Happiness tipsEntrepreneurs love talking about all their victories: the new clients they sign up, the one day their website got 100,000 hits and that superstar employee they just hired. You don’t hear many entrepreneurs talking about the clients they lose or their bad hires so much. But we all know that we all have bad days and sometimes, whether on not is work-related, we just feel like crap.

Step 1: Accept How You Feel

Don’t fight your feelings; accept them instead. Don’t just try to make them “go away”. Here’s the thing: you’re not the only person in the world feeling like crap. Everyone feels like this at one point. It’s just human nature. You’re human, aren’t you? That perfect life where every day is exactly how you want it to be isn’t real. That’s not how it works, and when you cling to that ideal life and ignore the way life really is, you’re forcing yourself to play a game you just can’t win.

Step 2: Understand How You Feel

Once you understood that your mission isn’t to change your feelings, but to accept them, the next step is to seek to understand the way you’re feeling. I do mindfulness meditation almost every day. I bring awareness to my thoughts and feelings, and how they affect my mind and body. Here are a few examples:

  • I’m feeling stressed. This is what stress feels like. My heart is beating faster than usual, my jaw is very tense and my stomach feels tingly.
  • I’m feeling angry. This is what anger feels like. That driver flipping me off made me lose my self-control.
  • I’m feeling anxious. This is what anxiety feels like. I’m trying to guess all the different ways this situation with my boss could play out and I’m feeling overwhelmed. Her approval means a lot to me and I want to make her happy.

Notice that I never try to control the way I feel. I just try to understand how I’m feeling.

Step 3: Learn the Lesson

What I’m about to propose sounds weird the first time you hear it: we have no idea what’s good for us and what’s bad for us. Let me give you a few examples:

  • Two years ago one of our project managers quit. She was handling a lot of our biggest clients and I thought this was the worst thing that could happen to my business. But I learned a lot from working with her and what I look for in a great project manager, so we ended up hiring a much better project manager, which allowed us to become more scalable and grow much faster. What seemed to be a bad thing at first ended up making us a much stronger company.
  • When I was 17, the girl who was then my girlfriend broke up with me and started dating my neighbor. It was devastating. But because I broke up with her I met a girl that I ended up dating for five very happy years.
  • A few years ago, we lost three big clients in the same month and our revenue was cut in half. This taught me to diversify my risk by owning more than one business and to take on more small clients. And because we were broke for six months, I had to start selling and became really good at it. We also had to cut costs and our company started operating much more efficiently.



The idea that you can plan your perfect life and everything will go according to plan is just stupid. When you’re facing difficult times, trying to make them “go away” doesn’t work. And not only that, but you would be wasting a wonderful opportunity to accept life for what it is and learn many valuable lessons. As the Dalai Lama said, “When you lose the battle, don’t lose the lesson.”