Don’t feed the small business alligators

Small business owners always have more than their share of alligators chomping on them. If you don’t like the alligator metaphor, how about “ubiquitous stress companion”? Don’t worry; we’ll use USC for short.

Regardless of which you prefer, the fact remains that we have them in spades: They eat away at our performance and create impediments to achieving balance in our lives. Best-selling author, Marc Allen, offers a way to deal with allig … er … USCs. He says whenever he has to tackle a difficult challenge, he repeats the following affirmation: “I will deal with this (cash flow problem, difficult employee, life decision, etc.) in an easy and relaxed manner, in a healthy and positive way.”

It’s also a helpful affirmation to start the day, and it fits right into a prayer. Clear your mind of other issues except the USC at hand. Then close your eyes, breathe deeply and repeat Marc’s affirmation with emphasis on the key words: easy, relaxed, healthy and positive. Saying it out loud seems to improve focus. Perhaps when your ears actually hear the words it helps them sink in.

If you’re going to survive in small business, let alone succeed, you have to learn how to manage USCs for the following two important reasons:

1. Your business
You are where the proverbial buck stops — the Alpha Member of your business. If you don’t make it, nobody in your organization makes it. And even if you’re worried that you might not make it, you still have to convince your Beta Members that you’ve got your corn flakes together.

Your business depends on the ability to keep your head, as Rudyard Kipling once proposed, when all about you are losing theirs. To put a fine point on it, it’s your job to manage USCs.

2. Yourself
Specifically, we’re talking about your spirit — the force that drives your protoplasm around. You know, the only thing that’s different about identical twins. Everybody has a spirit; and, like navels,
they’re all different. (Not sure about identical twins’ navels.) Anyway, you probably take care of your protoplasm: healthy diet, exercise, all that. But are you feeding your spirit?

This part is very important because USCs love an undernourished spirit. It’s their favorite food, and they’re voracious eaters. If you feel stressed-out and spiritually undernourished, check your USCs. You’ll probably find they’re fat, healthy and ready to go best-two-falls-out-of-three with your spirit.

One of the best ways to nourish your spirit is to learn how to define success in terms other than money and stuff — like family, friends, (your idea here). Definitely not just stuff. The good news is feeding your spirit starves your USCs.

You can’t kill all the alligators, but you don’t have to feed them. Remember: easy . . . relaxed . . . healthy . . . positive.

One Response to “Don’t feed the small business alligators”

  1. 1
    Connie Mitchell Says:


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