This weekend I went to visit my husband where he is currently working, 6 hours away in the middle of Alaska. We had a great visit but when we went to leave for home, my car broke down—talk about new levels of surrender, sheesh!
While we wait for our car to be repaired we are spending time hanging out in a sleepy little town that’s so quiet you can hear when a car drives in or out of town. There’s a little school nearby and today I walked my son there to play. I watched as he tried over and over to master his ‘zipline’—the metal handle that goes back and forth between two sets of old tires and some even older wooden posts.
As he fell in many different ways, over and over again, I felt the urge rise to tell him to quit the zipline and pick something easier to play on.
And then I stopped.
The fun he was having was because it was a challenge. How bored would we be if things always worked out the way we planned? If we never tried to master new skills.
And that thought made me reflect on my business this summer and how things haven’t really gone as planned.
I spent money where I shouldn’t have.
Nailing down a schedule seemed nearly impossible.
I got sick and had some really, really bad days.
But maybe that’s ok. Maybe I picked the path of an entrepreneur because I like the challenge of trying and failing and getting back up over and over again.
So what has helped keep the tiny black cloud of Eeyore from following me around over my head?
Gratitude, Gratitude, Gratitude
This might sound simplistic but there is deep and powerful energy in feeling gratitude every day. Not the guilty gratitude I sometimes catch myself repeating—the things-could-be-worse mantra. A simple, daily practice of writing out the things that I am grateful for and really meaning it. From the organic instant decaf coffee that is sometimes so comforting to the smell of blooming lilacs outside my door.
A few weeks ago I uncharacteristically put up a post in one of my favorite business Facebook groups on a particularly hard day. The support, encouragement, genuine offers of help and just understanding from the other members totally blew me away. The most surprising part for me was the private messages I received from other business owners who were also going through their own business challenges.
That post reminded me about the amazing relationships I have built—not just with other business owners but with clients, as well. We brainstorm together, share tips and tricks, laugh at the craziness of it all and end up better for it.
I don’t know about you but most people in my ‘real’ life don’t have any idea about what I do in my online business. And while both types of relationships are equally important, building this business would be very lonely without these other women to keep me company, even if only virtually.
Don’t be afraid to reach out—someone could need your particular brand of sassiness as much as you need to share pictures of the 997th time you have rearranged your office. If you haven’t found your crew yet, keep looking. There’s a space for everyone. Don’t give up until you find it.
One BIG Reason
Are you as sick of hearing about finding your mythical why as much as I am? Because I definitely am. But…
The reason people say to find your why is because when you:
- just signed up for (another) mini-course that you’ll watch after the kids are in bed
- spent more money on a mastermind than you have saved for your kids’ college education
- stay up till 1 am meeting a deadline because you were sick last week
- have the hardest days in business and you think about how much easier it would be if just quit already…
Your why is what will make you get up the next morning and try again. And again. And again. It isn’t just important. It’s the one thing that will keep your business going when everything else fails.
Find your why
So there you have it, my little business owner survival guide.
I hope it finds you basking in the fun side of challenges and enjoying this crazy ride.