The entrepreneurial roller coaster is one hell of a ride… we can go from feeling total excitement and exhilaration, to complete fear and panic because we have no idea what’s around the next corner.
Of all the things I have ever done in my life, running my own business has been the most emotionally challenging. The ups and downs, twists and turns and unpredictability of each and every day, was not something I was fully prepared for. When you think of someone working for themselves, or working from home, most people only focus on the positive aspects of how fantastic it must be to be your own boss, to choose your own hours, make your own decisions and to avoid the dreaded daily commute. All of these things are great, but they are only one part of the ride. In reality:
I would often find myself battling with motivation, especially when my energy levels were low because I was struggling with clarity over the direction of my business, I was working too many hours, or when the results just weren’t coming no matter what I did. It felt like I was constantly giving and yet not getting what I needed.
I would have days where I felt overwhelmed and I would struggle to connect with the passion I once felt for this work. There was just so much to do and think about…..have a strategy, follow all the advice, plan content, create content, make new connections, nurture your existing list, grow your list, answer queries and show up consistently on social media. The ‘to do’ list was and still is never ending. You need to get your head around this, because when you run your own business, you’ll be doing the work you love and feel passionate about, but everything else needs to be done too. In time you’ll be able to delegate and lean on a team, but in the early days you just have to get it done!
My mood would dip when things got hard and I would wonder if all the time, effort and money I was putting into developing myself and the business was worth it and self doubt often crept in – ‘can I do this’, ‘am I any good at this’, ‘will enough people want to work with me’ and that’s before we even get to self sabotage and upper limiting once things start to get moving. When you work for yourself, it’s essential that you pay attention to self care, because this keeps our mood and energetic vibration high, but we often place this on the back burner and tell ourselves that exercise, sleep, water, meditation, downtime and clean eating is not a priority right now and this means we often end up unwell and on the edge of burn out!
I would have guilt over having to put my business and clients before the kids, because otherwise the bills wouldn’t be paid that month. In the early days it would lead to embarrassment and shame that I wasn’t earning more. I was comparing myself to ‘overnight sensations’ (which of course don’t really exist) and wondering why I couldn’t make that happen. Lots of self forgiveness work needed there I can assure you…tapping and meditation were my supporting tools of choice, but more on that shortly.
The constant ups and downs of the entrepreneurial ride for me and, was often dictated by the feast and famine of money… I was in flow and trusting, money was coming easily, until it wasn’t and I was back to anxiety, panic, fear, hustle and exhaustion. I knew I needed to trust more in myself, the process and in something bigger than me, but at times it was tough. Having a dream and knowing you are meant for more, is not enough. You need to have a plan, take action and then believe.
In amongst all this would be moments of pure joy, love and gratitude for the life I was living. I was getting paid to do something I loved and would happily do for free, I was picking and choosing my own hours, I could put my kids first, I was making a difference to people and the world and receiving incredible feedback… the rush was immense and I felt like the luckiest person alive.
So, if you’ve chosen to jump on this ride, then I understand what you’re going through, because I’m still riding this roller coaster. Maybe my challenges are different to yours right now and have changed over the years, but I’m still experiencing the constant ups and downs and those moments of exhilaration…..just like you!
Let me share some things to help and make this ride a little less wild at times, because when you have your own business, you are the most important asset, so taking care of it is essential. Here are some things to think about:
- How much sleep do you need to be firing on all cylinders? Think about what needs to be done that day, detailed and technical work, content creation, being creative and coming up with new ideas or perhaps writing, or maybe holding space for others. You will not be at your best without the right amount of sleep for you. So what do you need?
- Drink plenty of water. It helps to flush out all the toxins, it keeps your mind alert, it helps you to concentrate and it gives you energy for the day ahead. There is nothing wrong with a good coffee, but when you begin to rely on it as a means of getting through the day, you know something has to change.
- What diet is best for you and are there foods you should avoid? Certain foods will cause you to feel tired and to have brain fog. Not ideal if you need to be at your best. Sugar and wheat are big triggers for me, but it’s different for everyone.
- Do you need to commit to more exercise? When you move your body, the endorphins start to flow, making you feel better and giving you energy. I always have some of my best ideas when on the cross trainer or out walking.
- What boundaries need to be in place and where do you need to say no more? If certain people or situations drain you of energy, lovingly assert your boundaries. Perhaps you do too much for free for people or you’re too accessible to your clients… put boundaries in place and start doing what feels right for you.
- How many hours should you work each day/week? You’ll know when you’ve done too much, because you’ll feel overly exhausted and want to crash every weekend. I know things change during big projects or launches, but generally what is your magic number?
- Do you need regular body work? For example, Massage, Reiki, Acupuncture, Kinesiology etc etc. Looking after the energetic balance of our body is so important, because so many of our emotions are stored in the body. You need to be physically well to deal with all of the demands of running a business and the last thing you want is your body letting you down.
- Working on your mindset is crucial if you want to battle and win against the inner critic. You could choose to set aside some time each day to journal, tap and meditate, or work with someone to support you in this. This is something that I do every single day with clients and I love being that source of support for others, so make sure you know who you can lean on and trust to work through those sneaky stories and limiting beliefs.
- Consider what supplements would support your mind and body. If you’re unsure, work with a nutritionist or Kinesiologist.
- Use essential oils. As someone who loves smells, I am using an Aromatherapy kit that it helping with all the emotions I mentioned above. I use in my jewellery, on my body and in a diffuser every single day and they are like a survival kit for me right now.
- Be clear on the things and people that inspire, motivate and energise you? Listen to them, watch them, spend time with them and learn from them.
Remember, if you want this business to be sustainable, you must look after your most important asset….. YOU!
So what actions are you committed to today?
Till next time!
Mindset Coach & EFT Practitioner
Helping the empowered woman who is ready to banish negativity, self-doubt & self-sabotage forever – time to believe in yourself and take action!