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9 Quick Anti-Stress Techniques for Marketers and Entrepreneurs

9 Quick Anti-Stress Techniques for Marketers and Entrepreneurs

The job of the marketer is one of the most stressful in the modern business world. Not to mention the mental state of entrepreneurs and managers. Practically all of us have to react to dynamic situations, to deal with short deadlines, dissatisfied customers, too much work, problems encountered, criticism and many more.

All this creates a huge amount of stress on us. And as we know it:

  1. Stress affects ill health.
  2. Stress badly affects judgment.
  3. Stress badly affects libido.
  4. Stress leads to fatigue.
  5. Stress dramatically reduces productivity.

Stress, when you allow it to be seen, presents us as weak, not confident, and unreliable to our colleagues, clients, and partners.

Stress affects all important areas of our lives and businesses. This makes it a top priority – to fight it and get rid of it.

I wish it was so easy.

There are numerous techniques, practices, methods that promise and help to conquer stress. But we are all stressed and do not have time to read long books and go for months of psychotherapy. So I decided to give a brief overview of the techniques that personally help me deal with stress on daily basis.

I’m not saying I use them all every day. Sometimes the situation is appropriate for one of them. Sometimes one doesn’t help and I have to use another one before I get a panic attack.

So, feel free to use them and experiment freely.

Let’s start.

Technique 1: Dive Into the Present

A long time ago, I read about this technique in one of Dale Carnegie’s books. Maybe 20 years ago. But it helped me every time. Here it is:

When you have multiple problems that are bothering you all at once or are expected in the future.

Focus on the present – here and now, what you are doing now.

Think about it – what do you see as you do it? Look really at your hands, at your computer screen, at the person you’re talking to.

Think – what you hear, feel, smell at that moment. Immerse yourself in the situation.

Let there be only the present moment and what you are doing.

For a moment, forget about past anxieties and future worries.

Work and act focused and do not stop until you have completed your planned task.

This “isolation” gives you great comfort right now. There are no problems at this moment, no worries, no regrets. There is only what you do and yourself.

If you do it in focused manner, you will achieve a form of dynamic meditation, which is currently extremely popular under the name mindfulness.

Once you step out of the trance of the present, you will realize how cozy the place was while you were there. And you will remember that while you were in the magical present, you did not have any worries or stress.

Technique 2: The Worst Case Scenario

This is another popular technique found here and there in various books by personal development gurus. I personally learned it again from Dale Carnegie. Here’s what it is:

Look at the stressful situation from all sides, analyze it.

Ask yourself the question

“What is the worst that can happen if my worries come true?”

Try to accept the idea that you can handle the worst, whatever it is.

Keep calm with confidence that your worst is in your pocket.

This technique is a little difficult to implement if you do not have a philosophical view of life. The problem is that most of the “worst” situations are related to:

Exposing in public or in front of important people (friends, boss, client).

Dismissal, expulsion, living alone / on the street / without work.

Injury, mutilation – of yourself or loved ones.

Death – ours or our loved ones.

These seem to be the main worst outcomes of most.

If you approach these outcomes philosophically, and find the strength to (theoretically) overcome such situation if it happens, you can completely deal with stress and anxiety.

Technique 3: The Narrator

When we are stuck in our problem pools, we are like brainwashed. We do not see or realize that there is an outside world that is much more interesting, free and gives us many opportunities.

Here is an example:

An employee at a large corporation is late for an “important” presentation and drives at 150 km/h, risking his life and that of others. Fast, trembling, sweating, in wild fear. Arrives sweaty and worried, breathing heavily, contracting under the frown of the boss.

Relax, dude! The corporation has washed your brain! The world will not end if the presentation fails. It won’t end if you get fired. No one will die if the company goes bankrupt.

However … Your world will turn over if:

You crash and take your life, rushing to the meeting. Prison is not pleasant.

You offend a colleague, friend, or loved one by acting in a hurry and important way.

You get a heart attack, stroke, autoimmune disease, gastritis as a result of stress.

So, here’s what the technique looks like:

Feeling stressed? Stop for a minute.

Try to look at yourself and the situation from the side. Imagine that you are looking at yourself from 3 meters away.

Press the imaginary Pause button and let your image you are watching stand still.

Now reach out to an imaginary audience and start telling them about the situation, commenting on it and talking about yourself in a third party.

If possible, try to instill a sense of humor or imitate a sports commentator. Or approach it any other way that is more fun for you. I guarantee you relief within minutes.

Technique 4: Universe Contrast

I learned this approach from a book on Buddhist meditation. It consists of the following:

Think about the situation you are in.

Get up and look at yourself and the situation from the ceiling level (imagine it, don’t get on the ladder). Look at yourself and the situation from the side.

Get up on the roof level and look at yourself and the situation. Stay a bit like this.

Rise to the level of the clouds and look again at yourself and your situation, below, in the distance. How do you feel?

Rise higher in orbit. Look at Earth. You and your situation are no longer in sight.

Step back into space and see the Earth disappear into the distance and the sun is just one bright spot.

Step back and see our galaxy. Where is your problem now? How do you feel about it?

A variant of this technique is the “Man without Shoes” method, which is summed up in a quote (I forgot from whom), which states:

“I was worried I had no shoes until I saw a man without legs!”

Our problems always seem bigger to us than they really are (compared to other, bigger problems). At the same time, reducing the stress of problems is crucial for us to free our minds and solve them.

As Vadim Zealand says:

“Reduce the importance.”

Technique 5: Smile and Sigh

I read this technique in a magazine maybe 30 years ago, but I still remember it. It is very simple, but it always works instantly. And it takes 3-4 seconds. Here she is:

Take deep and slow breath.

As you inhale, smile wider.

Exhale slowly, like a sigh.

During the exhalation, relax the whole body, but focus on the shoulders.

Just try it. You can do this several times if you do not achieve the desired effect the first time.

Technique 6: Virtual Reality

This technique is borrowed from NLP and requires a little more time (4-5 min or even 10 min) but is very effective. Here it is:

Close your eyes and relax.

Imagine the situation that stresses you and your involvement in it.

Stand apart – start looking at you and the situation from the side.

Make the picture black and white.

If there are sounds, imagine that they disappear and the situation is like a silent movie.

Make the picture of the situation small so that it and you can fit into one palm.

Zoom out so that it can hardly be seen in the distance.

Now think about the solution to the problem of calm.

Try it. You will like it.

Technique 7: The Power of Remembering

Technique 7 is also from NLP and serves to quickly manage the inner state.

We assume that you are currently stressed, worried, anxious. Yes, we know that there is certainly a real problem that needs to be solved and that bothers you. But we also know that when you are anxious and stressed, you are much more likely to fail to solve the problem in the best way.

So, for now, we forget about the real problem and our goal is to feel calm, confident and creative.

How can we do that that? Very easy, simple and fast:

Close your eyes.

Relax (seated straight back in a comfortable chair).

Allow your mind to wander for a few seconds or as needed.

Recall a situation from your past when you felt great – calm, confident, creative – as if the world were yours and you were on the crest of a wave.

First, remember as much detail as you can about the situation – where you were, how you were dressed, who was with you, what you were seeing at that moment.

Next, remember the sounds of who was talking and what, was there music, wave noise or something else? Remember them clearly.

Now, try to recall the smells, if any, the touch – what did you touch, sit, shake? Think of it as if it were happening now. Feel everything as if you were there.

Notice what you are experiencing at the moment? Still worried, or has the great memory of memory already conquered you?

Open your eyes and act, remembering the condition.

Great technique. Simple and effective. It looks like stopping and recharging your internal resources (inexhaustible)‚ and it works like charm.

Technique 8: “Direct Solution Outlining”

This technique is very simple. My observations show that if I have a problem, half of the stress is generated when you don’t know how to solve it.

So, do the following:

Analyze the problem.

Find out briefly how it can be solved.

Outline 1-3-5-10 specific steps on how to solve it.

Indicate in your plan when each step will be completed.

How did you feel? It seems like the problem is half solved, right? Yes, because that’s exactly what you did – you solved half of the equation.

Technique 9: The Magic of Action

As one author says:

“The shortest answer is action!”

or as a colleague of mine once said to me:

“When finding a solution of a problem is being postponed, the problem doesn’t get smaller and it doesn’t solve itself!”

The technique is very simple:

Do something specific to solve the problem. That is. First step. Then one more, etc. The first step is the most important one.

The steps can include any concrete actions that help you move towards the solution of the problem:

Solve the problem with your hands (if something physical needs to be done).

Write an email.

Call for help from a friend.

Whatever else is needed.

You will notice that as you begin to take specific actions, you have a double effect:

You’re diving in the moment (Technique No. 1).

The problem is moving to a solution (because you are doing something about it).

I will not come to long conclusions regarding the techniques mentioned. The important takeaway is that if we don’t beat the stress, it will beat us. The latter is not a desired outcome.

The Big Problems Are For The Big Boys

The Big Problems Are For The Big Boys

We all have problems and issues in our lives. Usually, our issues always look more prominent and scarier than those of others. We don’t like problems and difficulties. We even hate them. They are kind of things in our lives we want to avoid at all cost.

Can we live without any problems and issues? Is it possible to have none of them?

When I was very young, one of my biggest problems was that the kids in kindergarten took my toy and broke it. When I started school, I had a problem writing homework and learning Maths. Then I grew older, and I had a problem with my belly and my fat lower-back-part.

Have you noticed that even the physical size of the issues increases with age?

At the end of high school, my problems revolved around some love affairs. I started my first business at university, and it failed.

Problems. Problems. Let me not continue that things are getting even dirtier and messed up. However, I’m here, writing this post and feeling better and more alive than ever.

Also, I look at other people. My happiest looking friends are having problems of some kind. Take the wealthiest people on the planet, for example. They seem carefree, but in fact, they deal with issues – on daily basis – that are even beyond the common man’s understanding.

Observing the problems all of us have, I summarized my observations by presenting some lessons that I learned over the course of my long and not-so-easy life:

1: Whenever you “have” a problem, both the power and the opportunities to deal with it come to you. You have to watch and listen carefully, act at the right time, and not give up, despite the difficulties.

2: As we grow older, we get more and more problems because our ability to cope with them grows proportionally.

3: The growing number and size of our problems is a sign that we are progressing and developing.

4: Lack of problems is a sign of stagnation, but since boredom is, in essence, a problem, there is clearly no situation where we have no issues at all.

5: It is better to think of problems as “challenges” and “lessons”. It is more practical and easier to understand and tackle them.

6: A good strategy is to outgrow the problem, grow bigger than it. We are no longer the “little scared kid”.

7: The problems are the lessons we need to learn and exams to pass. If they are keep repeating, this means we haven’t learned them yet. And if we do not learn the lesson, the repetition is always of greater magnitude and strength.

8: You can fear the problems, but it is always better to choose the fight, not the escape. Every problem is weaker than you. Its purpose is to make you find that power – the power to defeat it – in yourself and bring it into the light.

9: Every problem has a solution. If there is no solution, then it is not a problem.

What kind of problems and issues do you have in your life and work?

Tomorrow Will Never Come

Tomorrow Will Never Come

I am not a fortune teller, but I can tell you right now how much time you have available to live from no on. Don’t call your doctor; there’s no time for that. You have only one moment to live. And this moment is all yours. 

If you live it entirely, you can:

  • Fulfill your dreams. 
  • Achieve your goals. 
  • Feel happy and satisfied. 
  • Secure your life. 
  • Make others happy and take care of them. 

As you can see, this moment is very powerful, and it can change your life – how to say – in a moment

I am sure you can guess which is this moment. Of course, it is the present moment. Now! Why “now”? 

Why not “the next 60 years”? No, forget about them. There’s no future and no past. You cannot live in them.

The future is just the sum of other “now” moments. When they come, they become “now.” So the future can be considered as an illusion.

The past is a collection of your memories about “now”-moments you’ve already lived. This way, you can tell that the past is just a relic.

The present is the time in which you are living. You are here and now. At least your body is. If your mind is somewhere else, get it back immediately, because you will need it. 

Now is the moment to:

  • Do things. 
  • Say your words. 
  • Finish that project. 
  • Meet your friends. 
  • Love your spouse. 
  • Play with your children. 
  • Quit the job you hate. 
  • Start learning Italian. 
  • Go to the gym and do some exercise. 
  • Pick up the phone and call your parents. 

The present moment is the moment to change your destiny. If you miss it, it will not come back. “Carpe Diem, Baby” – that’s Metallica, and they are damn right.

NOW Is the Time of Winners! Tomorrow is for Losers!

So, just do it and make sure you are doing it now!

20 Ways To Say No

20 Ways To Say No

One of the hardest things in life is to say “No.” People don’t like to reject others because they are afraid of not being liked by their colleagues, spouses, customers, partners. But in most cases, you should say “No” if you want to defend your time, goals, and interests. So one of the most crucial skills is to be able to reject others.

In this post, you will find 20 reality-proof ways to say “No.”

1. “I am in the middle of several projects.”

  • let people know when you have accepted other responsibilities 
  • no need to make excuses if you don’t have any free time 
  • no one will fault you for having already filled your plate 

2. “I am not comfortable with that.”

  • You might be uncomfortable with any of several issues.
  • The people involved, the type of work, the moral implications, etc. 

3. “I am not taking on any new responsibilities.”

  • You aren’t saying that you will never help out again.
  • Just that you feel your schedule is as full as you would like now.
  • Understanding your limits is a skill to be mastered.

4. “I am not the most qualified person for the job.”

  • If you don’t feel that you have adequate skills, that’s okay.
  • It’s better to admit your limitations upfront.
  • The best way to avoid feeling overwhelmed down the road.

5. “I do not enjoy that kind of work.”

  • Life isn’t about drudgery — if you don’t enjoy it, why do it? 
  • Don’t be afraid to let someone know you don’t want to do the work.
  • Someone else is bound to enjoy the work you don’t want to do.

6. “I do not have any more room in my calendar.”

  • Be honest if your schedule is full. 
  • “Full” doesn’t have to mean “really full.” 
  • Know when you are “fully booked” and stop taking new responsibilities. 

7. “I hate to split my attention among projects.”

  • Let people know that you want to do an excellent job for them.
  • But you can’t when your focus is too divided or splintered.
  • You will be more effective if you focus on one project at a time.

8. “I have another commitment.”

  • It doesn’t matter what the commitment is.
  • It can even only be time for yourself or with friends or family.
  • You don’t have to justify — you are not available.

9. “I have no experience with that.”

  • Volunteering shouldn’t mean learning an entirely new set of skills.
  • Suggest that they find someone who has experience in that area.
  • Offer to help out with something that you already know how to do.

10. “I know you will do a wonderful job yourself.”

  • People often ask for help because they doubt their abilities.
  • Let them know that you have confidence they will succeed.
  • You are doing them a favor in the long run.

11. “I need to focus more on my personal life.”

  • Don’t be ashamed of wanting to spend time with your family.
  • Having a healthy family relationship is an essential priority. 
  • Be ready to put your personal needs first.

12. “I need to focus on my career right now.”

  • Often, you have to focus your energies on a work-related task.
  • You may have to give up some civic or community duties.
  • If you don’t do it, someone else will take on the task.

13. “I need to leave some free time for myself.”

  • It’s okay to be selfish — in a good way.
  • Treat your personal time like any other appointment.
  • Block off time in your calendar and guard it carefully. 

14. “I would rather decline than do a mediocre job.”

  • Know when you aren’t going to be able to deliver a quality product. 
  • The reason doesn’t matter — not enough time, wrong skills, etc. 
  • Whatever the reason is, it should be enough for turning a request down.

15. “I would rather help out with another task.”

  • Saying no doesn’t mean that you can’t help at all.
  • If someone asks you to do something you despise, refuse it.
  • Then offer to help with something you find more enjoyable.

16. “Let me hook up with someone who can do it.”

  • If you are not available to help out, offer another qualified resource.
  • Helping to connect people is a valuable service to offer.
  • Make sure the person you refer will represent you well.

17. “No”

  • Sometimes it’s okay just to say no.
  • Say it in a way that expresses respect and courtesy.
  • Leave the door open for good relations.

18. “Not right now, but I can do it later.”

  • If you want to help but don’t have time, say so.
  • Offer to help at a later time or date.
  • If they can’t wait for you, they’ll find someone else.

19. “Some things have come up that need my attention.”

  • Unexpected things happen that throw your schedule off.
  • Accept that you may need to make a few adjustments.
  • It is temporary, and you will have more time when life stabilizes 

20. “This is not one of my strengths.”

  • It’s okay to admit your limitations.
  • Knowing what you can handle and what you can’t is a skill.
  • Your time will be more efficiently spent on something you do well.

All of us know that saying “No” is an important thing. Well, now we have at least 20 ways to do it. Hello, dream-life.

Bad Habits Demolition Sequence

Bad Habits Demolition Sequence

All of us follow specific patterns in our behavior. These patterns (habits, rituals) drive us all the time. Some patterns are moving us towards our goals and work for our good and wealth. There are some also habits that are not good for us and can damage our bodies, our souls, our relationships.

As we are rational creatures, we should interrupt our harmful patterns and improve and create good habits. I am a fan of Tony Robbins’ methodology, and I use his Pattern-breaking routine daily. During my practice, I have adapted his method to my routine, and I can tell you that it works. In this post, I am going to share with you my Bad Habits Demolition Sequence.

The Sequence

  1. Identify the bad patternYou should be aware that you have a bad (one or more) habit and to know what it is. 
  2. Catch and break. Catch and break the wrong pattern when you perceive its manifestation. 
  3. Attach pain. Attach massive pain to the situation in which you continue to have that lousy pattern. 
  4. Find the Bright Side. Find the better half of this pattern. Find a positive pattern to exchange the bad one. 
  5. Attach pleasure. Attach massive pleasure and fun to the new positive habit. 
  6. Apply consistently. Apply the positive pattern for at least 33 to 66 days, and the wrong model is gone! 

Here’s an example of applying this sequence to a real problem. This example is a brief description based on my experience.

The Example

  1. Identify the bad patternYou overeat. You should consider this a problem to identify it as a bad habit. If you like to eat and you don’t think it is wrong, this is not a bad habit from your point of view.
  2. Catch and break. Look at yourself, and when you notice the start of the usual cramming, do something weird. The idea is to break the pattern and shock yourself. For example, you can scream with a thin voice, “I am getting fatter, FATTER, F-A-T-T-E-R!!!” Every time you notice yourself cramming, do the same pattern-breaking action.
  3. Attach pain. Imagine yourself so fat with a mouth full of food. Imagine the impact on your health. See the girls/boys making fun with you. Imagine the disgust in the eyes of other people that meet you. Understand the truth that you are so fat (imagine it) that you cannot even scratch your butt.
  4. Find the Light. Find a positive substitute for cramming. What is it? Maybe it is not following a diet. As Tony Robbins says, “… people don’t like diets because they subconsciously think that the name “diet” comes from the word “die” …” :). Maybe you have to decrease the volumes you gulp down. Perhaps you should shift your mind and become a vegetarian? Who knows. Just find the way that fits best for you. Prepare a plan and follow it.
  5. Attach pleasure. Imagine and feel how good it will be for you to follow the new positive pattern. See yourself thinner. See the girls/boys trying to flirt with you. Feel your new and more beautiful body. Feel the pleasure of having such a perfect and efficient vehicle in your life. Now you can take on just one seat in the cinema or on the plane. Imagine this, feel it, see it, touch it.
  6. Apply consistently. The habit itself is something like software. For this software to be installed, there is an installation wizard, and it has the name “Repetition.” You should apply this sequence (1 to 5) consistently – every time you catch yourself using the lousy pattern. 

Do this for at least one-two weeks and observe the results. And I promise you that there will be results!

12 Steps to Self Respect

12 Steps to Self Respect

Do you want to get the respect of others – in the office, on the street, in your community? The funny thing is that getting respect is an internal process that could be expressed outside, but starts from inside for sure. If you want to get others’ respect, you have to gain self-respect first. But what is the self-respect? It is a mixture of the following main substances.

Know Your Success Stories

Know your ups, your successes. Know and remember clearly when you’ve won and what was your reward. Think about these successes; write them down. Do not forget them. They will motivate you and will protect you from the well-known vampire lord Fear de Failure.

Know Your Failures

Know them to learn from them. Learn the lessons, improve your skills, performance, abilities, etc. Then forget those failures. They cannot help you anymore.

Know Your Goals

If you know what your direction is, you will be able to find a way (or many ways) to get there. If you don’t know where you are going, every road will lead you there.

Know Where You Are On The Path to Success

It is not enough to know your goal. You need to know where you are on the road to your goal. How far is it? Are you on the right path? Always remember your position to your goal. If you are not on the right road – change it! If you are close – get closer. If you are still far away – keep walking.

Know Your Promises and Keep Your Word

In the old centuries keeping the word had been a matter of honor. Nowadays, we have forgotten this. Remember it! Promise hard, and never break your promises! Never! Know very well what have you promised and keep your word.

Be Honest With Yourself

Lie to others if you wish, but never lie to yourself. Be honest about what you want to do, who you want to be with, where you want to go, etc. Learn to listen to yourself. Do not listen to your fears or others. Listen to yourself and follow your Guiding Light.

Respect Your Body

Your body is your only vehicle in the Land of Life. Take care after it. Feed it with good food. Keep it clean and fully functional. Train it and improve its abilities. As better is your body, as better will be your trip on the Earth.

Respect Your Emotions

Know what you feel and let yourself feel it 100 percent! Do not suppress your feelings. Express them instead. They are like a turbulent river, and nothing could keep them inside you. They will find their way out.

Respect Your Mind

Your mind is your most precious weapon. Take care of it. Fill it with thoughts about the solutions, not about the problems. You can use it to win and conquer the world. Or you can use it to kill yourself. It’s up to you!

Respect Your Opinion

Your opinion is not less valuable than the opinions of others. Know your idea and respect the fact that you have it. Express it, and don’t be shy. It is yours and is valuable enough to be expressed and to be respected by others.

Respect Your Skills

Your set of skills is unique. I mean, really unique on the Earth. Why? Because you are unique, and your life is also unique. So you can be proud of your skills. Improve them and use them. Do your best, and follow the road to perfection.

Respect Your Talents

You are born with a purpose! And your Creator has given you all the talents and gifts you need to complete your mission here. So, know your abilities, work on them, improve them, and use the knowledge about them to find and fulfill your purpose. 

***

The others’ respect for you starts with your self-respect. When you respect yourself, others will respect you too. Otherwise, you’ve got nothing.