Mental toughness is often a characteristic of a leader in business or even just in life. While your experiences should make you stronger, the right mindset is what can really help set the stage for success.
Think back to the famous quote: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Wouldn’t it be better to ask for more? Become a lemon trader. Sell your lemons lower than the prevailing market price. Build a company that becomes an international lemon brand.
Here are some strategies I’ve used to maintain a strong mentality:
1. Never feel sorry for yourself
Nobody has moved forward by dwelling on the past or feeling down on themselves. It’s easy to think that everyone is watching what you’re doing and that they care about your successes or failures.
But the reality is most people don’t care, and you shouldn’t either, even if they do.
2. Don’t shy away from change
Change is good as long as it is smart change. People will talk about how big their business is or how many markets they are in, but if the deals are not successful, then it does not really matter.
Stay focused on what you are good at and grow in the right way. We like to focus on mostly high-end suburban developments and have done well in Central Ohio and the other markets we are located in. So many times, people want the sexiest deal in the hottest city, but it could end up being unsuccessful if it is out of your niche.
3. Don’t resent your competitors’ success
Mentally strong people don’t care when competitors are successful or focus on rankings. Stay focused on your customer and your product, which are areas that you can actually affect. Competitors won’t be much competition any more if you work hard on your own company.
Listening to your customers will not only enhance their experience, but it also can help lead to increased sales. Understanding what your customers’ hot buttons are and relating to them on a personal level most likely will win them over.
Listening can also mean understanding what’s going on in the market and having a more innovative product than your competition.
4. Keep a positive mentality
I believe an optimistic, but realistic outlook will create positive business for any company. Whenever something occurs that might be a roadblock, I look at it as an opportunity. I believe people respond much better to positive thinking and it can create a lot of momentum for any organization.
Creating a corporate culture where all of your employees understand your goals as one team can lead to satisfied employees, which will create better results.
5. Change up your routine
Try and get out of the office and meet new people. Change up your routine and keep an open mind, which will help you stay innovative.
6. Don’t be afraid to fail
Failures can lead to many successes. Never give up and always learn from your mistakes.
Brian Schottenstein is the president of Schottenstein Real Estate Group, one of the largest developer/builders in the Midwest, focusing on residential and mixed-use developments throughout the Midwest and Southeast. It also is the only three-time Developer of the Year by the Building Industry Association.