Did you know that search and rescue dogs, the most motivated of dogs, can get discouraged? In fact, if too many of their searches turn up dead people, their handlers will hide live people for them to find to lift their spirits and keep them going.
I learned this from a television show that was profiling canine search and rescue teams. I watched a yellow Labrador work diligently to find someone and come up empty-handed. Lately, I can relate to that dog.
Every day entrepreneurs are trying to solve big head spinning problems. They are constantly on a search and usually don't find what they're looking for either.
While setbacks are a part of the entrepreneurial life, there are things entrepreneurs can do to keep hope alive. They only have to create their own version of "live finds"—micro-events that will keep them motivated.
To find mine I tried a few things:
1. Taking a break and eating a cupcake: didn't work and definitely not great for my waistline
2. Having friends call me and say supportive things - nice, but fleeting
3. Naps—restful but didn't really propel me to action
I hit on the answer by accident. I had been frustrated for weeks by a setting on my iPod nano. Somehow I had turned the display horizontal and I couldn't figure out how to change it back to vertical. I know this sounds incredibly trivial, but when I managed one day after a run to get the setting back to where I wanted it I experienced such a wave of relief and joy that I knew I had hit on my answer.
It seems I was barking up the wrong tree. What I needed were small discreet puzzles that I could solve and through solving reinforce the message that I can figure things out. So now when my drive is lagging I take a break and find a crossword puzzle or brain teaser to work on (you can find other suggestions here)—something that will prove to me in a short amount of time that I am capable.
Figuring out the small things gives me confidence that I can figure out the big things and that's all the boost I need to go back to work, tail wagging.
What are your "live finds"?
You can sniff out Alicia at www.aliciamorga.com