It’s tough to run your own business. I know, I really do! Knowing how to keep your head in business when you are faced with a daily barrage of things you should be doing can be difficult. Your day to day life can be crazy; to do lists, signing up to the newest ‘must have’ social media account, doing the latest ‘must do’ course, not missing out on advertising here, not missing out on marketing there, your accounts, your insurance, your website, your blog and all the time trying SO HARD to develop your skills and improve at the ACTUAL thing you are doing as a business! No wonder half the time we run around like a headless chicken, worrying about too much and not achieving anything.
Time to stop, breathe and take a moment. First thing you need to do is congratulate yourself on getting to this point. For many people that idea to do something never goes any further than being a dream. You have done something and that’s amazing to start with. The fact that you are the kind of person to act and follow those dreams and goals means that underneath it all you can cope.
When self doubt pops its head up, remember, we all get the uncertainty. It’s bubbling away under most of us a lot of the time. There are times when I question everything. When I wonder if I have made the right choices, if I can do the things I have committed myself to doing. I have self doubt the same as everyone else. But, no matter how many times this happens I know that I will make it work. I can’t not, because doing what I do is the only thing I want to do. For those of us who have chosen to furrow our own path and have our own business the alternative just doesn’t seem like an option anymore. Would you really choose to give up your own dream and your own goals to go back to a 9-5 job working for someone else?
The reason why we chose to take this route is because we weren’t satisfied with the 9-5. We didn’t want to settle for OK. We wanted to do something we loved, something that drove us, something we took pleasure in and enjoyed so much we couldn’t imagine NOT doing it. Yes, there will be tricky times. Yes, there will be times when you really do question whether your decision was right. But, you know what? The universe has a funny old way of making it work out. If you are open to change and embrace opportunity (no matter how scary it seems) something positive will always be found.
So how do you keep your head in business? How do you manage when it all seems too much? What do you do when you can’t see the end of your to do list or even know where to begin?
1. Remember what’s important.
Why did you start your business? What was it that drove you in the first place? Was it the need to create? To have financial freedom? To do something for yourself? Whatever that starting place was you need to remember it. This is the reason you started your own business. When it all seems a bit too much remember the why and remember what is important to you.
2. Listen to yourself
This is a big one! In a world full of information it is so easy to get overload. Being able to learn is the most wonderful thing in the world. I love to learn new things, to embrace knowledge. But when there is information everywhere how do we choose? So many people giving so much advice. Who do you listen to? Who do you follow? Where do you find the information you need? Agh! I find it too much sometimes and in the past often felt like I was drowning. It’s very easy to take on so much information that you then can’t do anything. You are paralysed by overload. Maybe you have gotten into the bad habit of signing up for so many courses that you do a lot of planning but never actually get round to doing any of the things you have learnt. This is where you need to listen to yourself. Go with your gut instinct and find the voices that most resonate with you. The ones that reflect the passions you have, the outlook you have. Find one or two places of knowledge and learning, commit to those and make sure you follow through and implement what you are learning.
3. Don’t be scared
If you want a business that will be a success (in whatever shape or form that is for you), then you will need to do things that will put you outside of your comfort zone. That’s a good thing! It might be you are worried about making a mistake or concerned that you aren’t good enough. It sounds crazy, but the idea of making your business a success might make you scared. With a successful business comes responsibility, to yourself, to your clients, to others you work with. These can all be daunting things. When the only other option is to not do it at all, then it isn’t really an option. There will always be times when you have to do things that worry you or make you anxious. You have to be brave, face those things and know that in order to make something worthwhile and positive you have to take a risk now and again. The rewards are definitely worth it.
4. Roll with the punches
You won’t always make the right decisions. You might sometimes mess up. You will probably do things that in hindsight you wish you hadn’t! This is all part of the ride. It’s the way you learn and the way you grow. I made daft decisions in the early days of my business. I spent money I shouldn’t have spent on things that did nothing for my business. I worked with clients who were lovely, but really not the right fit for me. But I learned! When something isn’t working, do something different. If something goes wrong, fix it as best you can and make sure it never happens again. We are all human, we are fallible and we learn as we go. Roll with the punches, take the great things and celebrate them. Take the bad things, learn from them and let them go.
5. Be invested
This doesn’t just mean financially. Be invested in your business. Be prepared to do what you need to do to make it work. You don’t necessarily have to give up your life to your business (although, this does often happen in the early days if you aren’t careful), but you need to commit yourself to it. If you aren’t invested it’s too easy to walk away. In that case, what’s the point? If you spend your time copying others and doing it half heartedly then just stop now. Your dream isn’t to be a second rate version of someone else, your dream is to have something that is yours…heart, soul and passion. If you really are serious about making your business work then you need to feel like you have devoted time, effort and your very being into it. When you commit that much (and then commit financially too) it would be very hard to quit. When it gets tough you need to have that investment in yourself more than ever. When you have a self doubt wobble and wonder if it’s all worth it. When you are trying to keep your head and it seems tricky, this commitment you have made will help drive you through.
So, there you go. A few ways to help you keep your head in business. Another really great way to help you when you feel overwhelmed and a lost is to set yourself some goals. This is not a case of adding more to an already busy workload. It gives you something to aim for, reminds you of where you want to be and helps with the tasks you need to do to get there.
Set your big goal, where you want to be ultimately. Then set a number of smaller goals that you can do over the next year to aim towards the big goal. Break those smaller goals down into monthly tasks. Each month choose one of those tasks to do. Slowly you will see yourself achieving the things you really want to that will get you towards your big goal. It’s always easier to do the small tasks one at a time than to try to think of the big goal!
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