Road To Being An Entrepreneur
If you ever feel lonely, stressed and broke in your business – know you are not alone. Founding a business, starting on that road to entrepreneurship, seeking to grow or recreate a profitable online/offline enterprise can be extremely emotionally, mentally and physically, draining. And I don’t think we talk enough about the personal challenges that most go through to get a business started and what it takes to just do all the stuff that needs to be done to maintain a profitable business.
So that’s the topic of today – lost, lonely and stressed!
Part of the challenge for those in business today, especially in an online business is the constant feeling that we need to put on a happy face, portray our wonderful life, all the while being authentic and telling our own story. Even when it is acknowledged that things aren’t always wonderful, the advice to “stay positive” and “keep the faith” can feel almost impossible. So many I talk to on their entrepreneurial journey talk about times of feeling stressed, lonely and broke, yet it’s not something always talked about in public. So, can you relate to any of these?
I totally can. Being here in China, I have been hit by these feelings many times so today I want to talk about these three areas, three things that I believe all entrepreneurs will face and how to learn to love, respect and honour these areas as part of the journey.
(1) Loneliness – Be Okay With Being Alone
Here in China, it may sound like a contradiction, surrounded by literally millions of people in a country where culture, thinking and language is completely different, it can be so very lonely. Sometimes it totally feels like it’s just me against the world. Mostly surrounded by those in jobs, seeking the comfort of a regular income, no one really understanding what I do or why I do it. In many cases being a “coach” is perceived as someone having fun with a hobby, that will never become something more. And, no matter where you are in the would, be ready for this. Because, ultimately for most, your business will be your dream, your vision, your journey. There will be many times when it will just be you. Late nights of hard work. Persistently looking for new opportunities. Creating new webinars, trainings and marketing promotions. Continually learning new things and upskilling yourself to stay ahead of the competition. So here’s what I do:
- In my loneliest moments, surrounded by millions, it’s usually just me and my laptop. And, over the years, I have come to love the solitude when it’s just me, my laptop, my thoughts and ideas. I have come to embrace these times and use them to fill my cup in whatever shape or form that may take at the time.
- In my loneliest moments, I see that the real qualities that have made me a successful, independent business owner, having control over my life, come from within and from learning how to use times of loneliness to build my strength, persistence and character.
- In my loneliest moments I am reminded of my own humanity, helping me to have compassion for others, having a sharpened sensitivity to others who may experience times of loneliness in business.
- In my loneliest moments I ensure that those in my life are there as support in times of need, not vampires or leeches who use me, drain me of my energy, time and willpower.
(2) Stress – Making Different Choices
Yes, owning a business is stressful, and you really can’t escape that fact. Every part of business has the potential to stress you out and keep you up at night. Lack of sales, debt, not enough money, too much money, what to charge, creating new products, answering emails, no time off, branding, networking, the list goes on. Your brain will constantly be going, nonstop, even when you’re trying to sleep. All your problems and thoughts will be whirling around, making you tired, often overwhelmed and anxious. So here’s what I do:
- When I’m stressed, I reach for a pen and paper. When my brain won’t shut down, I write everything down that my mind is trying to process. I call it brain dumping. I’ll write down my problem and possible solutions. I make lists of everything I think that needs doing. I doodle and draw pictures and note down any other miscellaneous thoughts that come up. Sometimes this can take a while, and it’s worth it. After I write everything down, I feel relief. Nope I don’t have all the answers and my brain feels so much more lighter, I feel more in control, more relaxed. For some reason when it’s on paper I feel like I have everything sorted, everything is simply waiting, and I don’t have to worry about forgetting anything.
- When I’m stressed, when I’m just not getting anywhere, I have learnt to take breaks, just 10 minutes, to move my body and refresh my brain, even if only for 10 minutes. Sometimes I pop outside and go for a quick walk. Maybe I just make myself a coffee. Often I go out on to the balcony and watch the world passing. Just those 10 minutes can give me new energy to tackle whatever it is I was doing. When I truly come to a standstill and find myself becoming super stressed about something that’s just not coming together for me, I have also learnt the value in putting it all away and coming back to it another day.
- When I’m stressed, I find music, massage and me time is essential. Here in China massage is a core to health, from your head to your toes and everything in between. This I must say is a huge stress relief for me, helping me to relax, for 45 minutes put everything aside and focus inward instead of outward.
(3) Broke – Embrace Uncertainty & Risk
This is not a place I wish for anyone and it’s the place most of us start and may hit at other times in our entrepreneurial journey. And yes not everyone starts from or ever experiences this state in business and I believe they are the minority. I totally applaud those who start a brand online without even realising, create a post that goes viral, post an image that’s made to be a successful influencer on Instagram, or land a huge first client that pays all the bills and some. And it’s wasn’t me, it’s not me and I’m assuming, it’s not you! It’s actually not most of us and definitely not any of those who we read of that have started from nothing and worked their butts off, Tony Robbins, Mark Zuckerberg, Thomas Edison, Elon Musk, Henry Ford and many, many more. And you know what?
- In hindsight, it’s the best way you can have it. When you start with nothing, you have nothing to lose and the skills you develop set you up for a life time! Rather than going on autopilot and just spending wherever you choose. Every dollar is significant. Every investment you make, you look for returns. Every cost gets scrutinised. If you thought you weren’t the money man in your business, think again. Learning about money, your ideas around money, totally opens your mind to another world and can actually give you control that you never thought you had.
- With nothing to lose, you completely dedicate your time and energy to doing whatever it is you need to do to be a success. You embrace the uncertainty and risks. You very quickly understand the real meaning of hard work both mentally and physically. You soon learn the art of survival!
- You learn so much about yourself, your strengths and your weaknesses. When you can get over such periods of being broke and still keep hustling on your business, you can get through anything in life. It’s what shapes you, helps you feel productive, lets you make a difference, and gives you the dream lifestyle and business you desire, you deserve.
For all the excitement and thrill that comes with business, there will be loneliness, stress and times when money or lack of it causes concerns. Be real, be honest and authentic always and take heart knowing that you’re not alone and the situation is not hopeless. Create habits that support you. Maintain relationships that energise you. Develop inner skills that will take you to the top!
Are you looking to uncover your next adventure, whether it be launching or growing a business or creating a lifestyle change? Are you unsure what to do? Are you feeling alone and stressed? Or are you simply putting it off, scared of making the wrong choice, the wrong move? Awesome then guess what, you’re in the right place!
Book a free 20-minute “Million Dollar Breakthrough Session” with me, let’s get clear on where you want to be, what’s holding your back and create an action plan to have you move forward. Book a MDB Session with me NOW and connect on Facebook for more tips and tricks to grow your business, enhance your life. Download my Dare to Thrive Guide for some great first steps.
Check out my radio show on Dare To Thrive on Coach on Fire Radio/I-heart Radio.