One of the most important things affecting your business right now: your mindset.

A mindset shift can happen in an instance. It can be long lasting and lead to big burn out. And your clients, whether you realize it or not, are probably some of the biggest influences on your mindset.

Your client, the influencer

You’ve probably felt this way before.

Say you’re a bustling entrepreneur running a service-based business providing lifestyle coaching. You signed up a new client for weekly sessions and have been their go-to guide for the past month.

But this client is a doozy.

They are going through some hard times and their negativity about their predicaments is tangible. You are doing your best to guide them through their turbulence, but you can’t help feeling down and anxious after your sessions.

Their worries are starting to become YOUR worries.

  • They were stressing about an upcoming event? You are suddenly anxious about your conference next month.
  • They were worried about them and a friend drifting apart? You check your last messages to see how long it’s been since you texted your BFF.
  • They were struggling to make rent that month? You log into your banking app just to check.

You’ve been caught in the negativity riptide. And your mindset is quickly getting dragged out to sea.

What’s happening

Being the empathetic coaching entrepreneur you are, you’ve unintentionally let your client’s anxieties seep into your life. And this can happen even if you aren’t a life coach. All service-based business owners are susceptible to taking on too much of their clients’ worries.

It’s called the negativity bias.

Dr. Elizabeth Cleary describes that our brains are naturally built to be more wary of dangers rather than pleasures as an evolutionary safeguard. 

When your client comes to you with their worries and complaints, your brain wants to file those worries as “Red Flag!” 

But luckily, you can outsmart your overly protective brain. These next few steps will explain how to maintain your mindset – no matter the client.

Take a breath

First things first – take a big breath.

In. Then out.

Deep breathing is a great way of physically pausing your worries in their tracks. Plus it feels great! 

Yogis and therapists alike sing the praises of connecting to your breath, especially in the face of challenges. Zen out with a few deep breaths and you can wash out the most fickle of those lingering anxieties from your client. 

Identify the worry

Just like red flags, worries point out what is important to you.

But it can be tricky to really identify what exactly is underneath the surface-level worry.

Say you are a real estate entrepreneur and your client has been worried about the shifting market affecting what offers she is going to get on her house. You start to take these worries to heart and begin obsessively checking Zillow for comparable sales every day. 

Take a step back and analyze what’s really worrying you about selling your client’s house.

  • It could be that you are worried a slower market will mean a lower commission and thus lower revenues for the month.
  • It could be that you are worried the client will drop you if you don’t conjure up the right offer for them.
  • It could even be that you are worried about your service-based business surviving a downturning market.

Identifying the underlying worry gives you a better perspective on what exactly is important to you and how this situation is affecting your mindset.

Think like a beginner

Have you ever heard of the beginner’s mind? It’s a zen concept that tells you to approach every new situation like a beginner. 

Don’t use jump to fast judgements. 

Treat failing as an opportunity to learn. 

Let go of being an expert. 

Applying this to how you work with your clients can help maintain your mindset.

Instead of letting your client’s worries get the best of you, use your smart entrepreneur brain to approach the worries with an inquisitive mind. 

Let go of worries that begin with “I should”, like “I should have started working earlier instead of watching the new Bachelor episode.” Instead, embrace the moment and reframe the situation. You gave yourself a nice break instead of overworking yourself!

Exercise self-compassion

Don’t beat yourself up for struggling to maintain your mindset. 

We all do it!

Instead, exercise a little self-compassion. 

  1. Recognize.
    Train yourself to recognize when a client’s negativity is starting to affect your mindset. Pinpoint the worry and call it out!
  2. Elevate.
    Remember that anxieties are a world-wide phenomenon. Think about how many other people right now are thinking about the same worry you are. 
  3. Engage.
    Start up that self-love machine! Instead of activating your worry center, react to your troubling thoughts with kindness. If your friend came to you with the same concern, would you tell them to double down on their anxiety? No! Be compassionate to yourself just like you would to your BFF.

I hope this guide gave you some good pointers on how to fend off negativity while running your business.

Book a consultation with me if you need a little more help on how to maintain your mindset – no matter the client.