Ups and Downs of Running Your Own Business
It’s not easy to go into business for yourself. It’s not easy stepping out of the comfort zone of having a company pay you for the hours you put in compared to having to create your own income with no certainty. It happens when we always start something new I guess. That silent phase when the business is up and running and there is little to show for growth but you’ve come too far to quit and turn back now. The time when you have already faced your ups through a passionate start but, then comes the first set of drawbacks and disappointments. You knew it would come once in a while but you’re never really ready for it.
Everything Seemed Ok
The idea phase is always the most exciting. You’re sitting there either in front of a computer or in a coffee shop listening to music and you are bombarded by a ton of new ideas to grow your business. You think of all the possible things you can do and get excited because they are related to the passions of your life. You’re so eager to test everything and remind yourself that sure some ideas could fail completely but think of the ones that will succeed. You gain momentum and hurry to get things together. All the while with a hint of anxiety because of the unknown.
We all have those brain storms once in a while. A song or a movie, something just inspires me to create, explore, and develop. I wish I had written down everything from years before, it would’ve all made for a great book. I love the feeling when a good idea just hits you. You don’t get so excited as much from the potential success you could make from it. Just the rush of excitement knowing that something I am passionate about wanted to burst it out of me and I was the vessel to reveal it to the world.
Only there’s a problem. Who would listen? Who would watch it or consume what I had to offer? Who in their right mind would ever be interested in this new idea to the point where they would see value in it greater than what I had intended?
A Start is a Start
It didn’t matter how I started, a start is a start. We all have to start somewhere. We can’t just sit on our ideas hoping they will someday come to fruition. We need to make things happen. We need to start.
I can’t tell you how many regrets I have of never starting something. That’s the worst feeling in the world sometimes. Sure you think of how it could have been but more than that, you think of how it never came to be. Just like a dream you personally gave up early on in the game only to realize that you’re biggest regret was letting that dream fade away like all the rest.
Starting takes courage. It doesn’t wait for the right time or the right circumstances. It just needs to happen along the way in order to officially declare that yes, an idea is now taking place. At that point, the one behind the idea is in full control and the worries of when and how should I begin will soon pass. Remember a start is a start.
Why All the Hard Stuff?
The most irritating the world is having something get in the way of where I’m going. You’ve experienced it right? When you’re in a rush to go somewhere and for some reason, somehow at that exact moment the slowest car imaginable is right in front of you. I’ve never experienced anything more frustrating and never hated another human being more so than in that moment. I don’t care who it is. Grandma for all I care. If you’re in my way, get out of my way now!
The world stops in that moment. Other people are now looking at you to make a move. Do I drive around? Do I honk and force them to let me pass? Why am I the one getting yelled at when the person in front of me is having a quiet drive without a care in the world. What is the point of this moment?
Wake up, you’re an entrepreneur. Things will get in the way of your progress all the time. The key thing is take it as not something “in” the way but another bridge to pass that only work “for” you. It’s common sense to think not everything will go exactly as I planned so you shouldn’t expect no matter what you do. The hard stuff is there to make you harder. What I mean is that they are there to increase your value and potential as an entrepreneur and business owner.
Momentum is Everything
It’s when you lose momentum where you start questioning everything. Why did I start this? What is the point of all this? Where is it suppose to go? Does it even matter anymore? You relied on that initial momentum to get you started but over time it dies down and you struggle to find the fuel that kept you moving. Nothing seems to work anymore. People are questioning you and giving you that look of ‘why are you wasting your time’. It feels even worse when the people you started with do that. It only further kills your momentum to go any further.
Then why keep going? Well, it’s still too early to tell. Yes some business ideas do fail and reach a point where there is no turn around and you have to call it in order to save what you have to start elsewhere. However, find your momentum to keep going or at least set a date or timeline of how far you want to go. It’s always practical to have a plan that can help you constantly keep in mind the big idea.
You have to be your main cheerleader. It sounds odd but yes you need to cheer for yourself and have the discipline to stay focused. Also, do no depend too much on the momentum though since often it can be an emotional dependence and that will quickly fade once you have a bad day. If you have momentum then roll with it and don’t stop because you will pick up more momentum along the way.
“Hello, How May I Help You”
It’s a new day, new customers to reach and serve. Putting the old day behind and focusing new work. Each day will bring it’s surprises and reasons to keep going. Remember you are there to serve and give value to your customers. This is the quickest way to get back up from a down. You can’t linger on the down or else you’ll go deeper and deeper.
I like to picture a see through glass in a high rise building somewhere. You’re looking down and it seems so much further then it should be. The longer you look the more memorized you are by it. Some people actually want to stay there and have it be the reason to quit what they’re doing. “See, I told you it wouldn’t work”. If this was the mentality from the start then it was doomed to fail from the beginning. But if you look up again and see that you are still at the top just step over that glass and move on from it.
Remember It’s “Your” Business
Responsibility is important especially as the person who was responsible for starting it all. However, the business is yours. Meaning, it’s yours to shape and form along the way. That’s the job of the entrepreneur. There’s nothing set in stone. You need to know how to change and adjust accordingly as you progress. There are so many options placed in your hands to be creative and innovative. Be adaptable and willing to be open to the other possibilities you could be missing out on. You can’t be stubborn when running a business and think you have everything figured out.
I’ll finish with this. Until you’ve reached a phase where you no longer look back thinking how you should’ve started another way, you’ll always be stuck in that start mode. Keep it simple. Make decisions and don’t look back. When things get tough and plans go sour, don’t look back. Fight through the emotional ups and downs, if you have any, and progress forward finding new momentum.
Remember, you’re an entrepreneur. Take each day as a chance to learn something new and grow not only the business but also yourself.
Here’s to the ups and downs that will further shape who you are.