47 Ideas to Turn Biz Lemons Into Lemonade

Life is never perfect, and no matter how hard you work, you are bound to experience some bad days at the office.  Whether it’s an unhappy customer, challenging employee, unsuccessful product launch, or unexpected expense, things happen. So how do you handle it?

Do you allow your entire day to turn sour, or do you find a way to pull yourself out of a slump?  The choice is always yours, and often boils down to your perception and attitude.  So last week we asked –

When things are going every which way but right, what is your best strategy for turning a lemon of a bad day into refreshing lemonade, and ending your day on a high note?

We were so happy to receive so many amazing tips from entrepreneurs who have developed strategies to overcome even the most challenging circumstances with a smile.

Some of my favorites include Tony Popowski’s “Happy Drawer,” Timothy Yee’s geocaching strategy, and Ellen Rohr’s Stop, Drop and Roll.  But of all the wonderful ideas that were shared this week, the prize for resilience goes to Melanie Hope who laughed when most would have curled up to cry.  With so many amazing ideas for turning frowns upside down, I know you will find a tip to help you successfully navigate through your next lemon of a day.

Our sincere gratitude to the 47 entrepreneurs who were kind enough to share their best ideas for making lemonade from business day lemons. Openly providing your expertise and experiences is a huge asset to this blog and the readership. I wish you all a wonderful week and hope to see you here again.

If you would like to contribute to the next post and get some free PR, be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of this post to discover this week’s question and find out how you can get involved.  We’d love to have you on a future post!


1. Biz Lemons Suck

You know the days we’re talkin’ about. Your kids have conspired against you – one is cranky and one is eternally bored, the washer broke, your clients need 3 things done ASAP. “What else could go wrong” dare you ask?
Take 15 minutes and color.
“What!? Color? Amy, have you lost your mind?!”
Yes I have. More than once, actually. Here are 3 things I know can flip your mood around in a snap: :
1. Color, paint or create with your kids. Taking a few minutes to do something creative helps clear your mind AND get’s the kids involved in a project that you can sneak away from later.
2. Play a game. Any game. Duck, duck goose is fun.
3. Dance. Do a burst of wild dancing to 80’s music. You can’t be cranky when teaching the Roger Rabbit to a 5-year-old. Especially if it’s to Cyndi Lauper.
Have fun!

Thanks to Amy Stewart of Moxie Mommas

2. Manual Labor Is Good For You

When the day is hard, and the work is not fun, and the burden feels like too much, I focus on doing something manual. Meaning, I build something, take something apart, do a deep clean – take out the trash. For me, getting outside of my head, helps clear the feeling that it is too hard. There is a direct sense of accomplishment when you have done hard manual work and it always makes me feel better – even on the toughest days.

Thanks to Cyndi Finkle of Art Works Studio

3. Aid + AIDS In Relation To ‘Ade

The very fact that I can complain heartens me. It puts things in perspective, for I have lost many friends, much younger than I, to cancer or accidents or war or AIDS. They can no longer complain about (the comparatively minor) “bad days” or “bad people” or “bad things” that I’m experiencing. Then, I self-talk, noting that I can run a business — with all its ups and downs — and that I don’t need aid from the medical or social services community. This is usually all that’s required for me to make the conversion from lemons to ‘ade. When I’m especially discouraged, though, I remind myself of Shakespeare’s words, “Laugh me out of myself.” Then, I watch “Funniest Videos” or similar silly stuff to achieve emotional equilibrium.

Thanks to Dr. Marlene Caroselli of Center For Professional Development

4. Turn Snow Days Into Pay Days

This past winter we had a tremendous storm system move through the Midwest that literally buried us in snow. As I was doing my turn at shoveling the driveway, I thought there must be a silver lining. A 30 minute radio show on making “snow days” profitable was hatched. To this day it is my most popular episode. If you start to think “Why me?”, change the question to “How can I make money from this?”. You will be surprised at your own ingenuity.

Thanks to Nicole Fende of Small Business Finance Forum

5. Take A Moment To “breathe!”

When things are not going well, my best strategy for turning a lemon of a day into a refreshing lemonade day is to take a break! Many times when things aren’t going right I start to feel overwhelmed — taking a break helps me to clear my head, think about something else and re-group. Then when I go back to the project(s) that are ruining my day I have a new perspective and outlook and maybe a new solution to the problem.

Thanks to Michelle Dunn of Michelle Dunn Writer, LLC

6. Step Away, Don’t Run Away

Some days just cannot go right. No matter how busy you are, you need to step away. Go on a walk. Get some coffee. Go shopping. Just get your head out of your business for a short while. If you stay in a situation that is causing you stress and anxiety you will be tempted to run away from it. But that doesn’t help anything, and the problem will still be there. Step away. The break will help you get perspective and might give you some better ways to deal with what is going on. Even if it is still awful when you return, you will at least feel more refreshed.

Thanks to Lauren MacEwen of SM Cubed Consulting

7. Persistence Overcomes Resistance

I am marketing my concepts for creative, fun, colorful senior living designs in a particularly old fashion, stodgy industry that balks at change. While the rest of the world of design moves forward, senior living stays locked in 1985. When I get passed over for another lack luster proposal I take it personally, since my vision is to make lives better for the people who live in these facilities.

Yet my vision is clear and I will not compromise. With every no, I have to search deeper to find the right forward thinking companies who understand a change is needed. So while the no’s are blows, and at times I feel a bit discouraged, they serve to propel me forward to work harder to find ways to implement change and create inspired spaces for the next generation of seniors.

Luckily I do not accept no.

Thanks to Kathy Bradway of Periwinkle Designs For Living

8. Make A Refreshing Glass Of Lemonade

On those days where things are going crazy, this is when I have to re-organize and take a deep breath. By all means, know that everyday is not going to go as planned. Find out why something is not working and don’t be afraid to change it. Change is a necessity in order for your business to flourish and grow. Keep an open mind about it, and know that there’s always tomorrow, so look at the situation in a positive way. Sit back and relax with a big glass of lemonade.

Thanks to LaTersa Blakely of Baby Diaper Cakes & Beyond by LaTersa

9. Push Ahead Or Pivot

You have to revisit your goals and plan to see if it was just a fluke or if your direction is flawed. After that, you need to make a calculated decision as to how to carry on, and apply that without letting anything get you down. You need to stay positive when it comes to those days where you just want to give up. Once the negativity takes over, that is when failure starts to occur. To combat this problem, you simply need to keep your goals at the forefront of your mind at all times. This will keep you in check and help you push through those rough times.

Thanks to Ian Aronovich of GovernmentAuctions.org

10. The Ever-So-Important Happy Drawer!

In order to overcome the most challenging days in the office, you have to come prepared. That is why I have established The Happy Drawer, which contains two key items for fighting bad days. Item #1 is a bag of pretzels – my favorite! Item #2 is The Happy Paper. On my Happy Paper, I keep a list of some really nice compliments I have received from clients and coworkers over the years. This always reminds me of how much I love my job…and provides a much needed ego boost when times get tough. On my Happy Paper, I also keep a list of random stuff from my personal life that make me smile, such as the time I studied abroad in Italy, the NY Giants underdog Superbowl victory and chicken cutlets from my Nana…mmmm. The Happy Drawer allows me to take a deep breath and end the day on a positive note.

Thanks to Tony Popowski of Grass Roots Marketing, Inc.

11. The Word Is NEXT!

Remembering back, when things are going bad, has always been a great motivator for me. I know that I have been through rough times and always survived, and then thrived. I remind myself I am made of ‘tough stuff’ and these trying days, hours, whatever, are merely an obstacle to get around; nothing more. I’ve also learned to tackle the worst first. Get it out of the way and put behind me so I no longer have to worry about the issue. NEXT is the most powerful 4-letter word in my vocabulary. Something negative happens, I deal with it, say NEXT, then move on and forget about it!! Worrying myself sick accomplishes nothing; in fact, worry usually inflames the issue.

Thanks to Randy Morrow of Keller Williams Realty–Divorce Specialist

12. The Key Is Knowing Who You ARE

The single best strategy I know of to enable ourselves to get back on track, when we find ourselves not having the experience of life that we want, is to have already answered one very important question: Who am I? In my work we explore this powerful question in four different ways:

* The roles we play
* Our skills & talents
* Our contribution
* Who we are at our core.

When we are having a bad day, we are not being who we really are. If, in that moment, we try to figure out who we are, it is very difficult to do. If, however, all we have to do is REMEMBER who we are, it can be very simple and very quick to get ourselves back on track. That is why it is so important to answer this question TODAY. Who we are is a choice… Each of us is unique… Who are YOU?

Thanks to Robert MacPhee of Heart Set, Inc.

13. Acknowledge With Complete Acceptance

When your flow or happiness diminishes with even the most minor indication like breaking a nail. STOP! Acknowledge yourself for something you did, saw or learned today. Whatever brings you delight and happiness. I want to acknowledge myself for making 2 prospect calls, or I want to acknowledge that I enjoyed my whole milk cappuccino.

Find someone to do this with, as sharing creates an even larger energy field of being present. Share something that brings warmth, delight and happiness to you and to the person you are sharing with. Then give yourself a hand, applause. This allows your body to take in the presence at a cellular level and becomes the intelligence of your body.
Team meetings called throughout the day when you feel the energy go sour is great to change the mood.

Thanks to Beverly Dombroski of BeverlyD Alive Healthy Hair

14. It Is Just Another Bump In The Road

We all have those days where things just don’t go quite right. You do your daily planning in the morning and then WHAM! Something hits you that pulls you off course. When that happens in my day, I stop, take a deep breath and take stock of the situation and determine how my priorities should change in my day. Sometimes they have to change significantly, but most of the time they don’t. I reschedule appropriately and dive back in.

If the situation was especially negative, I practice a gratitude list before diving back in. I list 10-20 things that are going well with the day/project. It puts me in a more positive frame of mind & out of the muck that could hold back my ability to get things done.

Thanks to Stephanie LH Calahan of Calahan Solutions, Inc.

15. Get Outside Yourself.

Some days indeed are trying and can challenge the strongest of us; however, I am by nature a positive person and definitely want to make lemonade out of life’s lemons. Taking away the fact that my child is always the high note of every day; I try to get outside myself when I am on the borderline of self-pity or negative feelings. What I mean by that is that I have others who I think of more than me, or I do something totally unrelated to me so that I’m reminded that life isn’t just about me.

I started this when my life’s dramas took center stage and I wanted to close the curtain for a while on my self-importance. There’s a world out there that can use us and can remind us that our strife can be insignificant in the grand scheme of things – it’s a good way to keep life in perspective.

Thanks to Elena Patrice of WebsitesGiveBack

16. Find The Silver Lining!

Bad days are inevitable, and I have had my fair share of them. My survival secret is to always find the silver lining. I have trained myself to always look for what I can learn, improve, change and laugh about in a negative situation. Boat sinks? Chance for a new one! Someone slips? Safety improvements. Employee quits? Find a better one! Hurricane? Well, what an adventure! Finding the positive helps me maintain the energy and endurance to plow through a sour situation and come out stronger.

Thanks to Dana Krauskopf of Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort, Belize

17. Turn Worry Into Work

As a business owner, I experience the roller coaster of the business cycle often as do many of my colleagues. We went from being stuck and worrisome to a company that turns lemons into lemonade all the time. The statement “Turn Worry into Work” was brought to our attention early on by 2 respected business professionals and that is what helps us turn lemons into lemonade.

Personally, I turn worry into work. As challenges arise, rather than slow down and become depressed, I simply worked harder, make more phone calls, go on more appointments, obtain more speaking engagements, network more, as well as target strategic partnerships and joint ventures. This has brought opportunities to my company that would have gone uncovered.

Turn Worry into Work!

Thanks to Gayle Naftaly of Access.office

18. Pick Your Battles – Even When The Doors Fall Off

Yes, it was a Monday. I awoke with incapacitating jaw pain, which the dentist said was medical and the MD said was dental. The only way I could calm the pain enough to get out of the fetal position was to hold cold water in my cheek. I faked my way through a speaking gig between sips of water and headed to the pharmacy. As I got out of the car, my shoe strap broke and jettisoned my shoe sideways. I was in a strange parking lot with water dribbling down my chin and a rogue shoe rolling away. As I bent for my shoe, THE CAR DOOR FELL OFF. Really. At this point, all I could do was laugh. I decided to take care of the one thing I could control: I tossed my shoes in the garbage and walked barefoot to the shoe store. With bungee cords and hardcore pain relievers, I salvaged the rest of the day.

Thanks to Melanie Hope of Hope Speaking LLC

19. Get Cheerleaders!

When you are having a bad day, avoid negative detractors and find a cheerleader. I define a cheerleader as a positive friend who will be there for you in your time of need. A cheerful upbeat person, who ALWAYS seems to have the ability to make you laugh or smile. Someone who will always say nice things about you and tell you how great you are. I suggest that you have a few of these that you can call to get a quick pick me up.

Thanks to Tiffany Bradshaw of Bradshaw And Co.

20. Turn It Around And Get Back On Track!

When things get tough at the office, and I get fussy, I always try to change my mood – my schedule’s intense enough that I usually can’t just pack it in for the day without throwing my week out of whack.

I have a bundle of strategies I use to turn things around, including but not limited to: turning on music, playing a game with my dog, going for a walk (usually also with said dog), treating myself to some iced tea, taking myself out for delicious sushi, doing something I know I will rock at, having a short nap, reading my favorite cooking blog or calling a favorite client.

That way, things get better, I get back on track and can get back to work!

Thanks to Erin Ferree of BrandStyle Design

21. Lemons Into Lemonade (aka Wholesale Into Retail)

As a small start-up with limited resources, we are constantly aware of how “successful” our competitors seem to be, but forget they have the advantage of cash flow that we don’t right now. As a result, everything we do is grassroots, including sales. Sometimes I feel that I hear “no” so much that I don’t know what “yes” sounds like. When I walk out of what seems like the umpteenth retailer who doesn’t need our bags, I simply turn around and make a retail sale or two! Our bags are small so I keep a stash in my car for this reason. When I pull out my bag in the grocery store and someone asks where she can get one, I say, “easy- my car!” My mom and my friends are my best customers, so they are always good for a quick sale too. Lemons into lemonade!

Thanks to Kim Nungesser of EnviroTrend

22. It All Starts With Your Attitude On Life In General

We all know that some days in our life will be great and others will be very difficult to get through. At times it can be so much easier to remember the bad things. And for whatever reason we let the good things slip away from our memory. I learned early on to savor and make a special note (sometimes on paper) when things went exceptionally well. I told myself that I need to remember this when I have a bad day. I did my best to think logically, to be aware of the fact that I have far more good days than bad days. And, to remember that life is not perfect and neither am I, and that’s ok. I reached a point if I had many great weeks in a row I would get a bit nervous, thinking that a bad day would be here soon. And when a bad day came, I felt relieved that good days were on their way.

Thanks to Nancy Butler, CFP®, CDFA, CLTC of Above All Else, Success In Life And Business

23. When The Going Gets Tough….

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. There are those days when nothing works, the printer jams, the expected “check in the mail” did not arrive, the school call that your child has a pink eye. What is a mompreneur to do? I usually will treat myself to a snicker bar or a sundae. I also try to focus on automatic tasks, the kind of work that does not need a lot of thinking

Thanks to Bola Ajumobi of Slimy Bookworm

24. Lick Your Wounds And Learn

Try and recognize that every time something does go wrong it is an opportunity for you to learn and improve. Take stock of any mistakes you have made or contemplate what exactly has gone wrong and think about how you can prevent it from being an issue again in the future.

Thanks to Sarah Moore of Singapore Baby

25. Do Something You’re Good At

Great question. When I’m having a really rotten day and nothing seems to be going to plan, I complete a task that I know I’m good at. One that I know I will succeed at and that will make me feel good. It doesn’t have to be a big thing but it must be something that I’m 100% confident that I can do well.

Thanks to Suellen Hughes of The Kickstart Business

26. Do Not Miss The Point Of Your Day

The problem isn’t in the way things are going today, but in our definition of a “Good/Bad day”. We define a “Good day” based upon things going the way “We” want them to be going and a “Bad day” when they aren’t.

How many times did things not go the way “We” wanted them to be, only to see later on, Wow. Am I glad that things did not work out, because I would have been in a mess.

When things aren’t going “Right”, step back & take an objective look. Say to yourself – What can I extract from this?, What is the lesson here?, How can I apply the experiences from this situation/day to my benefit the next time these things happen?

You will replace “Good/Bad” days with a higher, happier experience of your days & less affected by the events. You will also be a sharper business person

Thanks to Harris Glasser of Serving The People Press LLC

27. This Shall Too Pass

I feel that keeping a positive attitude always help me on those days when things can and do go wrong and they will. You have to plan to know that everyday is not going to be a great day. Know that account that you’ve been working on for months will go to someone else. The copier will break down when you have a bid deadline and need to get those copies out. Your printer will run out of ink and you used the last cartridge in the office. Stop, breathe, and know that this shall too pass.

Thanks to Eula M. Young, COO of Griot’s Roll Film Production & Services Inc.

28. I Make Lemonade Everyday After Being Born Under A Pile Of Lemons

One of the best ways I keep my days from turning into lemons is through prevention. No matter if I have 500 or 1000 emails and all the pressure to meet a deadline, I allow myself the pleasure of reading comic strips I get emailed to me by ArcaMax. No matter how busy I am, I read them and never rush through them. I also share my fun with others because sharing mirth is quite relaxing as well. The humor in them makes me start my day with a smile and gives me the sugar I need to make pure lemon juice sweet. So my best defense is a good preventative offense.

I was born with a pile of lemons on top of me, but every day I have turned them to sweet lemonade, Zesty Lemon Shrimp, and lemon oil room freshener–I have used every part of them to make it the best life I can and I am a happy man!

Thanks to Rey Tamayo of aWiserStart.com

29. Start And End Your Day For YOU!

Instead of just waking up, taking a shower, getting dressed and heading right to work, what can you do for yourself before walking out the door? No need for it to be extensive, especially if you’re not a morning person (like me!). What’ll take 10 minutes or less, but will be a piece of the morning that you’d actually look forward to? Think about going through your Google Reader, or dancing to your favorite song, or doing a few sun salutations. Then, ask yourself the same question, but make it about ending your day. Again, nothing extensive, but something that’s just for you. I write in my 5 Year Journal, recording what I loved most about that day. What can *you* look forward to when you wake up and before you go to sleep?

Thanks to Michelle Ward of When I Grow Up Coach

30. Thanks For The Memories!

For most of us, our happy clients far outnumber our disgruntled ones, even though one angry client feels like 100. I keep all the thank you notes and emails from my brides and grooms in a binder, and when I have a challenging day, I pull them out, look at the photos and notes and get a strong reminder of how lucky I am to do such happy work that is so well received. Always cheers me up and gets me back on track.

Thanks to Celia Milton of CeliaMilton.com

31. Misfortune = Opportunity!

In my case, failure has created all my successes. When I didn’t land the rights to market the Simpson’s artwork, I detoured into commercial animation art which no-one was doing. When one of the first factories we were working with began to act unethically and they, with a shady client, took us for over $15,000, it led to us finding a new factory with some of the best people possible who we work with to this day. It never would have happened without that misfortune.

Misfortune creates opportunities…. I always tell every budding entrepreneur I meet that they should always know that you are never without options. Or to put it another way….so goes your mind goes the reality in front of you. I’m not talking psycho-babble mumbo jumbo. It’s just the way the universe is structured and it’s workings are as tangible as touching a table. It’s easy to think that when things aren’t working out the way you hoped that you can feel trapped. Believe in that and that’s pretty much the way things will unfold. But if you can see every misfortune or difficult moment as nothing more than another moment ripe with potential and realize that you always have something you can do…then the energy gets freed up…things happen, orders arrive, people call, etc…so it really is best to never let your mind go into a space where you feel trapped. I don’t know why they don’t teach that in business school because to me it is at the heart of every successful business venture that had to overcome adversity.

Thanks to Craig Wolfe of CelebriDucks

32. Lemon Slices

When my day is horrible and I’m feeling down, I read cracked.com articles. It cracks me up.

Thanks to Chris Wise of Baptism Invitations

33. Put On A Happy Face

When I’m feeling down in the dumps I like to go straight home and play with my children. They always find a way to make me smile 🙂

Thanks to Dub Teez of Custom Wrapping Paper

34. How To Get Out Of A Bad Day

When I am having a bad day there are a few things that I do that will take me out of the mood. First of all, I spend a half hour exercising. I’m lucky enough to have a gym in my building so I can’t use the excuse that I can’t get to it. Usually that will bring me up enough to get back to work. But if it doesn’t, I have a litany of things that I do. One is that I call a few friends and chat for a while, or I’ll email some people with the same intent. A lot of times this is a good opportunity to write in my blog and create a post on some topic that’s on my mind. If none of these things have worked, I figure the day is dead so I pick myself up and take me to a movie.

Thanks to Jacqueline Gikow of ChelseaRainbow

35. Word Search

I think about words and look inside them to find answers. For example, I would look at the word “down” if I was feeling sad. In this word you have D for decision in which you can decide to stay down or get up. Next to D is “own” where you have to take ownership of the situation. If you decide to take ownership you won’t stay down long, but be on your way back up.

Thanks to Derrick Hayes of WOE Enterprises

36. When Life Hands You Lemonade, Pray You Have A Corona In The Fridge?

As a nationwide hospitality consultant which handles distress, turnaround and repositioning, we often have days like this when a plan does not have the anticipated results. However, I believe our success has always been about not being fearful of failure, but instead being dynamic enough with a good team of people, all with the same vested interest to make it work. There are times when there is nothing that can be done, but if the rational was correct behind the decision then you just have to crack open the corona, pop a lemon wedge in and really understand what caused the root failure, and what steps in the process can be changed to mitigate such risk next time.

Thanks to James Sinclair of OnSite Restaurant Consulting, Inc.

37. Geocaching Your Way To A Positive Attitude

To snap out of a bad mood, I take the idea of going for a walk one step further. While walking releases endorphins which help one snap out of a bad mood, I go for a walk and engage in a global scavenger hunt known as geocaching. Not only does the walk do me good, but the scavenger hunt engages my brain and gets me to think about something other than what caused my bad mood. In fact, the answer to my bad mood has frequently come to me while I am out for the walk/ geocache.

My profile photo (somehow displayed sideways) shows me hanging off a bridge/ geocaching. Did wonders for my mood.

Thanks to Timothy Yee of Green Retirement Plans, Inc.

38. Squeeze The Juice And Enjoy The Sugar

Squeeze the juice from your lemon, by taking the time to do a TEAM meeting with yourself or another by doing Acknowledgements. Just say what you did today that you want to be acknowledged for. Do it with delight and happiness and do not judge it.

The sugar for the lemonade is that you become present to what is and there is always something that worked in your day even when noticing what doesn’t work, the sugar is that you just learned something. Applaud yourself and others to give equal value to what worked and what didn’t. It is all useful and we all are working to do well, so a temporary lemon can always be turned to lemonade when properly acknowledged.

Thanks to Maggie Love of Women’s Bedtime Stories

39. It’s Never Too Late To Get Happy!

Even in this “doing-more-with-less” pattern of organizational operations, you can be happy at work. Out of financial necessity, most people have to work; there is no choice. However, you do have a choice about the specific job, industry and organization you seek for your place of employment. Happiness is a choice too. You can choose to be happy or miserable. Which would you prefer?
Tips on How to Be Happy at Work
• Choose to be happy.
• Reprogram your negative thoughts and responses to people and situations with positive programming.
• Find at least one job-related task you enjoy doing. Do it each day at work.
• Find a personal interest or hobby that brings you fun and happiness. Do it daily or weekly.
• Learn something new to ignite and open your mind.
• Stay away from gossip and negativity.
• Make only the commitments you can keep.
• Be approachable, kind and pleasant to be around.
• Ask for feedback, listen with an open-mind and make the appropriate changes.
• If you have consistently tried to get happy at work and are still not happy, it’s time to find another job.

You are the only person responsible for your happiness. No one else can do this for you. Life is short. It’s never too late to get happy!

Thanks to Nancy Stampahar of Silver Lining Solutions

40. Using Child Psychology As An Entrepreneur

When your toddler throws a ball against your living room wall 10x after you’ve asked him to stop it’s usually time to master the art of distraction. Child psychologists recommend redirection. Replace the ball for a more productive activity such as a book or just move the activity outdoors.

This is also great advice for when business hands you lemons. If a change of scenery doesn’t do the trick (ie. taking the laptop to your patio, working from Starbucks in the afternoon after a challenging morning), then maybe you need to walk away completely and change focus. Pick up the phone and chat with a colleague who inspires you. Organize your inbox. File those expenses you’ve been ignoring. Chances are after some time passes that those lemons will look (and taste!) more like lemonade.

Thanks to Eileen Schlesier of SleeveShirt Consulting LLC

41. 4G Wireless – Anywhere Anytime

Losing power can be a real lemon of a day in the making. As an author and founding director of two nonprofits I rely heavily on my PC and cable Internet for work and progress. As I write this, my power is back on, but Internet access has been down for two weeks despite multiple attempts. Without my iPad and 4G network I’d be forced to travel to a local Caribou Coffee shop a few blocks away; or Barnes & Noble half an hour away.

Regardless of whether or not the Internet crunching thunderstorms zap your power and bandwidth, or not, I find having my iPad with me at all times is highly effective at keeping my business going, despite difficult circumstances beyond my control. I avoid those autocorrect and thumbnail typos that jinx your emails from smart phones, and I can update & track social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and websites. My iPad is with me, wherever I go.

Thanks to Sheryl Hill of ClearCause

42. Keep A S.M.I.L.E. Handy

In my 20+ years as a business woman, wife and mother…I have had my share of BAD days. For many years, I allowed moments of “badness” to ruin an otherwise great day! Then, one day, after a particularly stressful phone conversation, I happened to catch a glimpse of a picture of my sister when she was a toddler. Seeing her in her rainbow bright dress, striped leggings, crimped hairdo and her quirky smile, I lost it! I laughed until it hurt. Once I stopped, I immediately noticed how much better I felt. Instead of spiraling downward, I was energized!

That experience inspired me to create a SMILE journal (Small Momentos Inspiring Laughter Everyday) that I filled an album with cards, notes, pictures and comics that bring me joy. Now, when I’m having a moment of “badness” I grab my SMILE!

Thanks to Tara Kennedy-Kline of Multi-Level Mom, LLC

43. Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow

There’s nothing like shaking your booty to your favourite uplifting songs to get you back on track on a down day. Either have music playing while you’re working or take a break and crank up the tunes and get moving.

It’s proven to bring a smile to your face, especially if it’s motivating music, and you’ll enjoy the break plus the energy you’ll get from pumping oxygen back in your body. Plus it’s impossible to stay down with your best song lighting up your day. Like Katy Perry’s `Firework’!

Thanks to Natalie Sisson of The Suitcase Entrepreneur

44. The Bright Side Of Customer Service

The challenge and the blessing of working out of a retail space is that you meet and speak with new people every day. A disappointing encounter can easily sour the rest of your work that follows. But, the positive interchanges can just as quickly restore your faith in the world and keep you motivated. If you find yourself dragged down with unrewarding work and conversations, and if you can’t make a new friend before the end of the day, keep in close touch with those favorite customers — the ones who are always grateful and enthusiastic. Reach out to them, drop them a line, do something to make them happy. Their response, and the reminder that there are people out there who appreciate the work you do, could keep you going.

Thanks to Becky Gourde of Laughingstock Design

45. Dont Quit On A Bad Day…

It takes mental discipline to live a happy life and run a business (without it sucking the life out of you!). I’ve gotten better at catching thoughts like, “Damn…I knew that was going to happen.” Or, “Serves me right.” Blah blah blah. That’s whining and it doesn’t help. The energy is contagious and you start attracting more blah into your day. So.

DROP the current line of thought.
ROLL…in the direction of something that makes you feel better.

My latest go to mood changer? My iPhone…with pics of the ones I love. I flip through em. Ahhhh. Better.

In any event, don’t let a stumble escalate. Don’t quit on a bad day. Stop and regroup. Then, put a day on the calendar for 3 months from now. Still want to quit? Fine. But in the meantime…go for it!! xo$

Thanks to Ellen Rohr of Bare Bones Biz, Inc.

46. The Lemonade Store Inside Of You

The best way to turn a lemon of a bad day into refreshing lemonade is simple: Do not wait until the “90 Degree” point of the day to get your ingredients. Think about it. Before you set out to make grandmother’s famous dinner rolls, you’ve got to make sure you’ve got all of the ingredients. If not, I’m pretty sure you might go to the store to get what you’re missing; because if anything is missing, it just won’t be “grandma’s rolls!”

The difference in this case, however, is everything you need to make lemonade from the lemons that your day may hand you is this – you may not be able to find the ingredients in an actual grocery store. No, the ingredients come from a variety of sources, over time, that become a part of your being.

Every day, take time to mediate. Find excitement and happiness from experiencing the simple things in life, like hearing the birds chirp as early as 4am, even when it’s still dark outside; and recognize all of the small blessings in your life. Be sure to increase the amount of positive energy around you. The music you listen to, television shows you watch, books you read, and people you talk to are all sources of positive or negative energy. Then, when you are handed a lemon, you can shop at this “grocery store of positive energy” inside of yourself and buy some “sugar” and “filtered water”…you might even buy some “cups” so that you can share some with a friend or two. 🙂

Thanks to Brandon Griffin of FyeBye, Inc.

47. When Life Hands You Lemons: Make Lemonade, Lemon Bars, And Most Importantly – More Lemons!

In the start of new business or even throughout; as experience reveals itself to us we quickly categorize it as a positive or a negative one, in turn triggering an emotional response and leading toward our next action. This is the first and easiest pitfall in business. The question one should ask themselves isn’t necessarily, “How do I make this sour spot sweeter?” But “How do I incorporate what has been provided today, into the long and short-term milestones to success?”

In every lemon there is a learning experience, if handled appropriately will provide the knowledge for a continually steady tomorrow. The key to handling what is perceived as negativity is not necessarily to turn it into a positive, but to incorporate it into the bigger picture of what it is you are attempting to accomplish. A lemon is an opportunity from which to grow. When handed a business lemon, one might take the opportunity to see it through an outsider’s perspective and critically analyze its function in your business or company milestones, and ultimately it’s success. A lemon is an ideal chance to come together with other individuals in the same, or diversified fields to develop to a resolute, keeping your business on a steady keel.

Thanks to Amanda Hanson of Keeping House

Thanks so much again to all our wonderful contributors for sharing your recipes for lemonade! We hope to hear from you again.

If you are new to the Question of the Week and would like to get involved, simply follow the link below to get started. We’d love to have you share your knowledge and experiences here too, and get a bit of PR in the process.

This week’s question is –

Inspiring Next Gen Entrepreneurs

With the economy in need of some serious help, many believe that the future of America is the small business owner.  As entrepreneurs, we have a responsibility to mentor the next generation.

What are you doing to teach your children, or other young people about the benefits, challenges and how-to’s of entrepreneurship?

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  1. Posted July 19, 2011 at 1:32 am | Permalink | Reply

    I love the happy drawer! What a great idea!!Thanks Tony.

    Lots of other great ideas here as well – dancing, geocaching, reading humourous things online…it’s a great reminder to take some time to myself even during (or especially during) a bad day.

    • Posted July 19, 2011 at 8:14 am | Permalink | Reply

      Cathy, Thanks for your comment. I love the Happy Drawer too! Brilliant and creative. 🙂 Often it is the little things that turn our attitudes around, and there are so many great ideas in this post. Have a great, sunny lemonade day!

  2. Posted July 18, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Ooohhh I love getting creative with lemonade. Great tips from all

    • Posted July 18, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for joining the fun this week, Natalie, and for sharing your great tip too! I can’t get over the fabulous photo of you sitting in your suitcase. And I can only imagine the trouble you might get into making lemonade. Keep up the great inspiration on your end!! 🙂 Shannon

  3. Posted July 18, 2011 at 8:43 am | Permalink | Reply

    Shannon thanks for putting this together. I’m bookmarking for future reference. Perfect way to start my Monday with all this positive energy.


    • Posted July 18, 2011 at 8:51 am | Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, Nicole! So happy to have your contribution this week too. Don’t you love the Happy Drawer?! I need one of those with chocolate in it. 🙂

  4. Posted July 18, 2011 at 8:18 am | Permalink | Reply

    It’s always such a joy and privilege to be including in these wonderful posts Shannon. My heart is ALWAYS humbled and grateful – thank you, thank you!! This makes me loooove lemons even more!

    Have a fantabulouos day!!

    Much kindness,


    • Posted July 18, 2011 at 8:38 am | Permalink | Reply

      Elena, You are a precious gift, as are your contributions each week! Thank you for supporting the post and sharing your insights. Lemon days can be tough for all, so I hope everyone who reads this post will find bits of inspiration to turn their challenging days into something valuable. It’s all about the lenses through which we choose to view the world and our circumstances that make all the difference. 🙂

5 Trackbacks

  1. […] 7.- 47 ideas para convertir los limones en limonada Biz […]

  2. […] Lemons into lemonade. Dr. Shannon Reece enlists the help of 47 entrepreneurs and small business owners who she says have come forward to help others with their small business goals and needs. How many times in your business have you been handed lemons and been asked to make lemonade? Strategies & Tactics for Women […]

  3. […] Lemons into lemonade. Dr. Shannon Reece enlists the help of 47 entrepreneurs and small business owners who she says have come forward to help others with their small business goals and needs. How many times in your business have you been handed lemons and been asked to make lemonade? Strategies & Tactics for Women […]

  4. […] Lemons into lemonade. Dr. Shannon Reece enlists the help of 47 entrepreneurs and small business owners who she says have come forward to help others with their small business goals and needs. How many times in your business have you been handed lemons and been asked to make lemonade? Strategies & Tactics for Women […]

  5. By Small Business Advice at the Right Price on July 26, 2011 at 4:31 am

    […] Lemons into lemonade. Dr. Shannon Reece enlists the help of 47 entrepreneurs and small business owners who she says have come forward to help others with their small business goals and needs. How many times in your business have you been handed lemons and been asked to make lemonade? Strategies & Tactics for Women […]

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