Sometimes in life, we face obstacles. We all have faced and overcome countless challenges in life, and those experiences make us the person that we are today.
But starting your own business is different. It’s personal. You pour your heart, your soul into your work. You spend all of your spare time working, in line at Trader Joe’s, running to the bathroom during a sports game to get a quick post up. You literally dream up your next projects.
Starting and running a business is fun, exciting, hopefully fulfills your passions and lets you express your talents. But being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. Someone once told me working for someone else is like being on a hamster wheel, you do the same things over and over. You are not in charge of your own destiny. And being an entrepreneur is like pushing a boulder uphill. Sometimes in the snow. Barefoot.
If you are like me, you welcome the boulder with open arms because you get to do you. You are in charge of your schedule, your daily calendar. You decide when to work, whom to work with, and only you decide what your work will look like. It’s like having another baby. When I still ran Club MomMe, I frequently called it my third baby. I worried and agonized over it just as I would one of my children.
The thing is, at times your kids go through difficult stages. Maybe they aren’t sleeping. Maybe they are moody or cranky. And you as the parent have to deal with it and figure out a path forward.
And the same holds true for business. I’ve had at least three friends tell me in the past week they want to give us and quit their blogs and corresponding social channels. The Instagram Algorithm has changed, their blog traffic is down, the “s” in their https is not working and their site is all funky.
They see others online, seemingly living a perfect life as an entrepreneur and mama. And because their business is social, they HAVE to see other people’s posts and engage on them. It’s a twisted system designed to make anyone feel bad on their worst days.
But here is the thing… we ALL go through this. Every. Single. Last. One of us. We have all been there. We all have bad days where our photos accentuate our flaws, our inbox is quiet, and everyone else seems to be working with the “it brand” but you.
I’m here to tell you mama, it’s going to be OKAY. I promise. I have been there. I experience it myself. Everyone experiences it. In a business where everyone’s successes and collaborations are flaunted (not necessarily intentionally) it is perfectly natural to compare, to feel less than, to feel down. To feel like a failure and not enough.
It’s okay to feel that way. They are your feelings. Acknowledge them. Throw a pity party for them (I usually grab some dairy-free pinkberry, take a bath and online shop while texting friends how much I suck). And then… move on.
The only truth in social media is that there is constant change. Just when you have figured things out, it will change. Just like your kids! Every time I feel like an amazing mom, like I really have things figured out, they enter some new stage and it can send you down a dizzying spiral.
Don’t let it! As Dr. Seuss said, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
I like Dr. Seuss, I went to college in La Jolla where he lived and my college’s library was named after him. Besides teaching kids to read and rhyme, the words of Dr. Seuss should guide you on your difficult days where you want to give up.
Only YOU can be YOU. No one else. You offer a unique perspective, something that no one else can do. You be you. Search within, and make sure you are really being true to yourself. I use slow periods as an opportunity to self-reflect and examine what is working and what is not. What I am doing that I like, and what I want to change. I research and pinpoint where I would like to grow, and I adapt.
In order to survive in the world, we all have to adapt. Businesses are not stagnant, they are living beings. They need hard work, sustenance and to grow and evolve over time.
It’s okay if you feel stuck. If you aren’t growing the way you want to be. Use this opportunity to reflect, make changes and become inspired. Where do you want to be? What do you want to do next?
In Buddhism, there is much discussion about how humans all must face suffering, and only when we suffer can we grow and get where we need to be. Please use this experience to dig deep, and find out where you want to be. Just because you thought you would be doing this or that doesn’t mean you have to do so. Don’t feel stuck on a path just because at some point you put yourself on it.
Changes can be scary, but evolution is inevitable. Use what you are feeling to grow, evolve and change and become the brand, the person that your heart desires.