A while back on Facebook, I asked what entrepreneurs were dealing with so that I could create blog content directly addressing people's issues.
This comment jumped out at me, and it's been in my head ever since as I wasn't sure how to address it.
Taylor A Eh- I'd just like 'it gets better' stories ;) I know it does but the caveman part of my brain refuses to believe it.
So Taylor, this one's for you.
My problem in answering this concern, is that I've been stuck on thinking it doesn't really get better.
I've found as I grow my business, it's really more of the same.
I'm always out on the edge, never satisfied with what has already been accomplished. I always want to push it forward and create what's next.
Way back when my sales were $100K, I wanted $200K. Then I set my sites on $500K. As I closed in on a million, I kept changing and building to get there, riding the roller coaster of excitement and fear all along the way.
Now with 3 stores, a daycare and a coaching business, I still have the drive for more.
And that means rocky times ahead.
What seemed exciting and unattainable just a few years ago, seems too easy and and not fun enough now!
At times, I've cursed my ambition, wondering why I'm not wired to have chosen an easier path. Or wondering why I can't seem to just settle and keep my business as is, work at it and earn a living.
Something in me just always wants to keep going, keep building, keep creating.
And as much as that's a lot of fun most of the time, there are still times of complete overwhelm and feelings of too much going on and nothing going right.
But how could I let Taylor know that after over 2 decades of running my business, my professional opinion is "It's always something".
And then one day while walking my dogs I got it. I could finally write the blog!
It didn't get better. I did!
I've long said that 95% of success as an entrepreneur is mood management, and Taylor is so right that the lizard part of our brains takes over and fear strikes and it FEELS. SO. BAD. AND. HOPELESS.
Whether you're starting up, growing or changing your business model- phases you are inevitably going to face over and over as an entrepreneur, you are in the process of achieving your greatest expression- which looks and feels like complete destruction!
My advice here is to stop even worrying about whether and how "It gets better" whatever that even looks like to you.
When you feel those thoughts creep in, thoughts like:
This will never work.
They were right, I should have got a regular job.
I'm never going to get out of this debt.
I'm not cut out for this.
Nobody's going to want this.
This was a stupid idea.
This was the wrong time to start a business.
When those thoughts creep in, the first thing to do is to take the focus off the circumstances and put your focus on yourself.
Get in a good mood first, and then start figuring out what to do.
The key is to be operating in a good mood, from a place of creating, offering joy and value and knowing yourself as someone who succeeds and is powerful over results.
From this place, the actions you need to take start to come.
And through those actions, you'll change your circumstances, until the next time you decide to create or transform in your business.
And then you'll realize how great it is that you figured out how to focus on YOU getting better rather than hoping IT will get better.
Because you're going to need to do it all again, and again and again and again.
Life would become so boring if it were any other way.
When I'm in a good mood, I can get excited about solving the puzzle of my business. Solving problems- those same ones that were crushing me- can become fun again!
Here are my top tips for keeping my head screwed on straight when the going is tough:
1) Make Mood Management your #1 goal for the day- every day.
You need to be in a calm and productive headspace to get done what you know you need to do. Whatever works for you, do it.
Meditate, jog, journal, go for a walk, say affirmations, call a friend.... do something healthy and joyful to start your day.
2) Reach out
If you're up and ready and in a great mood, but you don't know what to do to move your dream forward, don't go it alone.
Have a trusted group of people you can reach out to and bounce ideas off. Once we get ideas out of our heads and into words we start teasing them into actual plans! Often the actions to take become clear.
And of course, a trusted business coach can help you immeasurably in planning your strategy and the steps to take next.
Looking to expand your network of supportive friends? I run a Facebook group called Creative Entrepreneurs of Toronto which is all about peer support. Check it out, join and introduce yourself!
3) Take a reality check
Sometimes, as the fearful thoughts race, or just loom over me casting a crappy shadow on my day, I have to take a reality check.
I look objectively at what's going on (say sales are lower than expected this season) and compare that to my thoughts (nothing is going right, I'm a huge failure and it's all over).
I think about other times that I've been though something similar and how I got through.
(Often I think about how, when I was in Grade 12 and yearbook editor, I was in a panic about the yearbook getting done on time. And of course it got done, as this thing will too.)
Or I recount my strengths and achievements and start clearing away the grey clouds of bad thoughts.
From there I find myself clear headed and ready to take action.
When we let our lizard brain thoughts take over, the thoughts are all about removing the risk and getting us to safety.
And nothing terribly exciting happens from a place of no risk and safety!
Most times when I can really look at things objectively, I can flip my attitude about the whole situation and start coming from a very powerful place to create something new in that area.
I hope this gives you a bit of perspective on the whole "Will it ever get better?" question.
It won't, but you will.
Interested in finding out more about business coaching and how I could help you grow the business of your dreams and keep your head screwed on straight while you do it?
Book your FREE 30 minute discovery call to find out more about my coaching style and how I may be able to help you.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org with Discovery Call in the subject line.
- In this email, tell me a bit about your business and what has you stuck or how you would like to grow.
- Also list some times you're available for a call.
I’m excited to hear from you - xo Laura-Jean