To be a successful entrepreneur, one must have a wide variety of skills and abilities to facilitate the success of their company. There’s the business acumen, logistical skill, a keen eye for marketing, but most importantly, the self-control to handle the hurdles that will inevitably come.
Managing your human side- the emotional and motivational aspects of it can be such a difficult experience that many give up due to insurmountable pressure. This is where stoicism can help.
What is Stoicism?
In the simplest terms, stoicism deals primarily with self-control. This, of course, includes, managing stresses, overcoming any negative emotion, and having a clear view of things. It originated way back in the 3rd century, BC, but the lessons learned in this philosophy remain very valuable in the world today. For entrepreneurs, these virtues are necessary because managing a business is difficult work. But how does stoicism help entrepreneurs, exactly? Below are some answers that may help you.
When you maintain a stoic outlook, you tend to see things for what they are and not what they seem. And for entrepreneurs, objectiveness is necessary to actually understand what’s happening and address it intelligently. Far too often, we’re clouded by our emotions and the hecticness of the situation that we fail to analyze properly.
This is a skill that’s very helpful when applied to trends. Assessing and analyzing whether a trend is worth following or whether it’s really just a fad is something that any entrepreneur worth their salt should be able to do.
React Rationally, Not Emotionally
Only in very rare situations does it actually have merit to react emotionally. Many high-pressure jobs require individuals to not be heartless, but to be strong in emotion to avoid being carried away. Doctors need to keep a level head and not panic before a surgery. Experienced court reporters need to be rational, recording everything with a cool head and not let the emotions of a heated court hearing get to them.
Entrepreneurs are in a similar boat. Reacting emotionally can only lead to making the wrong decisions. The virtues gained in stoicism feed off of each other: once you can see the objective state of things, it’s easier to respond with a rational reaction.
Practice Emotional Longevity
As mentioned before, stoicism teaches you to react rationally instead of emotionally. By extension, it also helps you manage your stress levels. A business isn’t always successful, and the journey to finding success is one that’s filled with ups and downs. Ultimately, your heart and mind will take a beating. Feelings of inadequacy, mental fatigue, and self-doubt often plague entrepreneurs, and can even cause them to give up on their dreams. Through stoicism, a person can better their self-doubts, as it forces one to acknowledge both the good and the bad.
When you can acknowledge what’s good, this allows you to replicate that good: in business, this means being able to repeat success. Of course, the opposite is also true, knowing what the bad is teaches you to recognize them and avoid them, preventing costly failures.
Meet Newness with a Stoic Stance
Business, by its nature, will have you meet different people from all walks of life. You’ll encounter people from different countries, cultures, religions- ones far from yours, and others similar to yours. It’s important to meet the differences not with disgust nor novelty, but with a stoic understanding. Appearing surprised or taken aback during business meetings with people of different nationalities can lead to bad negotiations, but let’s face it, we all feel surprised when confronted with something new.
Stoicism teaches you to take this newness with a straight face, to not let the “now” affect your vision. This doesn’t just relate to meeting others with a different culture, this extends to understanding the innovations brought by time, and teaching you to observe first before adopting or rejecting.
Gives a Sense of Fearlessness
It’s not that stoicism will teach you to be fearless, instead, it teaches you to not be afraid of failure. Being that you’ll learn to be objective, react rationally instead of emotionally, and maintain composure, you’ll be granted a sense of bravery and fearlessness not afforded by that bull-rushing through. Stoicism is all about learning to be calm even in the face of adversity.
A volatile market can be scary and might even affect you to make rash decisions, but having a stoic outlook on things can help you endure the initial wave of fear and come to a strong and appropriate decision.
An entrepreneur has a lot of things on their plate. That’s why arming yourself with belief systems that empower you is important.