioned with people who have the same positive career goals as yourself.
Check out people’s Facebook page, their Twitter and blog. Do you see a pattern of rants and whining – complaints and just the tendency to put a damper on everyone’s good mood on a regular basis?
There are people like this who just spend all day mired in what’s wrong, rather than focusing on what could be right. Sometimes, if you’re not careful, it can rub off on you and you’ll notice yourself agreeing with them.
Take the mindset that everyone’s a scammer. You’ll find fellow marketers who aren’t savvy product buyers, who never take time to seek out trusted resources, who blame an entire industry for their poor decisions.
Others will buy one shiny new object after another, and because they don’t fully implement a product or course, repeatedly fail. They won’t chalk it up to personal responsibility, though.
It will be the fault of the seller. You don’t want to attach yourself to people like this who suck the life out of every day from the moment you log online. You don’t have to be surrounded by people who are nothing but positive, either – but being one sided is never okay.
Replace all of those Negative Nellies with positive influences. You can unfollow someone on Facebook, and yet still remain their friend. They’ll never know, so no feelings will be hurt, and you’ll set yourself free from the sadness and anger they like to spew about how they feel mistreated.
You have to be especially careful when you try motivating others. Some people make it a goal to prove you wrong. So if you’re cheerful and positive, they’ll make it their mission to make you see their truth.
Others will latch onto you and, since they’re drowning in a bad attitude, use every drop of positivity you have to offer just to keep their head above water. Nevermind the fact that they’re pulling you under with them.
Make Positivity Your New Mantra
As you begin weeding out all of this negative influence – in real life and online – you have to replace it with something that will benefit you. The first thing you want to do is make positivity a way of life for you.
That means in your parenting, in your relationship, in your finances, in your fitness – everywhere. Not just business. If you try to only stay positive in your career, it will be hard to stay afloat because the rest of your world feels like it’s crumbling.
Make sure you regularly weed out the toxic influences in your life. When you stay aware of how other people affect your own mindset, you can then make a plan of action on how to handle them.
Will they simply be tuned out whenever you encounter them? Will you set boundaries and keep them at arm’s length? Or is the influence so troubling that it’s in your best interest to close the door on that interaction completely?
Aside from stopping yourself from saying negative things and replacing them with good thoughts, work on other ways to continually let go of negativity and find the silver lining in every moment.
You might make a gratitude journal and keep it until you begin automatically noticing what’s good more than you do what’s bad. Some journals have uplifting quotes or sayings in them to help you start (or end) your day on the right foot.
Put the focus of each day on helping others. When you work on being positive with other people, it helps you feel good on regular basis. Reach out to others and help them in your niche whenever possible.
Do things that promote positive energy, like laughing. Watch comedies instead of dark horror or dramas. Turn off the news. It can be depressing and make you feel like everything’s going wrong, all of the time.
Engage in meditation, yoga, guided visual imagery or other practices that can deliver peace and calm to your day and quiet the chaos that comes from hearing everyone panicked and angry.
Cleaning up the negativity in your life will be an on-going process that doesn’t happen overnight. But once you’re able to spot people who aren’t good for you, you’ll begin to see that you achieve more and enjoy your career more than ever before.