• Sara Torpey

5 Simple Mantras for Every Business Owner

Every business owner has ‘sayings’ that they tell themselves over and over when the days get tough, when time is short, or the work is hard.

I have them too. And I have found recently that I have started using these ‘sayings’ more in my work with clients, students, and even with my kids!

As I was thinking about how to write about this post, I realized that ‘saying’ didn’t really do these ideas justice. I shopped around for a term that would be a better fit, and I found ‘mantra.’

A mantra, according to Merriam-Webster, is ‘a mystical formula of invocation’. Honestly, I’m not sure looking up the definition made me feel better, because I don’t feel like my ‘sayings’ are particularly mystical. What I know is that we each have ‘sayings’ or mantras, that we each return to time and time again to help us stay positive, manage time, manage change, and keep growing - and maybe there is a little bit of magic in that.

Since I have found myself sharing my mantras so often lately, I thought it would be useful to share them in a post. These mantras give you a window into how I think, and how I see the world as a business owner, a teacher, a coach, a parent, and a person.

Part of why I’m sharing these mantras is because I think it’s useful to know things like this about someone you might consider working in a coaching relationship. The other reason, though, is that I know we all sometimes need a new mantra, or need to be reminded of one that we’ve lost sight of. My hope in sharing these is that one or more might be as useful for you, your business and your journey, as they have been for me.

Here are my 5 simple mantras for business.

1. Progress, not perfection. This is the one on my whiteboard at the moment, next to my desk. I find it helpful to always remind myself that very little of what we do in work, and in life, really has to be absolutely perfect. Striving for perfect can mean that forward progress doesn’t happen. For me, the majority of the time I would rather have progress, and growth, than perfect.

2. It’s learning, not failing. I really do believe that there isn’t ‘failure’ in life. Sometimes things don’t go as planned, for sure. But when things go wrong, there is always something to be learned. And if I can learn that lesson, then I didn’t fail - I grew.

2a. This mantra has what I think of as a ‘corollary’. Everyone has something to teach me. The idea goes along with learning, which is why it’s here, but has a slightly different flavor. I remind myself all the time that every person I meet, no matter how much I love (or don’t love) them, has something that they can teach me. Sometimes that’s super fun, like learning a new tool with a friend, and sometimes it’s sort of painful, like being reminded to be a patient listener by someone who drives me kind of crazy. Either way, there is always a lesson to be learned.

3. You do not need a permission slip. This one is in my notebook right now in big giant letters, right at the front. We all feel ‘imposter syndrome’ sometimes, or that we aren’t ‘expert’ enough - I’m not any different. I work hard to remember is that I don’t need anyone’s permission to be me, to run my businesses, and to do what I do best. I don’t need to wait until I know every single last tiny bit of information about anything anyone could possibly want to know before I try to help others. I can be of help today, right now.

4. My time is valuable. I tend to take on too much (people who know me well are laughing right now; yes, friends, I am aware this is an understatement!). One of the ways that I have worked to combat my tendency to always say ‘yes!’ is by reminding myself that my time is valuable. It has actual worth. Whatever it is I am considering taking on by saying ‘yes!’ has be worthy the trade-off of the time that will be spent doing it to be worthwhile.

5. All things in due time. There are only 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week. Sometimes I don’t get everything finished, and things take longer. And that’s okay. All things take the time they need to take to get finished. If that big task didn’t get finished today, maybe it’s because I took an hour to spend with a friend, and that was time well spent. Or maybe it didn’t get finished because I couldn’t figure it out, that happens too. In the end, it’s okay - in time, I will get there. There will always be more to do but progress will be made, in time.

What mantras do you use to help you stay on track, and growing? Which of these mantras speak to you, and why do you think so? I would love to hear what you think about these!

And if the way I approach business and working with businesses makes sense to you, and you could use support through coaching, let’s talk. Set up an absolutely, totally, no strings free one-on-one hour conversation and get connected today!

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