Being in business is hard. Being in business is wonderful.
How many times do you skip between those two diverse thoughts in any given week, day or sometimes minute?
If you are anything like me, I bet it’s quite often.
Everything is flowing along quite nicely and then you have to implement something new or someone gives you a mediocre review on Amazon or Etsy and that great mood you were in quickly evaporates.
Here are some tips to help you survive the rollercoaster of business ownership and learn to love those loop-the-loops.
You Are Normal
This is the first thing to recognise. The angst that you are going through is completely normal. Do you think those big league entrepreneurs you look up to never have any moments of doubt; don’t get scared; and don’t wish they could sometimes just sit down and have a cup of tea? I’m sure it gets easier in some respects the more successful you get, as you have some financial backing and some confidence from what you have already achieved; but I’m also sure it gets harder. The more you have achieved, the more people are watching you and the more you have to lose.
You Will Feel Like an Imposter
Even people at the highest level of skill and achievement report that they feel like imposters at times. People that we gasp at how talented they are can sometimes feel like they are about to get caught out and found to be frauds and that the world will come tumbling down around their ears.
Little wonder then that when we tentatively put what we have to offer out into the world we are going to feel so conflicted about it. One minute it’s
‘I freakin’ love this, what I have created is so great‘
‘I’m not sure about this, is anyone going to buy it?‘
These feelings are exhausting, but as time goes on it will get easier.
Haters are Gonna Hate
That’s a very strong headline and maybe hate is the wrong word. Yes there are trolls and other unsavoury people online and there are people who enjoy criticising others. Yes you will get people saying that they don’t like what you do. That those words you have written are stupid and that piece of art you spent hours on is just not quite up to par. But you will also find people who love what you do. Some people are going to say that you are totally the bees’ knees.
Who’s right out of those two camps?
It’s all just a matter of perspective. You don’t have to believe either of them, just hold fast to what you want to create, and do what you want to do. I know that is MUCH easier said than done. I know that I am the most sensitive person in the world if anyone criticises me. I will cry, I will have a little tantrum. But ultimately I will carry on. I’m stubborn that way. Oh and If I’m really down I pump up the volume on this and have a little dance.
You Are Not Alone
When we are going through difficult times it’s easy to think that we are the only ones that bad stuff happens to, that we are alone in our quest. But we’re not. There are people out there (and there have been for centuries) who have tried and failed; and tried and succeeded; people who will be remembered; and people who have long been forgotten. Maybe what matters less though than that is what they did in the moment, how they reached out to others and how they did all they could with what they had.
Surround yourself with people who are going to help you along. People who will support you, give constructive feedback, be a sounding board. That doesn’t have to be just one person. Don’t have friends in the ‘real’ world who understand you and your business? Then find some online.
Get Some Help
You don’t have to struggle to do everything alone. Maybe you need some practical, hands-on help in your business or maybe you need someone to teach you how to do something or show you the path they have already taken. Sometimes you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel (note to myself, the queen of independence) sometimes it’s ok to get great advice and it doesn’t mean you have to lose any part of yourself. Seek those people who can help you out.
Enjoy The Ride
The media tells us that the world around us is a terrible and dark place and there’s no denying that there are awful things happening. But there are also wonderful things. People who do amazing things every single day and who get little to no recognition for it.
We also live in a time when we can all use the tools around us to build what is in our hearts. The much maligned internet gives us access to people of all kinds and the ability to reach out to others. Focus on the good and I believe that will grow, always highlight the bad and the same applies.
No it’s not easy, it’s hard sometimes, but it’s also worth it. Build a business you love, do something you are called to do. It’s not selfish and you totally deserve to succeed (you might not believe that, I struggle with it daily, but I hold on tight to the concept).
When you swing between business is hard and business is wonderful, know that you are right both times. But enjoy the journey.
When times are hard you are slowly climbing that steep slope on the rollercoaster, filled with dread. You grip the bar in front of you, is this going to be wonderful, is this the worst idea in the world? But then you reach the top and the world falls away. You pick up speed, rattling along the tracks, the wind in your hair. You release your grip on the bar and raise your hands high, cheering yourself on for being so amazingly brave. You loop-the-loop over and over, your stomach falls away each time, but the world always reappears right side up and ultimately you glide to the end of your ride.
Whether you love or hate rollercoasters I bet you recognise that scenario from everyday life in your business. And really, would you have it any other way?