I’m not usually one to focus my time and energy on things that aren’t working because I’m acutely aware that ‘What you focus on grows’ 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. Sometimes it sucks. And it’s OK to feel that way every now and then. It’s part of the natural cycle of things.
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; several people unsubscribing from my email list, very little engagement on an offer I put out that I’d been really excited about. All a very normal part of doing business, but sometimes those things feel deflating nonetheless. My head was full of thoughts like “Who’s going to care if I don’t coach or publish 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 yourself out of those moments. Because starting your own business is hard. And there are days when we just want to give up on the dream.
I’ve learned over the years that there’s unfortunately no shortcut to establishing a thriving, profitable business.
And some days it feels like you’re putting your work out into a vacuum. Those are the days when it’s hard to get motivated. It’s hard being in business for yourself, being the sole person responsible for generating income. If you take time off, no money comes in, particularly in those early years. I’ve read all the promises of the 4-hour work week and ‘passive income’ and while they sound great, they’re not things you can set up when you’re in startup mode.
If you ever get into one of those downward spirals of despair and negativity, here are some tips on how to pull yourself back up and out of it. These are some of the things that help me on a regular basis when I get into a funk.
1. Force yourself to step away from the desk and take a short break.
Because 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. If you need some inspiration on how to do that, I wrote about 10 ways to do that in my blog article:
Soul-Care – 10 Ways To Comfort Your Being In Times of Overwhelm.
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? I wrote about mine here: Quitting the Rat Race: 5 Reasons Why You Should Break Free and Follow Your Heart.
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 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 career path and to live a life more aligned with their heart and soul. 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, which I do each year through Quest with Jeffrey Davis at Tracking Wonder.
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.
7. Don’t give up. You just may be on the verge of making a breakthrough!
No matter how bad your day is feeling, don’t give up. You might be just about to make a touchdown. 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. If you need help staying tuned in to positive energy and the flow of abundance, take a look at my article How to Create More of What You Want Using the Law of Attraction – Part 1.
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. The world needs your precious gifts!
Are you doing all the right things when it comes to growing your business?
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And if you ever need to reach out for some moral support, I’d love to connect with you. You can reach me at [email protected]
In service to helping you live your brightest life,
Kate De Jong, Ph.D
Fempire Coach for Thriving Female Entrepreneurs