Often the biggest challenges you face in starting a business is all in your head. That’s right, it’s not about the product, or the website, or the social media. Those are all things you have to deal with, but most people who gain success in business have had to overcome themselves to make their business thrive. The first step in any journey begins in the mind, so it’s not surprising that many challenges you face or going to be all in your head as you grow your business.
It’s easy when you work in a bubble for fear to take over, you have a bad week or a slow week or a setback, and it’s easy for you to jump to….I’m going to fail, this business is not working, I’m not good enough. These thoughts can be very real, and not just in your mind. You look at what you have spent and you start to worry, you feel like the money is going quickly. Fear can lead to getting frozen, where you avoid hard decisions and shy away from investing in your business. You have to regularly take a step back and evaluate where the fear is coming from and how to step over it.
Having a solid business plan can help. That way you know what you can invest and what your financial goals/limits are.
Take a step back, try to get out of your own head, and talk it over with someone who has run their own business, whether that is a coach or a business friend (spouse, family, and friends are not always the best to get a true non-bias perspective).
Working for yourself can be a HUGE transition in terms of habits and productivity. I think when you go from side hustle + full-time job this is a much easier transition than if you go from full-time to full-time starting a new business. You have to work on coming up with a routine for yourself and habits that support your business. You have to overcome feeling defeated if your day is not as productive as you want and realize every day is not going to be where you walk away feeling like you conquered the day. Not getting it all done does not mean you are failing or lazy. You can truly only push yourself so hard, and decision fatigue is a real thing. When starting a business the mental toll in your day to day can be much higher than when you at your 9 to 5. Find your routine and stick to it, but don’t be too hard on yourself either when you hit a wall and need a Netflix & chill day.
Establish a habit and routine, figure out what works for you and stick to that schedule. Read my Building A Better Day Series to get some tips on getting started in finding out what works for you.
When running a business, it’s very hard not to feel jealous or let comparison trickle into your mind. Especially in the online space, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by everyone else’s accomplishments and wins, and start to take it personally. You have to take a step back and stay true to your goals and plans. Don’t let other people’s success get you down.
The best way to deal with jealousy is to refocus on your goals and what you are doing. Instead of letting it be a negative, let it be a way to motivate yourself. Here are 5 podcasts to help you out.
Establish an unplugged day if you find yourself getting overwhelmed by comparison. Just step away from the noise and fill that day with just focusing on working on your own materials or take a step away from business altogether.
Owning your own business is going to stretch you in so many aspects. There is a huge learning curve to running a business on your own. You have to learn to deal with technology and programs you may have never heard of, learn how to engage in new situations, interact with many new people, and step outside your comfort zone to promote your business. Being uncomfortable is something that will keep coming up as you learn more and grow your business. I did my first podcast the other day, I highly considered backing out, but pushed myself to just move forward even though I felt really uncomfortable about embracing something so new. While fear and being uncomfortable can go hand in hand, I think the uncomfortable factor can be a little more subtle than fear when it comes to business decisions. If you ever say, “I want to do XYZ, but I don’t want to learn XYZ” BOOM you are letting being uncomfortable (ie learning a new skill) hold you back. You can’t let being uncomfortable be your decision maker, you have to embrace that there has to be a first step in every new direction you take with your business.
Don’t let yourself overthink all that could go wrong, if someone offers you an opportunity, say yes. Don’t hold yourself back, and just know the first step is usually the hardest, so if you know you are putting something off because you are avoiding feeling uncomfortable, make yourself do it right away.
If you say no to an opportunity, make sure it is for a solid rational reason, and not “just because”. Talk about it with someone or write it out to make sure you just didn’t go off the fear/uncomfortable response. If you want to go after a new idea, make a plan for that idea, don’t just throw it to the side because it’s going to be hard or there is lots to learn associated with it.
Mindset basically encompasses all of the above. Mindset is about how you deal with setbacks, failure, fear, and anything else that pops up in your journey. Mindset is often identified as a large contributor to success in any new task. The thing about tackling anything new is that you are going to face setbacks, no one learns a new skill without frustrations and failures. Think of a baby learning to walk, or learning a new sport or instrument. No one just picks up a basketball and BOOM they are Michael Jordan. Running a business solo is like taking on 50 or more new skills at a time. Mindset is what helps you learn from your mistakes, and allows you to use those mistakes to make yourself stronger and better. Having a growth mindset is really important to growing and progressing in your business journey.
Make a conscious effort to work on mindset. Read books (see what I learned about mindset in this post), listen to podcasts (here are 10), or find a mindset coach. Sorry, but mindset is yet another area to learn and master on your solopreneur journey 🙂
How have you handled the above in your business journey? Do you actively work on mindset as part of your business and if so what techniques to you use?