Navigating the Daily “Polarity” (Highs and Lows) of Life as a Business Owner

September 21, 2022

Polarity is a word that I have used a lot lately.

It accurately depicts most of my days in business and in life.

Life as an online business owner, in my current season of business, requires navigating the mental load of hundreds of humans on a daily basis. Clients, team, prospects… all of it.

And with that comes polarity, which is the subject of today’s podcast episode.

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Polarity is the term that I now use to define the fluctuating experiences that often all converge into one, on any given day.

One client aces their launch.

One is struggling to see sales.

One is having an incredible experience and singing praises from the rooftop.

Another has defaulted on payment and hasn’t replied to several follow-ups.

A team member or contractor is firing on all cylinders, kicking KPI goals and acting beautifully in accordance with the values of the company.

Another is distant, focused on other things.

You deliver a presentation and smash it.

Then, you sit down to prepare a podcast and stare at a blinking cursor for an hour.

You receive a compliment.

You receive a complaint.

They love you.

They don’t.

All of it.

Often, in the same day.

As a business owner, I have been reflecting on the impact of the polarity of my days on my OWN mental load, and thought it might be helpful to share my experience with others.

I’m not the expert, but in today’s podcast episode I am sharing some of the things I am learning.

1. Systematise Tough Decisions

One of the things that I have always found challenging in business, as a people pleaser, is how to navigate what I call “difficult situations”. Sure, we have contracts.

But there is always nuance, and there will always be tough situations to navigate.

These usually come up on a weekly basis, at least. In the past, I would labour over every decision, obsessed with the nuance and feeling that it was me personally that needed to make a custom decision.

It caused me significant mental and physical anguish.

Now? I don’t.

In our business, we have essentially systematised and operationalised every difficult situation, and we act consistently in accordance with our agreement mutual commitments.

2. Separate Business from Self

I spoke about this a little in last week’s podcast episode, but realising that business praise and constructive feedback are both things that have nothing to do with you is incredibly freeing.

It particularly helps you to regulate yourself daily, and rather than experiencing ‘high highs’ and ‘low lows’ you are able to operate objectively and on a much more even keel.

3. Take Action Based on Data, Not Emotion

Often, when someone or something isn’t performing to a standard we would like to see, we treat the situation with emotion.

Our perceptions become emotions which then become emotion actions.

This, I can assure, NEVER serves you.

In these situations, I am now much better at being self-aware of the emotions I am feeling about any particular situation, and then waiting and objectively assessing those emotions against data.

Making decisions and taking action from that perspective leads to MUCH more positive outcomes.

4. Be Clear on What You Want

Business requires dealing with others – team, clients, prospects.

And humans, by nature, are complex!

It can be really difficult to navigate how OTHERS act.

For example, when you see potential in someone and they fail to meet it, or you had high expectations for someone and they don’t achieve the benchmark you had set in your mind.

Often though, the first helpful step is to be clear on those expectations and benchmarks in the first place, so that you ATTRACT people that are more likely to act in alignment with what you want – whether that be your values, your KPIs and benchmarks or something else.

And then, hold people to that mutually agreed standard. Starting with being clear on what you want and bringing in the people MORE LIKELY to act in alignment with that – clients, team, contractors, partners or others that you interact with – saves so much potential turmoil in your every day.

5. Don’t Absorb Other’s Emotions

On a daily basis, I deal with a LOT of peoples emotions.

I used to take it ALLLL on board.

And especially in the business I have, they are often elevated.

People in a mid-launch slump wondering why their sales aren’t there – then the next day, they have 10! Low! High!

Riding it with clients can be exhilarating, but it’s also exhausting.

Learning to guide and assist without absorbing the emotions yourself is a really important skill I have learnt.

How do YOU deal with the polarity in business?

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