5 Things Successful Small Business Owners Have in Common

5 Things Successful Small Business Owners Have in Common

It’s fairly easy to start a business. If you have a decent idea and can fill a need in the market, most people are quite successful at launching a business.

It’s quite exciting in the beginning as your vision turns into reality and your business starts to operate. You might even get some business right away as news of your business launch spreads and your network sends you referrals or leads to support you in your new venture. This first wave of business can often last a little while, and perhaps for the long term if you’re lucky.

But for most small business owners, achieving consistent revenue for the first few years of business can be quite challenging. Some find their way through this challenging time, while others don’t.

The ones that don’t find their way through often give up. They lose hope in their dream and they lose confidence in themselves. They give up on the idea of entrepreneurship and look for other ways to make an income.

But for those who find their way through and create sustainable long term businesses, there are 5 key things they all have in common.

5 things successful small business owners have in common

Here are 5 key things that successful small business owners all have in common.

1. They address their underlying fears

Small business owners who do personal development work to address their fears and limiting beliefs are more confident, self-assured and authentic. With this stronger foundation within themselves, they’re also able to weather the ongoing challenges of business more effectively and be more agile and adaptive in change. 

2. They create a success oriented mindset

Small business owners with long term businesses are generally more optimistic and they have a strong, unrelenting vision for success. They have a success oriented mindset and are diligent with managing their thoughts. They actively work to ensure their thinking consistently points towards their vision for success. 

3. They take action no matter what

Small business owners who can ride the waves of their own internal challenges as well as weathering external factors take action no matter what. If they feel self doubt, they still take action. If they think they might get rejected, they still take action. If they think their idea might flop, they still take action and try anyway. It’s in the action that business owners can move things forward, move through fears and find out what works and what doesn’t work. Without action, nothing moves forward.  

4. They embrace the long game

Small business owners who have businesses that last embrace the long game. They accept that their efforts today might not be rewarded until sometime beyond tomorrow. They know they have to sew seeds now in order for things to grow next season or even next year. They know they have to keep a steady course, stay on track and be patient. They know that success takes time. They also know there might be many failures along the way. But they stay the course for the long game. 

5. They surround themselves with supporters

Small business owners that have lasting businesses surround themselves with people that support them and have a network of raving fans. They have colleagues and mentors that challenge and grow them and want the best for them. They’ve spent the time to build genuine relationships with others and collaborate in a mutually beneficial way. They give as much as they take and actively contribute to supporting others. With so much support around them, they’re more equipped to overcome the challenges that come with small business ownership. 

small business ownership tips

Building a business for the long term is not for the light hearted. The odds are stacked against you. The statistics for small business success can be a bit discouraging. 

BUT, there are millions of individuals operating thriving and growing small businesses around the globe. And, there are key things that you can start to do to ensure your long term success. 

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither can your business be. 

Be patient. Stay the course. Keep a success oriented mindset. 

You’ll be surprised at what will start happening for you. 

3 Strategies to Manage Stress More Effectively

3 Strategies to Manage Stress More Effectively

If there’s one thing we all share in common, it’s experiencing stress in our lives.

The way we handle and cope with stress varies for all of us. And what might be encouraging to know is that it’s not something you’re born good or bad at, it’s a skill you can develop.

For those that manage stress well, they’ve developed an effective skillset throughout their life for coping and navigating through stressful situations. In emotional intelligence, this skillset is called stress management.

Something important to note, before I go further, is that there are other things that complicate our ability to cope with stress effectively, which include trauma. Past trauma adds additional complexity to our thinking, our stress response and our ability to regulate our nervous system. For those struggling with past trauma, I would encourage the support of a therapist or other trained professional in times of increased stress.

However, regardless of where you find yourself and what stress you’re navigating right now, there are 3 strategies that you can start using right away to learn to manage stress more effectively.

1. Learn ways to regulate your nervous system

ways to regulate your nervous system

Regulating your nervous system is crucial for overall well-being and functioning. The nervous system plays a central role in controlling and coordinating all the activities of the body.

When it comes to stress management, the nervous system is closely linked to the body’s stress response. Chronic stress can lead to an overactive sympathetic nervous system(fight-or-flight response), which can have detrimental effects on physical and mental health. Learning to regulate your nervous system helps manage stress and promotes a more balanced and relaxed state.

Here are some ways you can start regulating your nervous system:

  • Breath work
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness practices
  • Yoga
  • Exercise
  • Adequate sleep

2. Check and challenge your mindset

challenge your mindset

Your current mindset can have a huge impact on how you experience the situation you’re in.

The beliefs you have about yourself, the assumptions you have about the situation you’re in and how you let your fears dominate your thinking directly affect how you respond to certain situations, the stories you make up, the feelings that surface from those stories and consequently how you experience stress.

If you are feeling powerless, if your optimism is low, if you are consumed with worry and if you’re overthinking and struggling to come up with a solution, these are all indications that possibly your current mindset isn’t serving you.

What we don’t often realize is how much our mindset keeps us from seeing a solution or a way forward. It can often keep us in the past pointing to where we’re most afraid. The key in these situations is to challenge our current thinking and look beyond our current frame of reference.

Here are some questions that will help you do that:

  • What are you currently hustling for? – perfectionism, FOPO (fear of other people’s opinions) fear of failure, fear of being seen as weak, stupid, incapable.
  • What limiting beliefs are running the show that need to be reframed into more empowering ones?
  • What fear might be dominating your thinking that you need to face and address?
  • What could you be learning from this right now and what opportunity is there for you to grow?

After answering these questions ask yourself how you might shift your current mindset and thinking to be more empowering. Then, create action steps from this new thinking which will help move things forward.

3. Create an intention for how you’d rather be right now

set an intention

When we’re stuck in stress, it’s hard to see our way out. It’s hard to see past a certain stressful situation or time frame. We get lost in the trees instead of being able to see the whole forest.

An empowering way of moving ourselves through stress is to create an intention for how you’d rather be experiencing life right now? It’s essentially a vision for a future time and a future you.

Examples of intentions are:

  • I want to feel more calm and relaxed
  • I want to feel more empowered in my life
  • I want to feel more in control
  • I want to be more boundaried with others
  • I want to speak my truth more often

Here are some questions to help you create your new intention:

  • What would you rather feel right now?
  • How would you rather be responding to life right now?
  • What would you like to take action on that you’re afraid to?
  • What things do you need to say and to whom?
  • What’s most important right now?
  • What word represents an intention that you’d like to make?

Now that you have these 3 strategies, look into them a bit deeper, learn more about different aspects of these strategies (eg. learn about breath work) and start trying them today.

Maybe you could commit to doing one breath work or meditation practice every day, maybe you could commit to 30 min of exercise 3 times per week, maybe you could have a crack answering the questions about your current mindset.

Whatever it is, start doing it.

Because the reality is, no one’s going to do it for you, no magic wizard is going to appear and remove all of your stress with her wand.

It’s up to you to look after yourself. And you’ll thank yourself for it, I guarantee it.

Two Kinds of Burnout & What To Do About It

Two Kinds of Burnout & What To Do About It

 You might be surprised to know that many of my coaching conversations involve the question ‘how are you going to make time to look after yourself?’

The topic of burnout is all around us. Almost everywhere you turn there’s articles, social media posts and books around the topic. Here are some articles I found just today:

“How to deal with Workplace Burnout”
“Burnout Prevention and Treatment”
“4 Steps to Beating Burnout”
“Burnout and Stress are Everywhere”

We might also know people personally who are suffering from burnout or it might be ourselves.

In my work, what I’ve discovered is that there are 2 different kinds of burnout and in this article I’m going to share what you can do about it. 


  1. Circumstantial Burnout
  2. Self-Burnout

Circumstantial Burnout

circumstantial burnout

Circumstantial Burnout is when there are circumstances and situations that lead to burnout that are mostly out of our control such as:


  • Toxic workplaces
  • High pressure and demanding work cultures
  • Challenging personal circumstances involving:
    • illness
    • loss of a loved one
    • financial hardship
    • conflict in the workplace
    • unfair / inequitable treatment
    • workplace harassment

These situations require a unique approach to burnout typically relying on external tools, resources and people to support us and help shift our mindset. Examples of these are mindfulness meditation, breathing techniques, mindset shift exercises and professionals such as coaches, therapists and mediators.

The goal with this approach is to find ways to cope and deal with the stress and difficult emotions that come with these situations and effectively navigate the challenging circumstance.

Self Burnout

self burnout

Self-Burnout is the second type of burnout.

This is the burnout we do to ourselves when we unknowingly create situations and circumstances that drive our own burnout.

This is where I focus most of my coaching when the topic comes up. What most people discover is that they are the ones driving their own burnout.

They’re saying yes to things when they could be saying no. They’re taking on workloads that are too much. They’re fixing other people’s problems. They’re staying up late and responding to emails. They’re sacrificing themselves, their personal time, their health and their time with loved ones willingly.

They think that by working hard in this way, it shows that they’re committed and people can count on them. They think that it’s what’s expected of someone at their level. They think that if they say no or don’t work like this they won’t be eligible for the better opportunities.

Under all of these thoughts I always find one common thought pattern:

“If I don’t do this or work in this way or get these results, it won’t be enoughI won’t be enough.”

The approach for self-burnout is first, understanding what’s driving you to create circumstances that contribute to your burnout. Part of this involves a deeper conversation with yourself around naming your ‘not enough’ statement and creating a new supportive statement instead. The second part of the approach is to create a new strategy for avoiding burnout and creating new situations and circumstances that support you in being your best self instead.

This involves:


  • saying no to things that will overload you
  • establishing healthy boundaries with colleagues around work and personal hours
  • leading and coaching more and fixing other people’s problems less
  • making time for healthy lifestyle habits, exercise, time with friends and family
Self-burnout requires a bit more personal development than circumstantial burnout.
In order to hop off your own burnout train, it will take some effort for sure! It’ll take doing some personal reflection, taking responsibility and a willingness to let go of habits and thought patterns that you’ve held onto for a long time.

Both types of burnout will take work to navigate AND the work is always worth it. Because whether a situation is within our control or not, when we take personal responsibility in our lives and take action, we take one step closer to creating the life we want and the outcomes we seek.

Choose Growth Over Fear

Choose Growth Over Fear

Choosing our path can sometimes be easy, but most often it’s not.

What often clouds our decision making is fear and stories we’ve made up. Sometimes these fears sound like:

  • what if I fail
  • what if this doesn’t work
  • what if they discover the truth, that I’m a fraud
  • the last time I did this it didn’t work out
  • be realistic, that path is only for dreamers
  • you can’t make money doing that

What if there was a way to address those fears and stories in a new way, would you want to find out? What if those fears and stories were just BS? What if the only purpose they serve is to protect you from getting hurt? What if you knew that those fears will NEVER push you out of your comfort zone and into a place of new possibilities?

Where would you rather stay, trapped in fear and crappy stories that don’t serve you, OR, in a new place of growth, possibilities and opportunity?

The choice is always yours, what do YOU choose?

Don’t Let Fear Stop You

Don’t Let Fear Stop You

If I had let fear stop me, I would never have done what I’ve been able to do and achieved what I have.

Fear can be the very thing that holds us back from doing great things and tapping into the greatness and potential that lies within ourselves.

When I lived in Australia, I used to do downhill mountain bike racing. And it wasn’t about being fearless. In fact, it was about using my fear as a resource to push myself through to the next level of riding. I knew that it was fear that stood between me and the rock face or the drop that I wanted to clear. And if I could do those things, that meant that I could push beyond my fears. And if I could push beyond my fears, well then I would be free and that’s the ultimate feeling, to be absolutely free. And that’s why I ride, because I get to do that every time I get out on my bike.

And looping into personal and professional life, it’s no different. In fact, I get to use what I learn through riding and apply it to the other things where fear comes up:

  • Changing my career at 40
  • Learning a new profession
  • Signing up for a half-marathon
  • Opening my heart to love again
  • Facilitating a workshop for the first time
  • Creating an online course and hoping people will buy it
  • Putting my heart into my work and trusting that’s the way

So my question to you is if fear wasn’t stopping you right now, what would you want to do, create or change? And if you could find a way to overcome that fear, would you?