Now… I don’t want to be too grim, but…
Let’s face it – sometimes customers and the people we work with get on our nerves. We either butt heads with someone who has a different personality than we do. We have to deal with complaints as a business owners. Or we just flat out have a “Karen” walk into our lives that day.
Now I bet you think I’m about to say don’t worry, rainbows are ahead… Hmm… Not today.
We sacrifice a lot when we run our own business. We might give up on the idea of having a family or free weekends. Or it could mean you choose to pursue the idea that might deny you the opportunity to do something else in your career.
But it’s not just the business realm that teaches us about suffering. It also affects other aspects of our lives. To be successful in all our human relationships often requires suffering. And the same is true of being successful in matters of health. We often need to do things, like exercise, that doesn’t feel great at the time. Just ask me every time I’m internally whining during the first 10 minutes of a workout!
To really be successful, we need to be able to go into life with the confidence that suffering isn’t going to overwhelm us. We need to know that no matter what challenges we face, we’re going to be okay in the end. That’s the sort of confidence that drives the most successful people forward in everything that they do.
Of course, to get to that state of mind, we need to adopt strategies.
But it also helps to be secure in our own sense of wellbeing. We need to know that while unsatisfied customers can affect our business, people, in general, cannot affect our inner bliss.
Interestingly, when you follow this line of reasoning to its conclusion, you discover that real success in business isn’t actually the money or the prestige that comes after years of hard work. It’s actually having the mental fortitude to go through the process in the first place. Business leaders are perhaps the most successful at all because they are able to find ways to manage their hard times and enjoy their lives at the same time. They can tolerate a high level of pain without allowing it to get to them on a fundamental level.
Steve Jobs had a pretty good take on it. He reminded himself every day that his life was limited (and…it was) and that, whatever happened in his work, it would pale in comparison to not existing at all. He reminded himself that, ultimately, nothing that he did mattered except how it felt for him. Creating iPhones had a huge impact on humanity. But, for Jobs, it was mainly about spending his time as well as he could, doing something he loved. If he didn’t like the process and it became clear that something needed to change, he wasn’t afraid of making the hard decisions to make it happen, even if it involved a hefty dose of bad moments.
So the next time something happens. Anything. A bad customer review. Unwanted client feedback. A b!tchy customer. Know this – this too shall pass.
Written By Founder and Creative Director, Jacquelyn Tolksdorf