Toughen Up!


Being in business is not for the faint of heart.  Your mental toughness is constantly tested and most days you have to be courageous, creative and crazy, all at once, just to get through the day.

Being mentally tough has helped me become the business owner I am today.  Decisive action has become second nature and I am confident making big decisions and pivoting fast to act on them.

This hasn’t always been me.  In fact ‘paralysis by over-analysis’ better describes my state of mind during the first year or so I was in business.  As I finish up my 5th year I recognize that I have developed some traits that have helped me stay driven, focused and mentally strong.

Here are some of the things that have helped me to develop remarkable mental toughness:

  1. Never let them see you sweat. Being in business is as stressful as it is gratifying.  I am sometimes dealing with some pretty big problems and with the exception of a few trusted sounding boards, I never let my freak flag fly.  Being in control is key.
  2. Focus on the things that I have the ability to change. I can’t change the competition.   I can’t change how frequently our clients use our services.  I can’t change how many LTC homes there are in my area.  What I can impact is the way we have never been complacent for a second.  I can impact the level of service our clients receive when they do use our service.  And I can build relationships with every LTC home in my area.  As Ghandi once said, I can ‘be the change’ but I can’t try to make everyone or thing around me change.
  3. Let it go. The past is the past and mistakes are a valuable source of learning.  When something bad happens to me I see it as an opportunity to learn something that I had no clue about.  I also look at the people in my organizations’ mistakes as a chance to make sure we get it right the next time.
  4. Whine not?! Words are so powerful.  Again, with the exception of a few trusted people, I keep the complaints to a minimum.  Instead I put my trust and energy into the power of positive thinking.  Why waste your time complaining when being relentlessly positive keeps your team focused on bigger and better solutions?
  5. Count your blessings. Quit worrying about what you don’t have and focus on what you do have.  You will immediately feel blessed, I promise.  And when you feel good about yourself you will notice that your mental batteries will charge themselves!

These are a few things I do to keep myself mentally strong.  Mental toughness is not an innate quality that just a few of us are gifted with; mental toughness can be learned, practiced and mastered.  When done consistently I guarantee they will contribute to long-term success!


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