Being the leader of a communications agency is hard work. We are in a time of unprecedented change. Adapting to this change and developing the vision and leadership strategy that will inspire your staff takes a lot of hard work and courage. Sometimes it is a lonely job, especially if you are the owner/leader of a small to medium sized agency that doesn’t have a deep management team to lean on. It takes mental toughness to take on the challenges that agency owners face growing their business and servicing client all while maintaining a decisive and calm approach to solving issues. Here are 6 rules for developing your mental toughness so that you can do it all. Rule No. 1: Examine your beliefs. Think about the core beliefs you hold about your life, the world around you, and yourself. Have you developed ways of thinking that put limits on what you can do? Your past emotions, experiences, interactions, and behaviors always influence your present state of mind. You may find things from the past that negatively affect your present. Examine each belief and find the ones that limit you. Get rid of any negative beliefs—things that make you say "I can't" about yourself or your business. These negative beliefs may be a self-fulfilling prophecy, but getting rid of them will free you up to do, see, and try more. Rule No. 2: Change negative to positive. We're bombarded with negative self-talk all day long, and the inner voices never leave us alone. When we listen and give in to those voices, we end up quitting long before we truly run out of stamina. Catch yourself thinking negative thoughts and make a conscious effort to change them to positive ones. Change the way you talk to and think about yourself. Productive, positive thoughts will keep you going when negative thoughts would have caused you to shut down and quit. Rule No. 3: Use your mental energy wisely. You only have so much mental energy available every day. If you use it all on useless, anxious thoughts, you'll have nothing left for creativity and productivity. Stop thinking about "What if's" and "Maybe's". Bad things will always happen; no sense worrying about them or you live through them twice if not more. Anxiety will sap your mental energy and leave you drained. To develop mental fortitude, shore up your mind against worried thoughts. Rule No. 4: Analyze your progress. Whenever overwhelmed, take a moment to reflect on what you accomplished and then try and tackle the mountain in front of you. Big and little, you'll be amazed by how much of what you do goes unnoticed in the day-to-day scheme of things. By analyzing your progress, you can celebrate the small and large achievements. Just like you don't develop huge physical muscles overnight, the same is true of mental muscles. You have to use your mind every day in order to strengthen it. This simple activity can go a long way toward developing mental strength. Rule No. 5: Stop wishing, start doing. Do you ever find yourself thinking, "I wish I could build revenue" or "I wish I could win more clients like my competitor"? Stop wishing, and start doing! If you want to be like something, start thinking and acting like it. If you want to do something, do it. Stepping out of your comfort zone builds mental fortitude. You'll have to wrestle with anxiety, but that just adds to your strength. The more you stretch and grow, the easier it becomes to accept new challenges and push yourself beyond your limits day in and out. Have you developed a long term strategic plan for your agency that can help guide decisions and investments? Challenges that are tough are especially positive in developing our mental strength and versatility. Rule No. 6: Nothing works like tenacity. You are in one of the most competitive industry sectors there is. You are constantly competing for the best clients, talent, technology and ideas. Nothing succeeds like tenacity. We believe in the old Latin motto ‘Nulla Tenaci Invia Est Via’. To the tenacious no road is impossible. Go conquer!