freelance strategies

I love running my business. I’m working from my parent’s home and visiting friends and family for most of the spring and summer. Traveling for months like this away from home is something I wouldn’t be able to do if I didn’t work completely from my laptop.

With that said, there are times when I have bad days. Everyone has them. You’re not as productive, a contract doesn’t come through as expected, a payment is late, or your business vision feels a little unclear. You may feel like throwing in the towel altogether when a bad day happens. But here are a few exercises that you can do to bring yourself back into a positive mindset:

Create a Brag Notebook or Folder

Don’t downplay it when people give you praise — save it. Create a folder on your computer or a notebook where you write down every accomplishment that you’ve made in business whether it’s feedback or a milestone you’ve reached.

Think of your business ego or level of self-confidence as a tank. The tank can start running on empty if you’re running yourself ragged and not taking care of yourself or complimenting yourself for jobs well done.

When you’re having a bad day, pull out your folder and run through all of the praise and other good things that have happened to your business as a reminder that you rock.

We tend to recall every not-so-great thing that happens, and it can overshadow the strides you make. Giving yourself an opportunity to bask in success can improve your mood.

Write in a Gratitude Journal

There’s always something to be thankful for. Start a gratitude journal and write down everything that you’re grateful for when you’re day isn’t going so well.

Not sure what to write down? If you’re alive and kicking, there’s at least one thing that you should be able to add to your journal. The act of writing every day will help you make sure that you’re constantly shining a light on the positives in your life and business. You won’t be able to forget the small things when you have this log. You can look back at old entries to remember each and every success you’ve experienced.

Say It Aloud Even If You Don’t Feel It

This may sound cheesy but it works. Go in the mirror and give yourself a pep talk. Speak to yourself as if you’re speaking to another business owner who’s having a bad day. 

Tell yourself that you’re great at what you do, remind yourself of all the times you overcame trouble in your business, give yourself a pat on the back for being brave enough to run a business at all.

Having a business is hard work. It requires an immense amount of mental toughness, strength, and resilience. Maybe you got bad news today or you woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Give yourself props for being on your game most of the time and forgive yourself for having an off day.

Speak to a Business Buddy

Last but not least, vent to a trusted friend who also runs a business. I can’t tell you how great I’ve felt on many occasions after speaking with a business friend when my business was facing challenges.

Business buddies understand what you’re going through and can offer encouragement from a perspective of also having experienced the stress of running a business. If you don’t yet have business buddies, here are a few ways that I’ve found my own.

Final Word

Embrace bad days. They’re only temporary. We need a few of them every once in a while to appreciate the many awesome experiences that we can take advantage of as business owners.


Taylor K. Gordon is a personal finance writer and founder of Tay Talks Money, a personal finance and productivity blog on hacking your way to a happier savings account. Taylor has contributed to MagnifyMoney, The Huffington Post, GoGirl Finance, Madame Noire, and The Write Life.

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