According to the dictionary, stoicism is “the endurance of pain or hardship without the display of feelings and without complaint.” Notice that the definition doesn’t say feelings weren’t felt or complaining wasn’t warranted. Instead, stoicism is the ENDURANCE of adversity without the DISPLAY of feelings. No griping, no rolling of the eyes, whimpering, no excuses, or justifying one’s actions just enduring through adversity.
In every business across the world, from mom and pop shops to multi-billion dollar corporations, there are great things happening along with bad things happening. Great and bad things usually happen at the same time period simultaneously. A business owner will sign a deal for a large contract on the exact same day that a former employee files for unemployment. Now you Mr. or Mrs. business owners are held responsible for up to four hundred and fifty dollars for twenty-six weeks, says Julia Kagan with Investopedia.com.
You are the leader of the ship and if the leader of the ship loses his cool then the shipmates start looking to jump ship.
Why am I typing about stoicism today as a business coach? It is because at every second in business there are good and bad things grabbing for your attention. As an employee the buck always gets tossed to the boss. Now the tables have turned and you are the buck. What do you do when an irate client storms into your business demanding a refund after leaving a one-star review? Or maybe your top employee quits only to turn around and start a company to compete with yours? The icing on the cake is when you receive a call from a lawyer informing you that your company is being sued because the employee who just quite to compete with you screwed up a job he completed. As the business owner irate clients, getting sued, and stabbed in the back is your new normal. The question is, are you going to start yelling at the sky for your terrible luck or break down and start crying? The answer is neither, you are the leader of the ship and if the leader of the ship loses his cool then the shipmates start looking to jump ship. Instead you must endure the pain and hardships that come with being a business owner, endure without display of feeling or complaints.
The first thing you do is to take the emotion you feel about the situation and set that aside. It is Clay who as a business coach, regularly reminds us that how we feel about the situation has nothing to do with dealing with the situation. What Clay means is your excuse for not dealing with a situation has no effect on the situation or its resolution. Second thing to do after setting your emotions aside is to look at the situation, your options, and proceed with a plan. The key isn’t to pretend you are not feeling hurt, angry, or betrayed. You ARE hurt, angry, and have been betrayed. What you are going to do next is put your newly thought out plan into action. Did you want to deal with an angry lawyer and his scary lawsuit? No, you probably never wanted to answer letters or phone calls after having to fork out thousands of dollars to wrap up the unemployment checks. Take a deep breath, pay your lawyer, and continue running your business.
Thank you Jon Kelly & Clay Clark for your business coach meetings.