Any entrepreneur will agree: Building a business is a process full of epic highs… and abysmally low lows.
And some days those lows feel like they’re coming in way harder and faster than any highs. You feel exhausted, frustrated, lonely, and seriously on the verge of chucking your laptop out the window with your middle finger in the air.
So… what happens then?
I’m asking because a question slid into my inbox recently that went a little like this:
Business has been pretty hard these days. I’m wondering: How do you keep going when you’re despondent building your business?”
Oof. Boy, do I know that feeling.
While it might look like everything is always sunshine and rainbows here in Betty Means Business land, there are still bloody hard days.
Whether you’re just at the starting line of building your business or your a more seasoned entrepreneur? It’s a tough gig. Some days are really great, some days you feel like you’re getting somewhere, and other days you just don’t. It really sucks
You may feel isolated, or alone, or you feel like you have been working yourself ragged, and doing everything everyone else tells you to do, but you’re still not where you thought you’d be.
The first thing I want to say is that if this is you right now, if you’re in this headspace (or if you’ve recently been): You are not alone.
Everyone feels this at some point. We all go through it.
Yep, even crazy successful entrepreneurs with millions of followers have had moments where they’ve wondered if they should keep going in their business or not. They have moments where they feel like it’s bloody hard, they’re worn out, and they feel like they’re all alone.
The good news is: Feeling despondent sucks, but it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you or what you’re doing.
Whew! Take a deep breath. When you’re building a business, some growing pains, challenges, self-doubt and shitty days are normal. (Who was it who said that business can be the biggest personal development journey of all time??)
That said, I’ve learnt that it’s important to know how to bounce back after a shitty day or a failure, back yourself, and keep moving forward. Here’s how I find my way through those moments of despondent haze through the despondent jungle and back into the sunshine. Take a look:
Suggestion 1: Have a very clear vision about what your business is, where you want your business to be, and what you want it to look like.
When you have a clear vision for your business you can revisit on hard days and remind yourself what you’re in this for.
Remember: Your vision can change too, any time you wish.
If the original vision you had for your business isn’t making sense anymore or doesn’t feel like what you really want to be doing? Go and revise it.
This is a “Friday afternoon reset” activity of mine. I have a little ‘vision board’ for my business that reminds me of what I want to create and the kind of person and entrepreneur I want to be. I strongly recommend having one.
When you’re feeling down, having something to look at that inspires and re-centres you can give you a little bit of extra juice, and remind you that you’re on the right track.
If you don’t have a current vision for your business that sets your heart on fire, take some time in the next day or two to create a little vision board of your business, or write about the current iteration of your business, and what you want in the next 6 to 12 months. What would feel really cool and fun for you? What would you enjoy? How would your business feel best?
Suggestion #2: Find and work proven systems.
In the first couple of years of your business when you’re still building things up for yourself, I strongly recommend that you identify a proven step by step process or system, that you can follow.
For example, perhaps that means you invest in a course like The Betty Booked Out Formula and you actually commit to taking action and following every single step. It might mean you work with a business coach, or a strategist, or join a mastermind community. Whatever you choose, having a clear proven roadmap to where you want to go will take a load off your mind.
Note: While there are times in business when I think following someone else’s proven step-by-step formula is the absolute best thing to do, that’s not always the case. Once you’re established in your business, it’s important to freestyle, experiment, run with your strengths, be creative, try something new, and really innovate.
But when you’re not feeling so hot about your business? Go back to the fundamentals. Find a proven roadmap from someone who’s done what you’d like to achieve. It will help you trust that you’re getting somewhere and that you’re not just stumbling around in the dark by yourself.
Suggestion #3: Make it a priority to connect with your community.
Whether that’s a community of friends, business allies, business besties, colleagues, or clients you can connect with — do so.
So many of us become lone wolves in our businesses when there’s absolutely no reason to be. (I’ve done it before too!). You don’t have to do this all by yourself. You don’t have to isolate yourself.
Join a mastermind, or a Facebook group, or a Slack channel, or a group coaching program. Find out where like-minded business owners hang out and join them.
Just being able to connect, share ideas, brainstorm, and to talk to someone who gets it when you say “Fuck, I’ve been blogging every week for months now and I don’t see anything happening. I don’t see anyone really reading my blog posts, I’m feeling fed up about this” can work wonders!
Having even one business bestie who gets it, who’s truly happy to listen, can make all the difference, and make you feel like you’re ready to get back in the saddle.
Suggestion #4: Commit to doing a few simple habits every day.
The habits you choose will depend on your business and your goals. But when you’re feeling despondent, committing to a few tiny practical habits, and completing them each day, can make a massive difference.
Hint: In most cases, those habits should ideally have something to do with sales, marketing, and your own well being.
They don’t need to take all day, either! An impactful daily habit can be a 10-minute thing, half an hour, or maybe take one hour. It doesn’t need to be this really big, overwhelming thing to do — but they could involve the shit that’s on your to-do list all week long that you haven’t gotten to yet. The stuff that scares you. Commit to getting it done.
Suggestion #5: Make a personal commitment to yourself that you’re going to stick with whatever your goals are for a period of time.
I recommend that you commit to go all in on bringing your goals to life for 6 months — and decide to follow a step by step roadmap, or continue with implementing your marketing strategy, no matter what for that period of time.
Then, once you decide, set clear “start” and “end” dates in your calendar, get to work and stick with it. Funnel all the energy you’d normally spend doubting yourself and changing your mind and comparing yourself to others into taking action towards your goals every day. Promise yourself that you’ll review your progress after 6 months.
I bet that you will see a mind-blowing difference in your business if you really focus and say, “I’m committed to taking action and going all in on this,” for six months.
Building a business doesn’t happen overnight. There will be ups, downs, and in-betweens. What matters is how you choose to respond.
I hope you find these suggestions helpful, awesome woman!
And I’d love to know: How do you handle things when you’ve got the business blues? What are your favourite little “fixes” and habits to get you out of your slump and back on the horse?
Drop your tips in the comments below – I’d love to expand on this list!