What to do when entrepreneurship gets to you
by JP Otto Nov 11 2019
What to do when entrepreneurship gets to you.
Entrepreneurship is a lonely road.
You think it can’t be that difficult, you are good at what you do and the value you can add to anyone that works with you will be enough for them to come back for more, or at least, refer you to someone that will need your service.
At the start you are fired up, you work hard to get all the stationary, email addresses, domain name etc. etc. right (which is all the things that does not really matter) and when all is set and done, you need to actually start doing business.
With the excitement still there, you start with the day to day operations of the business. You need to get some clients so you can get some cash flow to operate with. You plan to use this cash flow you generate for things like marketing, accounting services, fuel to get you to your clients etc.
At month 1 and 2 (or any other month when things are slow) you are still positive. You still have some money in the bank that will last you another month or two. By month 3 and 4 you start to get worried. This does not help at all. You are now starting to doubt your decision and wonder why you have done this in the first place.
Sometimes, 6 to 12 months can go buy and although you have a couple of clients, or sold some goods, it is not half enough to pay all the bills.
Now you get frustrated, scared and negative. Why is this so hard you ask? What can I do?
I am an entrepreneur and so, I have been here a couple of times. So this is what I do when the entrepreneurial blues strike.
1. Take the day off.
Sometimes, entrepreneurs also need a break. We are human after all. We work hard to keep our businesses afloat. Keeping on going and going is not always the best idea.
You need sleep, relaxing time and friends.
When I get at a place when the negativity and frustration gets too high, I take the day off.
I take my favourite book and read all day. I take an afternoon nap and read some more.
There is a catch to this though.
If you do take the day off, do not do it with resentment or feeling guilty. That will have the opposite effect and will increase the stress levels you are trying to escape. Just tell yourself that you have worked hard and that you deserve a break. If that does not work, do the opposite and just say #%$& this and do it because you can.
This is one of the most powerful changes you can make that can take you from feeling down to feeling great in a couple of minutes.
Think about it. What do you have now, that you did not have when you worked a job? And visa versa. You don’t have a boss that is expecting you to do this and that. You have all the time you need to do the things you could not do when you had a job. You can go to your child’s game, you can schedule your day as you please and there is no-one that gets in your face. No co-workers that irritate you and no timesheet to fill in.
Sometimes my house looks like a Christmas tree. What I do is to use sticky notes and stick them all over the house. Each time I see it, I think of something I am grateful for. Try it and you will be surprised at the outcome.
The trick here is to move the sticky notes every so often. They become part of the furniture and you do not see them anymore. If you don’t believe me, what is on your bookmark, or your desktop or on your fridge? We see these things so often that we don’t see them at all.
Running your business becomes hectic. There are so many things to do and get done that sometimes the business run you rather than the other way around. The blues can set in when at the end of a week, when you were so busy that you forget to eat, you feel like you have not accomplished anything. Where did all the days go? How can it be Friday already?
When you get at this point, is a good exercise to just sit back and stop. Look at what are the important things in your life, not your business, but your life. What are the things that give you energy, what are the things that is most important and that you can’t live without?
Sit and plan what you think your routine should be like. Write it down and stick it to where you will see it every day when you walk into the office (remember the move it around trick). The routine can be to stop at your list first each day to look at what you need to do for the day.
You will, 100% miss the mark in the first couple of days. That is OK, you can rethink and rewrite with the new knowledge from the week before. When you get a routine going, it stops you from thinking about whether you should do it. You just do it.
4. Take a cold shower (just for the brave).
A cold shower, will change your life if you can keep at it. It actually lets you sleep better at night. Trust me.
The reason why a cold shower works is that when you have done it, you feel like you can conquer the world. It tells your brain that you are in charge. I promise you that when you stand in front of the cold water, your brain will tell you that you are crazy and that you will not be able to do it in any case so why try. Then when you do it, you feel amazing.
There is a reason legends like Toney Robins do this every day. You do overcome the negative self-talk when you get through it.
5. YouTube Motivational Videos.
For some this works, for other it does nothing.
For me, it works wonders. If I feel like the day or week is just too much, I just search YouTube for motivational videos. I like Less Brown and some of the speeches from the greats.
If motivationals does not work for you, try other videos. Maybe a funny video or your favourite song will pick you up. Just try and see. If it works, you know what to do next time. Just remember that this is not the time to get hooked on YouTube videos and waste time. It happens easily so watch out.
We are all human. Sometimes we forget that the guys at the top, also had days like these. Luckily all of us are different. We need different stimulus and some things work for some and not for others. No-one will go through this life without the hard times. You just need to get through today. Tomorrow is another day. If something was that important, you would have done it.
I hope you can try some of these when you feel the blues come and that it will help you to get through it in one piece.