Stoicism is an ancient philosophy (founded in the 3rd century BC) that’s seen a recent surge in popularity.
Bestselling books like The Obstacle is The Way, The Daily Stoic, and Ego is The Enemy have rekindled old but important ideals — such as the importance of being slow to anger, decisive, disciplined, and unemotional about things you can’t control.
I think it’s good that stoicism is making a come-back.
Especially for entrepreneurs.
After all, building a business is among one of the most difficult things that a person can try to d0… and it’s critical that your mindset stays firm throughout the process.
In fact, here are 3 of my favorite lessons from stoicism and how they apply to entrepreneurship!
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1. Don’t Do Something Just Because It’s a Habit
It’s difficult to see at first… particularly because you have been you for forever.
But 90% of the things that you do in a given day — the behaviors you engage in, the thoughts you think, even the way you feel — are simply habitual.
That is, you don’t think about doing them, you do them because you’ve always done them and you’re used to doing them.
This applies to the way you respond to criticism, how you feel about obstacles, the thoughts you have when you sit down to work, and the way you feel when a key team member quits.
For the most part, those are just habits.
The bad news, then, is that a lot of the things you’re doing are not the result of thinking clearly, but of acting blindly.
The good news is that you can change your habits. And by forming new, more empowering habits, you can make better decisions, be more consistent, and even approach obstacles with a clear mind.
I recommend checking out The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg to learn more about this.
2. Control What You Can, Embrace What You Can’t
If you could trade all of the time you’ve spent thinking about things that you can’t control for time taking action on things that you do control… how much different would your life be today?
We are all guilty of this.
In some ways, it’s easier to worry about things we don’t have control over than it is to sit down and work.
But it’s also more miserable. It’s less empowering. And it’s a sure-fire way to limit your growth.
The next time you come up against an obstacle, ask yourself: what can you control and what can’t you control? And then, what is the most productive action you can take right now toward overcoming it?
3. Keep Company With Uplifting People
Do you want to know one of the secrets of the world’s most successful people?
They all know each other.
It’s no great secret that the people you surround yourself with have a massive impact on who you become, the attitude you have, and what you believe is possible… but have you actually taken stock of your friends?
For many people, this is a difficult step to take, but it’s helpful to write down the things that really matter to you in life. You’ll probably find that a lot of your friends don’t have the same values. And that means it’s probably time to gently cut cords.
That doesn’t mean you’ll never see them again… it just means spending your time with people who help you be the best version of yourself.
If you want to win in business and in life, then you must surround yourself with people who believe in you, who challenge you, and who inspire you to keep moving forward…
Not people who tear you down.