Business Owners Must Embrace Stoicism to Lead in Recessions

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Small business owners are often hit with a series of one-two gut punches on a daily basis, and often take them alone. In any given time, the company may be facing an economic downturn, and the cascading issues that follow. From managing employees and maintaining a constant positive cash flow to dealing with unexpected setbacks and making important decisions, running a small business can be overwhelming at times.

One philosophy that can help small business owners make effective decisions and navigate these challenges is stoicism.

Stoicism is an ancient philosophy that originated in Greece and was popularized by the philosopher Epictetus. It focuses on the idea that individuals have control over their own thoughts and actions, but not over external events. Many of the maxims from Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius reflected the core ideals of stoicism, but baked into real world experiences.

The Stoics believed that by accepting this fact and focusing on what they can control, individuals can lead a happier and more fulfilling life. At Poprouser, we also believe that leads to effective management and a career with longevity.

Here are some ways that small business owners can apply the principles of stoicism to improve their management skills:

Accept the things you cannot change.

As a small business owner, there will be many things that are outside of your control. This could include market conditions, the actions of your competitors, or even the behavior of your employees. Rather than stressing out or getting frustrated over these things, try to accept them as they are and focus on what you can control.

Focus on what you can control.

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The Stoics believed that individuals have complete control over their own thoughts and actions. As a small business owner, this means that you have the power to control how you respond to challenges and obstacles. By focusing on what you can control and taking action to improve your situation, you can become a more effective and successful manager.

Practice mindfulness.

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Stoicism emphasizes the importance of living in the present moment and being aware of your thoughts and actions. As a small business owner, practicing mindfulness can help you stay focused on your goals and make better decisions. Try to cultivate a mindful attitude and be present in each moment, rather than getting caught up in worries about the past or future.

Embrace change.

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Change is a constant in the world of small business. Markets, technologies, and customer needs are all constantly evolving. Rather than resisting change, try to embrace it and see it as an opportunity to improve and grow. The Stoics believed that change is natural and can lead to personal growth and development.

To conclude, small business owners can benefit from absorbing the principles of stoicism into their management style. By accepting constants, focusing on your span of control, practicing mindfulness, and embracing constant (often chaotic) and inevitable change, small business owners can improve their management skills and lead their businesses to success.

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Cody Bess