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Do you embrace the 90/10 principle?


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 Theย 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. It states that:ย 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.

Failed Soap Remade for Charity
A huge batch of soap using shreds & embeds from failed batches in my own workshop.

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.

90/10 PrincipleBefore 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?


Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.ย – 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.

[youtube_sc url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6402QJp52M” color=”white” theme=”light”]

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9 Responses

  1. Lovely post as usual! Thanks for sharing this.
    From where I come from, misery& perpetual stress is imprinted in the genetic code. It took me really long time (about 4 years) away from Serbia to be able to get away from that swamp of negativity. I started noticing that people are generally an ungrateful bunch. I made a goal to learn something every day and started reflecting on my day every evening by saying how grateful I am just to breathe and live healthy, have a full stomach and a clean & warm place to sleep every night. I realized that by chasing the society’s image of what success is, I wasn’t really being truthful to myself. When I succumb to stress, I usually say to myself that tomorrow is another day. Indeed just a sleep over gets you a totally new perspective. Just as you wrote, I get up revising the events and ask myself ‘why is this such a big deal’. And guess what, in 99% of the cases, it turns out it really is not.

  2. WOW, Life really becomes how you change your perception/reactions to it! I have Menieres disease causing me to get stupid dizzy and killing off my hearing. My Ear doc thinks I’m a little nutty when I shrug and tell him I’m just grateful that it’s not lethal, just annoying. Part of my foray into soaps and cosmetic formulating is so that maybe I’ll have a plan ‘B’.

    Enjoy the journey along the way. Life is to short to be grumpy about the small stuff. Even a goofy batch of product.

  3. Watching comedy acts and laughing. Just for laughs:Gags (no talking); Pink Panther Retakes and
    Mrs Brown are a few of my favorites.

  4. Pingback: You're not special - Stoic Diet Blog for a better and healthier life
  5. Thanks Kenna and everyone for your comments. Itโ€™s really useful/helpful to everyone who is facing and fighting with stress hardly. Iโ€™m the one among them ๐Ÿ™‚

    Actually, sometime we know how to fight with stress; but we lose control of pushing our actions to meet with our brain.

    I will take all your sharing to improve my weakness of emotional controlling point especially I shall be creat more action plans to keep myself in positive thing in every negative situations ๐Ÿ™‚

    Iโ€™m really grateful to someone who shared this link to me.


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