Are you a happy entrepreneur? I was very excited when I quit my job and started working for myself full time. Being my own boss was new so, of course, it was fun and fresh. I didn’t have to commute. I could work as long or as short as I wanted. I didn’t have to attend endless meetings. I was as free as a bird!
But then reality hit. I was lonely. I was stressed out. I was scared. No coworkers to go for coffee with. No regular pay cheque to count on. No endless list of clients to pay me. Starting a business, as it turns out, isn’t the easy route. Becoming an entrepreneur might be one of the most challenging things you do in your life. There’s much more to it than quitting your job and pointing your money-making opportunities in another direction. You’ll find that working for yourself takes a big toll on your emotions. Leaving traditional employment takes a lot of guts and places you on a journey of self-discovery. You’ll have some downs, I can promise you that, but you’ll have many more ups especially if you enter it with a positive mindset.
So, entrepreneur in the making, what can you do to make sure you remain excited and happy as you build your business?
Surround Yourself with Positive People – Don’t expect the people in your life to understand your business but do expect them to support you. This is a time in your life when you need support. You need friends and family to at least give you a high-five and a supportive shout-out on social media when you launch your business. You need those closest to you listen as you vent about your frustrations (even if they don’t understand).
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others – Remember, don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle! Everyone is on their own journey. Someone who appears to be successful online might be in a horrible headspace right now. Or they might be experiencing resounding success after years of hard work, coaching, and even a couple of failures. Stop comparing and start focusing on your own activities and goals.
Expect Failure – That’s right. Expect that something will go wrong. Off topic but when I was getting married I expected that something would go wrong. I knew that if I entered the day with expectations of perfection, I would be disappointed. The last thing I wanted people to remember me as was a bridezilla. Brides that are too high strung and make their wedding parties feel on edge are just horrendous. So I decided that if something went wrong, I’d go with it. It was, after all, just one day and then I’d be married to the love of my life for the rest of my life. Well, the day of our wedding it rained. Our photographer had us walking around in the mud at the golf course where our reception was. I got mud on my dress. I sat through an embarrassing speech about my exes… Really not much went wrong but I laughed off what did and had a wonderful time on the dance floor with my husband before heading back to our hotel suite. Launch your business knowing there will be some failures but, long-term, you will ultimately be learning invaluable lessons and building a business that you can be proud of.
Take Care of Yourself – It’s easy to get caught up in working long hours, not getting enough sleep, and not taking time out to exercise. But if there’s one piece of advice I hope you take it’s to take care of yourself before taking care of the business. I wrote a post about why health matters in business that you should read. If your health fails, your business will too. If you don’t exercise, you might find it hard to handle stress. If you don’t feel your best, you won’t perform your best. It all goes hand in hand.
Make Friends With Other Entrepreneurs – One of the best things I did was connect with other entrepreneurs. In my case, connecting with other mom entrepreneurs did wonders for my mindset. I stopped feeling guilty about getting a babysitter so I could work or take a phone call and I felt great about including my son in my daily work activities instead of questioning everything I was doing. Talking to peers who are experiencing what you are and who can understand what you are going through is very important. You need to know that you’re not alone so go out there and meet others who share similar goals, challenges, and celebrations as you!
Don’t Escape – It’s so easy to want to escape when things are stressful or even when things go well. What I’m talking about is having too many glasses of wine or taking a nap just because “you can”. Too much alcohol, especially midweek, will only slow you down and sleep in or taking a nap will only interrupt your focus. Take care of yourself. Stay in the present and keep your eye on the prize – your business running just as you have always dreamed of.
As you build your business be sure to pay attention to your happiness. Being happy, having a positive mindset, and keeping your focus are all important ingredients to your success. Did this article help? Share with at least three of your friends and sign up for more articles like this + additional business building tips to your inbox!