Dr. Jeffrey R. Cornwall over at The Christian Science Monitor has been observing more and more business owners who, although their businesses have survived the economic downturn, seem to be losing heart.

The stress and strain caused by these difficult times has worn on them. But doing business in today’s economy requires a steady hand, a sharp eye and most of all — a calm mind. There are four steps that can be taken to help to cope with the emotional toll of being an entrepreneur in difficult times.

First, adjust your expectations. The growth in revenues and profits that you experienced during the good times may not return for quite some time, if ever.

Second, celebrate each small step forward. Set short-term, realistic milestones for your business.

Third, focus on the things that really matter. There is so much more to your life than your business. Work hard at being a good spouse. Strive to become a better parent.

Finally, let go of the things outside your control. Even under the best of times, entrepreneurs who have been well trained in what it takes to start and grow a successful business still face about a 20 percent failure rate. Failure comes from many things that you cannot predict or plan for. Call it uncertainty, call it risk, or call it plain old bad luck.

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