I’m not usually one to focus my time and energy on things that aren’t working because I’m acutely aware that “What we focus on grows and expands” and all of that.
And yet, I also think there’s enormous value in sharing our vulnerability and real-life struggles so that we know we’re not alone and so that we can help each other through them. And sometimes we have days where it all just feels really hard.Running your own business can feel like a lot of hustle for little return at times. Some days it’s not fun at all. Click To Tweet
It’s OK to feel that way every now and then. It’s part of the natural cycle of things. But it’s important that we find ways to lift ourselves up out of them as quickly as possible.
Today I had one of those days when I sat down at my desk and I couldn’t find my mojo. I’d had a couple of deflating incidents that took the wind out of my sails. My head was full of thoughts like “Who’s going to care if I don’t coach or offer anything today. Maybe I should just go back to my old corporate job.” … and a tirade of other unpleasant thoughts.
It can be hard to pull myself out of those moments at times.
I know I do, and they were especially frequent in in the beginning. I’ve quit my previous corporate career in 2011 after more than fifteen years as a Consulting Engineer. I had finally chosen to follow my heart’s desire to become an entrepreneur because it’s in my blood. I adore freedom, flexibility, adventure, creativity, action, fast-pace living, and creating things that weren’t there before. And I felt that starting my own business was the natural solution to my professional woes.
But I had completely underestimated how hard it would be going back to ground zero.
I was an Engineer who had decided to become a Coach. I had to start all over again in a new field in which I knew very little, had few connections, and required new skills and competencies that were outside of what I’d always known.
One of Sydney’s rising start-up entrepreneurs Jon Westenberg said recently:
And sometimes my building my business has felt like a expensive hobby at times – until I found the right mentors. Finding Marnie and her team at Fempire was the saving grace that allowed me to finally turn things around and set things up to start flourishing and thriving. An important lesson I’ve learned along the way is:There is no quick fix, no overnight solution to building your business. Click To Tweet
It takes a lot of consistent, hard work before you begin to see the fruits of your hard labour. And you absolutely must surround yourself with experienced mentors who have walked the path before you.
There are days when it’s hard to get motivated. It can be hard going it alone. It’s hard being the sole person responsible for generating income from your business. If you don’t work, no money comes in. I’ve read all the promises of the 4-hour work week and ‘passive income’ and while they sound great, it’s much harder to implement in reality.
If you ever get into one of those downward spirals of despair and negativity, here are some strategies to pull yourself back up and out of it and inspired yourself to keep working towards your dreams – because you WILL get there, and you must! The world needs your precious and unique gifts.
1. Force yourself to step away from the desk and take a short break.
If you’re feeling negative, force yourself to step away from the desk. Any action you take while in that negative frame of mind is not going to be productive or inspired. It’s important to get yourself back into a good frame of mind before attempting to do anything at all. Do whatever it takes to re-center and re-align yourself.
2. Get yourself out into nature and do something nourishing for your body, mind or soul.
Get outside into the garden, or go for a walk, or do something uplifting, comforting and nourishing for yourself.
3. Focus on what you love about working for yourself.
Take some time to remember the reasons you decided to work for yourself. Write them down. For example, I remember how much I love the complete freedom and flexibility of my schedule and my pure freedom of creative self-expression. I love the ability I have to work from home, to be there for my kids, and to focus my time on what I want, when I want. What is it that you love about working for yourself?
4. Remember WHY you’re doing it. And get inspired again by your goals.
When you’re in this state of mind, it’s important to reconnect with your VISION and your PURPOSE – your ‘big why’. I remind myself how much pain I felt when I couldn’t find my professional purpose and joy for the longest time. And I think of all the people who have told me how desperately they want to find their joyful business path and to live a life more aligned with their heart and soul and how I must help them. I take the time to go back and read my business inspiration and vision. And then I go back to the exciting goals and vision that I set for my year ahead.
5. Re-read some of the positive feedback from your clients and appreciate the areas where you have traction in your business.
Go back and read or simply remember some of the positive things people have said about your work and the impact you’ve made on them. And spend some time appreciating those areas of your business where you ARE experiencing flow, traction and momentum. Find a way to remember that your work matters and that people need and appreciate what you have to offer.
6. Remember that you’re making progress, even when you can’t yet see the fruits of your labour.
Building a business requires us to continuously plant seeds and they don’t always germinate when we’d like them to, or sometimes they don’t germinate at all. Some days I can feel disheartened when I feel like I’m not seeing any results of my hard work. But then I experience an unexpected surprise or breakthrough and I’m reminded that progress is always being made, even when it doesn’t feel like it.
7. Don’t give up. You just may be on the verge of making a breakthrough! Reach out and get support.
No matter how bad your day is feeling, don’t give up. You might be just about to make a breakthrough. Keep your thoughts and energy focused on the vision you hold and how good it feels to be living your dream, on your own terms. Reach out, get support from the trusted mentors in your circle. It’s OK to ask for help – in fact, you must.
And if all else fails, take a day off, go and do something you love and tomorrow is another day. But most importantly, hang in there. Your people need you and your unique skills.
And if you need support, please reach out to us in the Fempire Academy for moral encouragement and advice on how to move forward. We’re here for you.
Kate De Jong is a blogger and coach who understands what it is like to juggle motherhood and entrepreneurship