People often ask me what the secret sauce of business success is. While there is no “one thing,” one of the main ingredients is discomfort … and thriving in it.

If your goals are high, and everybody should have high goals, you have to train to be in a place of discomfort over a very long period of time. The tolerance for discomfort has to be super high. It’s just the way the world works.

Business is hard. And there will be unexpected roadblocks along the way. In the beginning, it may feel that every day is a struggle with a new and complex problem. But you can’t lose hope and optimism. You must always believe in yourself and your vision and learn to accept, if not enjoy, the challenges.

Here’s more on how to manage the discomfort of running a business.

Managing discomfort in business is an essential skill for leaders, as it allows for the continuous growth and adaptation required in a dynamic market environment. Discomfort can arise from change, failure, conflict, or competition. Effectively handling this will transform challenges into opportunities for resilience, growth, and innovation.

First, you must embrace change. Change is inevitable in business. Market conditions fluctuate, consumer preferences evolve, and technology advances. Embracing change is crucial. This involves adopting a mindset that sees change as an opportunity for growth rather than a threat. If your business has employees, you can foster this mindset by encouraging continuous learning and development among your team members. Training programs, workshops, and open communication can help employees feel more comfortable with change. Leaders should clearly communicate the reasons for change and the benefits it can bring.

Next, you need to develop resilience. Resilience is the ability to recover from setbacks and persist despite adversity. It is an essential quality for managing discomfort. You can build resilience in your company by creating a supportive work environment where employees feel valued and understood. This might include providing mental health resources, promoting work-life balance, and encouraging a collaborative team spirit. When employees feel supported, they are more likely to handle discomfort effectively. Additionally, fostering a growth mindset— where failures are viewed as learning opportunities rather than shortcomings — can help teams bounce back stronger.

Effective communication is a critical key to managing discomfort, as discomfort often arises from miscommunication or lack of information. As a leader, being transparent and consistent can mitigate these issues. You should strive to provide clear, concise, and honest information, especially during times of change or crisis. Further, you should encourage open dialogue as this allows team members to voice their concerns and ask questions, which can help alleviate anxiety and build trust. Practical tools to ensure effective communication include regular check-ins and town hall meetings.

Conflict Management is another important step in owning your discomfort. Conflict is a natural part of any business environment, but unmanaged conflict can significantly hinder productivity. Effective conflict management involves addressing issues promptly and constructively. As a leader, you should understand conflict resolution techniques, which include active listening, empathy, and negotiation. Creating a culture where feedback is viewed positively, and disagreements are opportunities for improvement, can reduce the discomfort associated with conflict. To ensure consistency and fairness, you must establish clear policies and procedures for conflict resolution.

Strategic Risk-Taking is vital to growth. Discomfort in business often comes from taking risks. However, risk-taking is essential for innovation and growth. To manage the discomfort associated with risks, your business should implement a strategic approach which includes thorough research, contingency plans, and scenario planning. Encouraging calculated risk-taking and celebrating both successes and failures as learning experiences can lead to a less risk-averse and more innovative culture.

It probably goes without saying, but you need to build a positive culture as well. A positive organizational culture can significantly reduce discomfort in business. This involves fostering an environment where diversity is celebrated, and everyone feels like they belong. Promoting teamwork, ensuring a fair and just workplace, and recognizing and rewarding contributions can reduce discomfort and enhance job satisfaction. Regularly assessing the organizational climate through feedback and surveys is a great way to identify areas of discomfort and address them proactively.

In conclusion, managing discomfort in business requires a multifaceted approach. Some of the most important elements include managing conflict, strategic risk-taking, embracing change, developing resilience, and fostering a positive culture. By addressing discomfort constructively and proactively, businesses can transform challenges into opportunities for growth and innovation, ultimately paving the way for long-term success.