If you’re at the point of feeling stuck, like your business will never get to where you want it to be, anxious about from where your next dollar will come, and all out just want to quit, hear me out. The first thing to know is that you are not alone; not by a longshot. Entrepreneurship is HARD. I like to refer affectionately to it as the “Hunger Games”…like literally, the hunger games. As an entrepreneur, you’re sacrificing everything to see your vision through-relationships, bank accounts, sleep, etc. And, you’re constantly fighting what seems to be an uphill battle full of trip wires, enemies (the nay-sayers), and obstacles. There are plenty of people aiming for your spot or envious of how you get there in the first place. Despite all of this, it’s important that you take a step back and try these simple tips to put your fabulous back intact.
1) Write a list of every single thing that you’ve accomplished.
Even the things that seem minute to you. This means going through everything that you have done in the last week, month, quarter, etc. and writing them down. Did you launch a website? Get new business cards? Hired a business coach, CPA, or new employees? Book your dream client? Overcome something that could have been detrimental to your business, health, etc.? Featured in a magazine or a blog? Create a newsletter?
There are so many things that we accomplish every day, yet, we feel like we’ve done nothing at all. Trust me, by the time you are done you will be extremely surprised (and hopefully, proud) of all the things that you have accomplished.
2) Remember that it’s not always about you.
Yes, ultimately, we like to think that our journey is ours and ours alone. However, that could not be further from the truth. We get so blinded by our own egos, that we don’t see who we could be affecting by quitting. Think about the family & friends who have sacrificed, so that you can pursue your dreams. Are your parents helping out with the kids so that you can attend those networking functions? Have your friends and family pooled together their money so that you could attend a business conference, take a class, or buy tools/inventory that you need? Will you let down all of the friends, clients, and fans who are inspired to go for their dream because of you? Now, by no means am I suggesting that you carry the weight of a thousand people on your shoulders. I’m suggesting that you take a look around and see that your passion was placed on your heart for a bigger purpose other than you being on the cover of a national magazine or being recognized as an industry leader (great things for which to strive, by the way). You were elevated for a reason.
3) Pour your gifts and knowledge into someone else.
A part of growing as a business owner is knowing that you should not keep everything to yourself. As I said, it’s not always about you. An excellent way to refresh your spirit and fall in love with your business again is to share your knowledge with someone who is at a point where you once were. Find a mentee and help them along their journey. A big part of feeling stuck is being trapped in your own environment and thoughts for too long. Things start to become recycled. Innovation is halted. The more that you speak about and teach what you know, obstacles that you have overcome, and the things that you wish you knew when you started, the bigger the outpour of new ideas. There will be several light bulb moments that happen in this process. You will begin to think of even better ways to do what you are currently doing. And who knows, maybe they can teach you something, too.
4) Become a new student.
Forget about everything that you think you know about your craft/industry and start over. Research your industry by reading new books and blogs, listen to podcasts, take a class to learn new techniques, and study influencers across several sectors. Take a step outside of your world. We get so caught up in the mundane processes that we’ve created and get stuck in the ways to which we are accustomed that we begin to move like robots. We grow frustrated because new opportunities seem to never find our doorstep or because we haven’t seen a client inquiry in what seems like forever. But if we put on a fresh pair of glasses and gain a new perspective on what and how we do things, we can create our own opportunities and the clients they are a coming (I said that in my best cowgirl accent by the way. Judge me not. lol).
5) TAKE A BREAK
It is so easy to get burned out. With much of what we do revolving around the Internet and smart phones, everything seems to move at the speed of light. We’re constantly grueling over social media and blog post scheduling, meeting with clients, and creating, perfecting, marketing, and delivering products/services, (wash, rinse, repeat). Our brains are on complete overload, our bodies are worn out, and we begin to think that the desk job that we left (or contemplating on leaving) isn’t so bad after all. We start to get anxiety after scrolling through Facebook and Instagram and seeing what others are doing that we are not. The comparison game begins. “Am I good enough?” “I need to step my game up.” “If they’re doing this, there is no way that someone will hire me for what I do.” It’s so easy to close up shop and go back to the comfortable life of letting someone else figure out taxes, customer service, marketing, payroll, and competition. So, take a day off (or a week if you can), drink your tea, coffee, or favorite cocktail, hang out with your friends, spend some much needed time with your family, and, most importantly, GET OFF OF SOCIAL MEDIA.
Believe me, I understand. Many are the days that I think that it would be so much easier if I clocked in and out every day. Not that anything is wrong with that. In fact, I was excellent in my corporate life. But, I wasn’t happy. I knew that my passion was elsewhere, waiting for me to get home. Thankfully, I have several people that remind me of why I’m on the road that I’m traveling. It’s not smooth and pretty by any means. I employ all of the tips that I am sharing quite often. I know how it feels to want to toss your passion to the side or even question if it’s truly your passion at all. Don’t let the Hunger Games fool you.
If you weren’t passionate about your business, you wouldn’t have made the sacrifices that you have. You wouldn’t be so frustrated if you didn’t care. You most definitely wouldn’t be reading this article. Take a breather, re-assess, help someone else, learn something, and then, get back out there!
May the odds be ever in your favor.