How To Stay Positive When Things Go Bad In Business

Smiling GirlThere is a common belief that when someone famous dies that there will be a couple more deaths in the near future.

The rule of threes or something like that.

I don’t know if it’s really a statistical truth. It could be that we find what we focus on. And when somebody well known passes we get in that mode and quickly identify two more before we move on to the next feeling and focus.

That’s something interesting that happens in other areas of life as well.

I know it happens in our personal lives. Something bad happens. Maybe even something small like spilling the coffee on a Monday morning. Now you’re a little irritable. You head on your way to work. Someone cuts you off. Then you get to the office and trip walking in the front door.

Is it common in nature? Is it a statistical truth. Or do bad things compound bad things when we focus on them?

It also happens in business. It seems like when one bad thing happens that a couple more are likely to follow. One example is when you lose a customer or client. You’re likely to lose a few more in the future. Sometimes it’s not your fault. But sometimes it is. Things seem to build to a breaking point. The results identify the issue, you fix it and move on.

But you have to remain positive. And that’s not easy when failures are stacking.

So here are some tips for staying positive when you get on the bad track…

1. 24-Hour Rule

I’ve read about quite a few people that put this rule into place. Something bad happens. In their personal lives. In their businesses or careers. They make themselves step away for 24-hours. They especially try to avoid making decisions about the situation for at least a day.

The thinking is that you don’t want to make overreaction decisions. When bad things happen your brain goes into flight or fight mode. Emotions run high. It’s easy to make poor decisions.

Taking one day when a string of bad things occur is a good idea. Just step away. The business likely won’t collapse. Come back and make the best choices possible with fewer emotions.

2. Go Find Positive People

Some things you’ll have to deal with quickly. Usually small things. Do what you have to do today. Then think about the positive people you know and see if you can spend the rest of the day or part of the day with them. Just hanging out. Talking. Having dinner or coffee or something.

Positive people are contagious. So are negative people I guess. Try to surround yourself with those that like to identify the positive things in life. This may even bring out some opportunities from the seemingly negative situation that’s happening in your business.

3. Solutions, Future-Thinking

When bad things happen it’s good to look at yourself for what you could have done differently. After all, you’re the leader in the situation. Always look internally when things go wrong. It could be that you hired the wrong person. Or that you didn’t sufficiently train a person to handle the situation.

Take that into account, but then move on to focus on the future. Think about the solutions. Use your energy and the energy of your team to focus on fixing the situation and then taking advantage of it to bring about change for the future.

Usually negative things can be turned into positives. You can improve your product. You can show the customer that you’re willing to do anything for them. That can lead to new business.

4. Adversity Builds Strength

Think about the best qualities in yourself. Now think about the most trying times in your life. Chances are high that your strengths result from adversity. It’s true for most of us. The mean trick that life plays on us is that we quickly forget about the bad things most of the time. Maybe it’s because more difficult things are coming in the future.

When something bad happens, do your best to frame is as something that will strengthen you in a number of ways.

5. Treat Yourself & Your Team Like Your Best Friend

When something negative happens to your friend and they tell you about it, you likely comfort them and tell them it’s not so bad. This is a good thing to do. You’re helping your good friend see the positives while their mind is clouded in negative.

There is no reason you can’t treat yourself the same way. We tend to focus on the negative in our own lives. Especially when bad things occur repeatedly for a few days.

When you find yourself in the negative trend, take the approach of looking at yourself as a friend.


Bad things will happen to us all. It’s unavoidable. Life is very challenging. Business makes it even worse especially if you’re the owner or manager. You’re always dealing with problems. You have to take accountability for them and use the tips above to stay positive to keep the team and the business moving forward.

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