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Nearing my two years in business milestone, I can honestly say that I underestimated just how mentally taxing running my own business would be at times. I’ve experienced terrible bouts of insomnia, spending all night staring at the ceiling, feeling lost and alone. Then there are the days when everything goes wrong and I’ve thought, “what’s the point in even trying?” But I’ve developed coping mechanisms and a heightened level of awareness as to when the business blues strike.
These are my top six ways to push through.
1. Adjust your mindset
When you choose something different to the traditional 9 to 5 job, you need to accept the unpredictability that comes with it. Some months, you’ll have more work than you can manage and then others, things will be dead quiet. We’ve all had that experience of losing a couple of clients quickly, making you feel on edge. Believe in yourself, know that something else is around the corner and don’t work yourself up into a panic. It won’t help!
2. Watch what you’re putting into your body
We’ve all had those days when we’re feeling lethargic and down on ourselves. Reaching for a chocolate bar or ice cream might make you feel happy momentarily, but you’re not doing yourself any favours in the long-run. Similarly, while alcohol might help to dull the pain, reality is, your problems won’t magically fade away. Your body is the most important thing you’ll ever take care of – provide it with what it needs to power through the day. A healthy mind and body helps you to build a thriving business.
3. Send your inner workaholic on holiday
It is okay and absolutely necessary to give yourself a break. For the first six years of my career, I worked 24/7 until the wheels slowly started falling off and my body forced me to take it easier. You don’t want to reach that point. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty because you enjoy your weekends and nights – think back to why you started your own business to begin with. Chances are it was because you yearned for a lifestyle the traditional workplace can’t give you.
4. Find a supportive tribe
The internet means we can communicate with people all around the world easily. Find online networking groups where you can be honest and open with other like-minded business owners. Where you can jump on, be authentic, get something off your chest and lean on others. The Business Experiment, Women Supporting Women and Business Business Business Facebook pages are good places to start.
5. Allow yourself to feel what you need to feel
We all experience setbacks in business and it’s okay to feel bitterly disappointed. Honestly, in two years of business, I could never have even predicted some of the challenges I’ve faced and each of them has hit me hard. It’s okay to feel frustrated, angry and so on… it’s not okay to give up. Have a point where you cut yourself off from moping and start chipping away at your goals again.
6. Keep the lines of communication open with yourself
Pushing away whatever it is you’re thinking or feeling does not work. Trust me, I’ve tried. Inevitably, whatever is going on in your mind and heart, will surface. There is nothing more valuable than self-awareness in business – make sure you’re communicating with yourself. Write things down, keep a journal, record your thoughts and feelings at the end of the day on your phone… whatever works for you!