Twin Cities-based fractional CFO/COO Mark Payne has a wealth of experience working with entrepreneurs and emerging companies. A number of years ago I asked how he handled the gut-wrenching swings from “the thrill of victory to the agony of defeat” that occurred with alarming frequency in early-stage companies. His advice was to “never take these high-highs and low-lows too seriously; either could change in a matter of minutes with a single phone call.” 

I’ve adopted Mark’s advice: I don’t bask in the glow of the high moments too long, nor wallow in the lows — I know both will pass. I celebrate the victory for a moment, or reflect on the loss, then get back to business knowing that more peaks and valleys are ahead. 

Mark’s advice targeted the often-crazy world of start-up companies, though I’ve found it to be just as applicable to business, and life, in general. Whatever your situation, taking this approach can increase your resilience and manage your stress for the long haul, both in business and in your life.

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