Do you embrace the 90/10 principle?

starting a soap business

Did y'all know April is Stress Awareness Month?!

As a small biz owner + entrepreneur, stress is no stranger!

Sometimes, it becomes unbearable and overwhelming. Other times, it becomes fuel for the fire and creates a storm of productivity. When I found out about Stress Awareness Month a few weeks ago, I began to wonder why sometimes stress is crazy and sometimes it's crazy good.

And I found my answer...

I'm one of those gals who believes in the power of positive thinking.

Believe me when I say that I'm not perfect. There are plenty of times where I let negativity wrap me up and spit me out.

Lo and behold, those are the same times that stress becomes a crushing force that makes me want to curl up in bed and eat my weight in organic chocolate. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who does that...)

Enter the 90/10 Principle

The 90/10 Principle was popularized by Stephen Covey, the amazing author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It states that: 10% of life is made up of what happens to you, and 90% of life is decided by how you react.

We truly have no control over 10% of what happens to us. Maybe it's a fragrance oil that accelerated and contributed to the fugliest batch of soap ever made, or a farmer's market that got rained out. Totally outside of your control.

Letting those things get to us is what tears us down.

So the batch of soap is ruined? Rebatch it into something gorgeous. Give it a funny name and sell it anyways (yanno, if there is nothing functionally wrong with it). Donate it to a local shelter and make a difference in other people's lives.

(The batch to the right was all donated to local shelters as part of Gratitude Soapery!)

So the farmer's market didn't net you any sales? Network with fellow vendors and see if any new or unique opportunities might arise. Use the time to plan new products or work on your editorial calendar. Take a miserable photo in the rain, share it on your Facebook business page, and have a rainy day sale. Create an action plan so you know what you can do next time it happens.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

Applying the 90/10 principle takes a lot of training, it's not easy to change your mindset - trust me, I know.

Here's the deal: we create stress in our own heads. That means we can control it by changing the way we react to situations.

Before you freak out, step back and breathe. Ask yourself:

  • If today was the last day of my life, would this matter?
  • Why is this actually such a big deal to me?
  • Can I turn this situation upside down into something great?
  • What can I learn from this?

Remember:

Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere. - Erma Bombeck

If you can't find a positive in the negative, be grateful to have had the experience. And then let it go!

Leave a comment below and share your favorite thing to do when you start to feel the pressure!

Since April is Stress Awareness Month, I'd love to hear how you banish stress! Maybe we can help each other out.

Want more information to chew on about stress? Watch this video.

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