4 Tips You Can Use Right Now from Top Business Leaders

Like most small business owners right now, you’re likely working hard just to keep pace with your new normal, adjusting to the issues that have come to the forefront as a result of the pandemic and dealing with the stress of running a business amid so much uncertainty.

How about a boost of inspiration, a few lessons from the experienced?

Here are 4 timely lessons from successful entrepreneurs and business leaders – about dealing with difficult times, looking ahead when the future seems unclear and how to face off with everyday stress.

Lesson 1: Let the fear teach you. Entrepreneurs often attribute some of their success to what they’ve learned from their hardest times.

Raj Jana, founder of Javapresse Coffee Company, agrees. He believes discomfort can serve as the ultimate teacher in business.

“Challenges lead you to see where your weaknesses exist, what struggles you need to overcome, and, perhaps, what aspects of your life you need to walk away from,” he writes in a post for Inc. magazine.

It was discomfort, he says, that allowed him to make important internal and external observations, ones he couldn’t have seen during successful moments, like landing a big deal. It’s as though fear has the ability to open doors to new opportunities.

“When you know the truth of where you stand and how you feel, it becomes easier to handle situations, manage those around you, and do things you wouldn't have previously felt comfortable doing,” he says.

Lesson 2: Identify your best stress-reliever. Whether it’s exercising or relaxing, it’s important to identify your go-to for relieving stress and make it a habit.

Michelle M. Collins, founder and president of the marketing and advertising firm, A Non-Agency, says she gives herself one hour each morning to do whatever she feels like.

“...drink coffee, sit in the sun, take a quick stroll, work out, and, most important, answer any personal social media messages or other emails. Sometimes I just watch my favorite Bravo show,” she tells Sophie Downes, assistant editor at Inc. magazine.

“Work demands so much discipline, and it's important to relax that programming daily,” Collins says.

Lesson 3: Put down your device; opt for a notebook. The coronavirus response has only increased our reliance on digital devices, which studies show take a real toll on mental health and productivity.

That’s why a lot of leaders turn to paper – you get a digital break but don’t have to stop working.

“Using a notebook can help you get organized without the distraction of devices,” writes Marcel Schwantes, executive coach and founder of Leadership from the Core, in a post for Inc. magazine. 

A notebook can help prioritize tasks and draw flowcharts and graphics. Plus, you get the freedom from your device is good for your mind and can help with productivity, says digital detox expert Holland Haiis.

"Analog tools relax the mind, make space for problem-solving, and enable us to think about new ideas differently, whether writing or sketching them out," says Haiis, author of Consciously Connecting – A Simple Process to Reconnect in a Disconnected World.

Lesson 4: Make Sleep a Priority

Felix Dubinsky, cofounder of SimpleTexting and an honoree on the Inc. 5000 list, believes in the power of sleep.

“Everyone tries to outwork their competitors. I try to outsleep mine,” Dubinsky says in the Inc. post by Downes.

“I wear a ring called the Oura,” Dubinsky explains. “It has infrared LEDs, temperature sensors, and an accelerometer. It helps me track how deep my sleep is and how much I'm getting. Better sleep means better memory, attention, and business decisions.”