Let it pass, don't pass it on (negativity)

More than half of all small businesses fail within their first four years, and after a period of running in place, you start to believe you'll just be another statistic. It's easy to get discouraged and let the negativity affect you. Here's a recent story I wanted to share about an experience I had.

Sometimes you can feel like you're all alone, so it helps to find like minded individuals who you can express your problems with and bounce ideas off. Facebook groups are a great way to do this. I found a great group for apparel businesses, many of the members are just starting out and looking for advice. I don't often post to the group, but in a moment of frustration I posted the following:

"I just wanted to send a quick comment on building an apparel brand in general. If you’re doing it for a ‘get rich quick’ scheme or just like the idea of being an entrepreneur because it’s ‘cool’, please stop now. It’s a business. It requires constant, daily, hourly attention and dedication. This nonchalant attitude I see all the time is unrealistic and frankly a waste of time and money. Please respect that to do this right it’s very hard work."

There was a lot of people who agreed with my opinion but also a lot who thought my comments were negative and discouraging to anyone new to an apparel business. While my intent was to address the fact that a business takes hard work, I recognize that my message read more as an attempt to beat naivety out of the newbies, and much less of the 'make sure you're in it for the right reasons' message I had in mind. I quickly understood that negativity was affecting me on a sub conscience level because I was putting out negativity even with the intent to be positive.

Instead of making assumptions and voicing my frustrations I should have either left it alone, asked for some more input or just sent an encouraging message. Running a small business can be isolating at times and that can create a blindness to how things are affecting you. That same effect can be applied to how you're affecting others. Try not to let yourself become a conduit for negativity.

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