Building a business is hard work.
It takes grit, perseverance, determination, and persistence.
It’s most definitely not for the faint-hearted.
And building your own business confronts you with all of your insecurities, fears, and doubts about yourself, raising questions like:
- Who am I to do this work?
- Why would anyone choose to work with me when my competitors are younger, smarter, and further along?
- How will I ever make enough money?
- What have I got to offer?
That little inner voice is debilitating and completely takes the wind out of your sails.
If this sounds like you, you’re not alone.
So many female entrepreneurs struggle with these fears, doubts and insecurities. We see it all the time with our clients. And I’ve been through it myself so many times too (trust me, I know what you’re going through!).
Fear, doubt and insecurity are a natural part of stepping outside of your comfort zone. Those little voices come from that primitive part of your brain that’s designed to keep you ‘safe’. They don’t want you to step outside of the hut because you might get eaten by a mammoth. When you’re building your business you have to put yourself out there in a big way and open yourself up to judgement, criticism, and unsolicited feedback.
It’s scary and very uncomfortable!
Not to mention all the doubts you have about our own capabilities and competence.
It can be hard to pull yourself out of those situations where you spiral into self-doubt and fear. And there are days when you just want to give up on the dream. I know, I have them too, those days where I ask myself:
Wouldn’t it be easier to just go back and get a job?
I’ve learned over the years that there’s unfortunately no shortcut to establishing a thriving, profitable business.
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 revenue, particularly in the early days when your revenue is dependent on your time and input. I’ve read all the promises of the 4-hour work week and ‘passive income’ and while they sound great, those are things that take time to build, and that advice is unhelpful when you’re in startup mode (which lasts for 1-3 years!). If you’re not familiar with the 6 stages of business growth, check out my article here.
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. Remember why you started your business.
When you’re in this state of mind, it’s important to reconnect with your personal and business ‘why’.
What is it that made you start your business in the first place?
What’s the important contribution that you want to make through your work?
Who’s going to miss out on receiving the benefits of your work if you decide to succumb to fear and insecurity and not show up?
If you’re not clear on your business ‘why’ yet, check out Simon Sinek’s video How Great Leaders Inspire Action and answer this sentence for yourself: “Because I believe….”
2. Get out a piece of paper and write down all the things that make you awesome.
I’m serious, you need to do this exercise if you’re feeling fearful and doubtful. Get out a pen and paper and write down your answers to these questions:
- What have you achieved, overcome, and created in this lifetime?
- What are your unique strengths and talents?
- What qualifications have you achieved, or awards have you won, or things have you accomplished over your life and career?
- What do your best friends say about you? What would they say if you were gone?
Remember and reconnect to all the positive things about yourself. So often we get focused on what’s ‘not there’ and forget to remember everything that ‘is already there’.
Remind yourself of just how awesome you are and believe it in your bones! Because it’s true.
3. 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. Find a way to remember that your work matters and that people need and appreciate what you have to offer.
4. 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?
To stimulate your ow thinking, you can read what I wrote about mine here: Quitting the Rat Race: 5 Reasons Why You Should Break Free and Follow Your Heart.
5. Force yourself to step away from the desk and take a break.
Any action you take while in a 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-centre and re-align yourself.
Perhaps you could get outside into the garden, or go for a walk, or do something uplifting, comforting and nourishing for yourself.
If you’re really struggling, please try some of the tips I outline in this article: Soul-Care: 10 Ways to Comfort Yourself in Time of Overwhelm.
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?
Get your FREE copy of THE FEMPRENEUR SUCCESS HANDBOOK and discover all the tactics and strategies that have helped my clients achieve sustainable business success within the shortest amount of time!
And if you ever need to reach out for some moral support, I’d love to connect with you.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In service to helping you live your brightest life,
Kate De Jong, Ph.D
Fempire Coach for Thriving Female Entrepreneurs