Defining zen can be tricky as it’s more a state of mind or experience than an actual noun. Zen is actually a popular practice of the Buddhist religion, and is practiced from Asia to throughout the world due to its no-nonsense values and wisdom. The practice consists of a wide assortment of simple sayings, rules, and advice, as well as meditation. This wisdom can even be used for succeeding in your business.
Many believe that zen cannot be taught, and that it merely lies within each person to discover. It may involve a lot of self-discovery.
One of the main rules to zen is that you must pay attention. It can lead you to a greater understanding, with the meditation component leading you to greater focus and understanding of the problems at hand. Eventually, this will lead to your own insights, which can be used to improve the quality of your life.
When you discover your true nature, it will lead to joy and inner peace.
When you’re trying to succeed in your business, whether it’s a brand new enterprise, or a well-established business, you can apply these 10 rules of zen to your own business practices.
1. Let go of comparing.
As soon as you’re online, or out on the street, the comparisons begin with your own business. You believe that other businesses are doing better than you, and so you start with the comparisons. They have a shinier ad campaign then yours, their logo is better, they have more people on their team, or they have business owners who have business degrees.
You need to let go of the comparisons, as for one thing, they are often unfair. You are comparing your worst assets with their best traits. These types of comparisons are not fair to yourself, plus, there are no guarantees to what you believe is true of the others. After all, next year, here you still will be, while your competitor may be gone. And if they’re gone, they were only providing the illusion of success. Do you want your business to be fake like that? Probably not.
Making comparisons can also rob you of valuable time, when you could be doing something else with that time. And also remember that you are a unique individual, so you can’t compare yourself to any other business.
2. Let go of competing.
Is it your innate belief that you should be competing with your competition? And, the other businesses who are the same as yours? If so, you may be wasting your time. Unfortunately, from the moment we’re born, we’re taught to compete. You parents give you games to play, which are essentially pitting you against your friends when you play.
As soon as we’re old enough, our parents sign us up for baseball, hockey, or volleyball. We learn how to compete in teams, or against each other. It’s these beliefs and practices that we bring with us when we’re starting a new business. We’re competing against each other, right?
If you’ve ever been in the busy marketplace region of your city, have you noticed how there are miles of restaurants and clothing stores side-by-side, at least two or three pharmacies, and likely even Starbucks within a block of each other? This is because these businesses have learned that they’re not competing with each other, they’re working together as a community.
You need to let go of competing and define what makes you unique. Your customers work with you, because they like you. Maybe they don’t like your competition because they’re pushy, or they don’t like their services. Focus on how you can bring people to you, instead of how you can trash your competition and make them look bad. (That’s work against you!)
3. Let go of judgments.
Judgement can be a big word. It can be the ability to make sound judgements, or it can mean you make judgements about people that may harm your sale. It’s important to let go of judgements. Make a fresh start.
Today, we can’t assume that a woman won’t buy an electric saw, or a man won’t buy a sewing machine. These beliefs can also be detrimental in dealing with clients from certain cultures, ages, and professions. Let go of your perceptions and be open.
Judgements can also hold you back. They can be based on a past experience, which can hold you back from contacting that big corporation about your amazing products and services. It can be tied in with rejection.
To aid you in letting go of judgements, you need to become mindful of your thoughts. Remember that thoughts running around in your mind can be based on fantasy, rather than facts. You’re making up stuff in your mind. Instead, take your judgements and turn them into goals instead.
4. Let go of anger.
Anger and resentment may play a factor in your life, which leads to your business life too. It’s a normal part of being human, yet it can also hold you back in your business. Letting go of anger can be one of the trickier things to do.
To assist you, think about something that makes you angry. If it’s related to business, it may be a difficult client you had who gave your business bad online feedback, or a client who returned a purchase, causing you to lose out on a sizeable commission. Or, perhaps it’s a competitor who brags ad nauseam at the local business meet up event.
You need to place a thought between your feelings and when you start to ruminate on them. You can acknowledge that you allowed someone or something to beat you down, and then forgive yourself for it. What’s done is done. At this point you can promise yourself to learn by not allowing it to occur again.
5. Let go of regrets.
We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t experience regrets. Why didn’t I buy stock in Microsoft or Apple while it was cheap? Why didn’t I start that new business that I now see on every corner in town? Why didn’t I do things this way or that way? It’s time to let go of regrets.
Regrets leave you dwelling on the past, rather than the future, and can hold you back from success.
Once again, you can treat these feelings as learning experiences. Stop berating yourself for something that happened two or more years ago.
Many people like to write their regrets on slips of paper, then stand on a bridge and drop them into water. They’re something final about that physical act. Or, flush them down the toilet if you don’t live near a river. Then make a strong intention in your mind to create some fantastic business goals, and move forward from there.
6. Let go of worrying.
Another very human trait is worrying. Some people do it more than others. Some people worry so much it leads to great anxiety, which can keep them up all night long, then affect their work performance the next day.
But it’s possible to let go of worrying too. Worrying is something that is not based on facts, it’s more based on negative types of fantasy. First, you must acknowledge your feelings. Yes, you’re worried about making enough money from your business to pay your personal bills. But it’s something you have little control over. You must let go of these worries from your daily life.
Some people like to write their worries down in a journal before bedtime, or they like to talk to someone about it. Talking with a friend can give you another perspective on it. These techniques lighten up the load in your mind.
7. Let go of blame.
Blame is when you blame someone else for your business failings. You blame your spouse because you didn’t have enough time to work on your business, or the kids were too noisy while you were in your home office. You blame your old boss for firing you, leaving you to figure out how to start your own business. You blame your team for being lazy.
But the truth of the matter is that you only have yourself to blame. Often you’re displacing your blame onto others, so you can avoid that real truth that the fault actually lies with you.
First, you need to figure out who you’re blaming, and why you’re doing it. Then you need to figure out why you were the one at fault. Once you delve deeper into the reasons for your blame, you’ll soon figure out that it’s something that’s holding you back.
Once again, write it down in a journal, or flush it down the toilet.
8. Let go of guilt.
Some people experience guilt more than others, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Before letting it go, you need to understand it. Guilt can be based on something you did wrong, or it can be based on something you failed to do. It can be centered on yourself, or on others.
Focus on what is troubling you, and find someone to talk it out with. You then need to find compassion with yourself. If you can offer apologies to others, then do it. Then, you must apologize and make amends with yourself.
Some people even seek professional help. You may even wish to set yourself some positive reminders that you’re only human, to help you steer clear of ending up on this thought tract again.
9. Let go of fear.
Fear is there for a purpose, which is to keep you from jumping off a bridge and hurting yourself. But fear can also hold us back in business too. It can keep us from signing on for a new business deal. It can keep us from sending an email or calling a potential new client.
Instead, we hide in our offices and do things that make us feel safe and secure. But that can lead to stagnation. It can even lead to unemployment, as e-commerce is changing so rapidly we must stay on top of the changes today.
You need to let go of fear by first recognizing when it surfaces. Oh, so that’s what fear is, you may realize. Call it out. Is the fear from something you failed at in the past? Is it because someone told you that you couldn’t do it? Or, is it that little voice in your mind telling you that you can’t do it?
You need to stop your negative fantasies in your mind. Place a block of peace between your great new business idea and your fear.
10. Have a proper belly laugh at least once a day.
There’s that old saying that laughter is the best medicine. You may be a person who is humorous, or you may need to work at it. You should schedule in at least one good belly laugh per day.
Just what do you want to laugh at? Well, read through the above 9 Zen rules and see if you were able to accomplish any, or all of them today. Your laugh could be about your inability to let go of any or all of the above. But that’s all right, you’re only human.
Now if you need a good belly laugh today, go and watch some cat videos on Youtube!
How Did You Do Today?
Have you been able to give up the 9 negative aspects of life, and have your good belly laugh today? If not, that’s all right. You can focus on one task per day, and work one into each day of your working week.
Succeeding in business is not simple, otherwise everyone would be a millionaire. But you need to keep moving forward, working on new goals, teaching your mind to have a more positive focus, and trying new business marketing techniques.
Eventually your small steps forward will provide you with small rewards. These little rewards can all eventually add up to something big, and that’s what a successful business, that’s run on the 10 Rules of Zen, is all about.