How to Deal with the Down Days of Being an Entrepreneur

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It’s Mike Cooch and I got a critical question in one of our training calls.

It is all about how to deal with the down days as an entrepreneur. We talked about how to deal with being an entrepreneur when things are not going well.

Thus, I wanted to share my perspective on this because I think this is one of the most important things that entrepreneurs can develop some skills and strategies around.

One of the most important things that we all can talk about is that no matter how optimistic we are as entrepreneurs, we all have down days.

So I want to share with you my personal thoughts and approach with down days and take what works for you. Implement it and adapt to it.

Make decisions one at a time

The first thing is that you should only make decisions one at a time. You are an entrepreneur and you are going to put up with challenges and the bullshit that comes along with being one.

I don’t remember where I got that piece of advice but it is a long time ago. I also remember that person saying that when making a critical decision you only make it once and you can never go back to it.

If it’s an important decision like when you have decided that you want entrepreneurship as your career then you make that decision once and you should never second guess it. You never let the down days make you reconsider that decision again.

Thankfully, I was able to do that a long time ago. I was able to just say, ‘I’m an entrepreneur!’, which means that I am going to ride out the roller coaster that I know is coming no matter what.

That gives you a sense of mental peace and certainty that is really important in dealing with the down days.

Get a perspective on your down days

The other thing is to really just try and keep perspective on what is a down day for you.

Did somebody die? If somebody died then it is a down day.

Losing a client or sales not going well or your finances getting screwed up or somebody stealing from you. Honestly, those are first world problems. These are problems that you are fortunate to have because of the position that you’re in. Those are not truly down days.

Do your best to get some damn perspective. That will do you a world of good.

For me, what I find is that I have temporary periods of time where mentally, I’m in a bad place. I am not in my normal positive, optimistic self. And I know that being there makes me not the best version of myself because I’m not in my most resourceful self.

So how do I deal with that?

One way is to know the cause and to me, they are primarily physical.

It is lack of sleep, not eating well, and a lack of exercise. Of those three, the lack of sleep is the one that will affect me the most. I tend to not sleep too much because I like to not miss out on stuff. So I try and skip out on sleep as much as possible.

If I do that for too many days in a row, it will finally do me down. I will immediately know when I feel it, it’s like, “Okay, Mike. You got to get a good night’s sleep tonight. Sleep eight hours and don’t get caught up.”

Eating and exercise correctly, that’s just my normal routine. I do it every single day and I know that keeps me physically and mentally healthy.

Find a physical activity to help your mood

Another strategy that is really, really important that I learned at a Tony Robbins event is that to find what you can do physically that will immediately change your state because oftentimes we just get into a rut.

We’re sitting at a computer or doing some sort of routine or whatever, and we are allowing ourselves to get into an endless cycle of getting into a less than ideal state of less than peak state.

So, find out what it is for you. Find out what will get you into peak state quickly. For most people, physical change is that fastest way for mental and emotional change. So, when you are in a down spot find out what it is that you can do.

For me, I love DJ music. I’m talking about Steve Aoki and stuff like that. I love going to clubs and jump up and down to that kind of music. It is like the closest thing to ecstasy that I can get. So I will go and put on my headphones and listen to that kind of music. I will crank the volume up them proceed to jump up and down.

I don’t care where I’m at, I will do it in the office or backyard or at home at midnight. It doesn’t matter if I need to get in a peak state, I will get in a peak state when I need it most.

Do not make important decisions when not in peak state

I think the last piece of advice that I can share is that if you are not in a peak state, you don’t need to make any important decisions. Let it be, let the moment pass. Decide when you are at your best, do not force a decision.

Those are my advice which I personally use for myself and my business and so far it works extremely well. So go ahead and adapt these pieces of advice, tweak it or personalize it as long as it helps you with your down days.

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Mike Cooch
Mike Cooch

LVRG CEO Mike Cooch is a serial entrepreneur who generates 6-7 big ideas before breakfast (conservative estimate) each day.

Mike has a Texas-sized passion for sales & marketing, business development, technology, and entrepreneurship.

He has founded successful businesses in technology services, agency services, publishing, and ecommerce (and flopped on a variety of attempts as well…keepin’ it real!).

His businesses have made the INC 5000 list of fastest growing companies in America three times, and have been recognized as a 'Best Place to Work' in their respective cities.

He has an MBA from Babson College, the #1 ranked entrepreneurship program in the world by US News 24 years running, where he has been a regular guest lecturer on 'Managing a Growing Business'.

He has three children, is an avid skier, hiker and traveler, and is loving his adopted hometown of San Diego.