For those starting out in entrepreneurship, it’s normal to feel as if you’re swimming upstream, which is why it’s so important to learn how to stay afloat and keep kicking. In Daniel Pink’s book “To Sell Is Human” he talks about there being two key ingredients to surviving the leap:
1. The ability to stay afloat amongst the onslaught of rejection, whether that’s friends, family, investors or worst of all your own self-criticism.
2. Having the ability to move others by empathising, solving problems and becoming known as a resource.
Having both of these traits under control is what he refers to as “buoyancy.”
“People want a fair deal from someone they like.” – Daniel Pink
Although entrepreneurs are often told to avoid negative emotions, Daniel explains how they can also be an excellent way for us to get feedback on our performance, information on what’s working and what’s not, as well as hints about how we can do better. The key to handling external rejection is to find those around you who you trust and whose opinion is worthy of attention and learn to ignore the rest. When is comes to our internal negativity it’s vital that we develop a mindset that allows us to step back and dispute our own emotions so that we de-catastrophize them and find an appropriate way to move forward. An excellent starting point is learning to ask “what am I assuming” in a given situation and more than likely it’s your imagination working overtime and not really what’s happening.
“Appropriate negativity”—is essential. Without it, “behavior patterns calcify.” – Daniel Pink
For those starting out in entrepreneurship (like me) and those who have been in the game for years, the battle will constantly be between overcoming our “learned helplessness” and encouraging our “learned optimism.” Without negativity we lose touch of reality. Without optimism we can’t have or keep sight of our vision, the seed of taking action and staying afloat.
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