As an entrepreneur, I know what it is like to be doing something I am incredibly passionate about. I love the feeling of being in the zone, working with my clients, helping them to uncover their gifts and talents. I know it is what I was born to do.
I also know about the stresses of being an entrepreneur; the days that can be filled with fear and desperation. I know it more than I have ever wanted to. I remember a particular time, not too long ago, when all I wanted to do was stay in bed, pull the covers over my head and make all the stress and worry go away. I was just plain tired. I had put so much time and effort into my business and yet I was still struggling. Even the quick fix everybody suggested of getting a “real job” wasn’t yielding results. I distinctly remember one day, sitting on my couch in a state of pure numbness, going through all of the possible options that would get myself out of the mess I had made and coming to the painful realization that there wasn’t any magical solution, and no prince was going to save me. The only way out of the mess was to go through it.
I venture to guess that many business owners or entrepreneurs have been where I have been, in some form or another, and would agree with me when I say:
• Building a business is work
• It doesn’t happen overnight
• There is not one magic blueprint that you can buy or download that is going to be the absolute solution. Your business is unique to you; what works for one person may not work for you.
• Trying to build a business in a state of panic or desperation does not work.
• You can’t make decisions out of fear.
So what do you do when you’re overwhelmed, tired and frustrated? The first thing to do is breathe. I am here to tell you that there is hope and there is a brighter tomorrow. I know this because even in the most fearful and chaotic times, I was able to find peace. Finding peace and calm amongst the chaos is not only critical to your sanity, but the only way that you can make thoughtful and empowered decisions. It is only from a place of calm where the answers will be revealed, and you will find the strength to continue.
It is possible. Let me tell you 3 simple tools that saved my sanity.
You must live in the Now.
“As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love – even the simplest action.” ― Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
Think about your past, it is only a memory. Now think about your future, it is only an illusion. The only thing that exists is the present moment. Learning this simple truth changed my life! If you find yourself stressed and worried, bring yourself back to the present moment and ask yourself these 3 questions:
Am I safe?
Am I loved?
Am I capable?
There has never been a time that I have answered no to any of these questions. Even in the toughest situations, I was always safe, I was always loved, and I was always capable of finding a way to keep on keeping on. Just this simple exercise always brought me back into a place of empowerment. It also brought me into a place of gratitude because I knew I had so much to be grateful for. When you come at any problem or situation from a state of gratitude and empowerment, knowing that you are safe, loved, and capable, you can make wise choices. You may not have all the answers, but you are capable of finding them. Think about all the ‘now’s you can string together to create the tomorrow that you desire.
This word has gotten a bad rap over the years. So many people associate it with throwing in the towel and admitting defeat. I look at surrender as admitting that you don’t have the answer. Imagine for a moment that your problems and solutions are bouncing around in your head, trying to find a match. There is limited space and the only solutions are from your limited experiences. Now imagine opening your head like a zipper, so the challenges can fly out to be matched with an infinite amount of solutions. Surrendering is opening yourself up to possibilities that your own limited thinking can’t provide. Take whatever challenge you are facing and give it up to a higher authority and then watch for the solution to appear. The answer may come in the form of inspiration, a thought or idea, or perhaps a new connection. Hint: Let go of what you think the answer should look like. When finances were a struggle, I thought the only solution was more clients. I was so attached to that answer, I didn’t consider other possibilities. When more clients were not appearing, I got frustrated, angry and shut down. If you are attached to only one outcome, you may miss out on other opportunities that are trying to appear. Live in the question “what solution will appear?” and see what unfolds.
Ask for support
Don’t be afraid to talk about what you need. One resource that I have found to be incredibly valuable are online groups (I run one as well). There are so many wonderful online communities that you can join that will help support you. The key is that you have to put yourself. Recently, I sent out text messages and Facebook messages to people and friends and told them what I needed. I was amazed at the amount of people who stepped up and helped me tap into resources I had never thought of. The perfect solution appeared; one that I would have never thought to ask for. Had I stayed isolated and not sought help, my life would be very different today. The key is that you need to step outside of yourself and ask for help. Open yourself up to people outside of your normal community of close friends and family, as sometimes it is better to get an outside perspective from people that have more distance from the situation. There are so many online groups and local networking groups that you can join that will help you work through challenges, give you feedback and support you. I have made some amazing connections from people who I call friends, even though they live on the other side of the world and I may never meet in person.
Stop trying to do it on your own.
I am a business coach and I believe a good one, but there was a time that I was so afraid to reach out to people because I thought that I should have all the answers. What I realized was struggling didn’t mean I was failing, I just needed help. I isolated myself and tried to do it all on my own. Although doing it on my own has given me valuable tools and resources that I can pass along to my clients, I didn’t do myself any favors. Building a business is work, but it doesn’t have to be hard work. Let others in so that they can support you and help you see the obstacles that you may not be seeing. If you are isolating yourself from people and support, you are also isolating yourself from clients. If you have tried doing it on your own and aren’t getting results, I encourage you to seek outside resources.
Life is filled with ups and downs. Know that you are never alone and that there are so many resources and people out there ready, willing and able to help you get to where you want to go. Remember, to stay present as that is where the magic starts to happen. Nothing can be solved by living in the past, or worrying about the future.
I would love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below.
How I can help….
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Every day I work with people that are struggling to figure how to grow their business. They are overwhelmed and just need a plan. My specialty is turning your stress into a business and life plan to achieve your goals.
Does this sound familiar?
- Do you have a lot of plans and ideas but aren’t sure how to execute them?
- Are there pieces to your business that are missing (social media, lead capturing, etc.) but you don’t have the time or training to implement them?
- Are you struggling with limiting beliefs but don’t know how to make changes?
- Do you have a team that isn’t working as a team?
- Are you just plain overwhelmed?
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