Keep a Positive Attitude

This is a guest post from Alan Cohen of Acts of Balance
Executive Coaching

The life of a solo PR practitioner can be isolating. Alone in your office or home, without the stimulation of colleagues and the energy of a busy office or institution, it can be a challenge to maintain your positive energy and stay motivated.

For those who chose that route because of all the benefits it offers – being your own boss, choosing your own clients, setting your own schedule – there are a number of ways to stay sharp and positive:

  • Attitude is everything! Believe in yourself and the work that you are doing and don’t let negative people get you down.
  • Surround yourself with positive people – clients, friends, family, partners. Working with clients who are passionate and excited about what they do and who have reasonable expectations of what you can do for them will keep you motivated and interested. Friends and family help to keep you grounded, and their faith in you is invaluable. A good job coach can also help you to remain motivated and to focus on your goals, both professional and personal.
  • Speaking of goals, focusing on short-term, realistic goals will also help to keep you motivated. Think about your client load, their expectations, and how much work you can reasonably handle without driving yourself crazy.
  • Be realistic about your strengths as a PR practitioner and reach out to others to help you with everything else. Better to hire talent than expose your own weaknesses.
  • As you work with clients to help them achieve their goals, keep your own goals in mind. Visualize what you want to accomplish and remain faithful to that. Focus on the larger goals.
  • Keeping a positive attitude can be difficult when things don’t go exactly as planned. Take time to work through the negative feelings, realizing that they are temporary, and work at getting back to a positive place.When things don’t work out as planned, turn disappointments into opportunities for growth. Learn from failure and use it to build success.
  • And finally, be good to yourself. Take time for friends and family. Step away from the computer. Put down the Blackberry. Eat well, get enough sleep, and indulge your passions. Nourish yourself.

What are your favorite ways to stay positive and motivated?

Alan Cohen, President of Acts of Balance Executive Coaching, has more than 25 years of experience in business, including public relations, marketing, human resources, training and development. As a certified executive leadership and career coach, Alan works with creative professionals from various industries, including public relations, marketing and the media, to help them better navigate the ever-changing landscape of their businesses and to achieve greater success, fulfillment — and balance.

  • KarenSwim

    Kellye, in Corporate America I was also home and field based so I had more than 10 years of practice before becoming an official “solo.” The awesome thing about being solo is you create your work environment everyday. You can avoid politics and toxicity by choosing energizing assignments with clients you love to serve. When you need stimulation you can attend meet-ups, networking events, meet a few colleagues for lunch or participate in online chats like #solopr chat.

  • I agree, Karen. It's much easier for me to stay “up” because I am in charge of my own destiny. When I need support, reaching out to others in the same boat (especially now that we have a Solo PR Pro community) always gives me the lift I need.

  • Right there with ya, Karen. Alan's last point is also very important. Spend time away from the computer. You can go to the gym, the grocery store or just pick up a cup of coffee any time you want. And of course, one of the easiest ways to surround yourself with positive people is to reach out to your friends/colleagues on Twitter/FB/IM, you name it. Gotta love today's world. 🙂

  • Jen- great point about “today's world” and social media. For those of us who crave interaction with other human beings, the ability to reach out to new friends whenever we want is huge. Each day is a lot more fun!

  • I particularly like the point about “Surround yourself with positive people” and, also, “Take time to work through the negative feelings.” My experience is that this period of work can lead to much more fruitful periods afterwards.
    Great post.

  • Kate Robins

    Thank you for this. Flying solo's brilliant at first blush but nothing's perfect. Going unsalaried, without competitive benefits, and only yourself to blame on crummy days are stressors that can offset benefits of, say, being in a telecon while quietly planting seeds outdoors. Building support into the job is as critical as having internet access.

  • Thanks for stopping by, Ed – glad you found it helpful.

  • Ah, now we know one of your secrets (never thought of doing a gardening multi-task!). I agree with you — having a support system in place is one of the keys to success.

  • Alan, I think it was a good idea to make a post about how to keep a positive attitude because it is hard to be a public relations practitioner. I liked how you highlighted the key points in order to help your audience. The one thing I liked about the advice was that you said to focus on short term realistic goals and not have very high expectations. I liked that because some people can become depressed if they have a goal of being very successful at the beginning, and when that goal is not realized that person will become really depressed.

    Thank You
    Trent Callier