Monday May 1, 2017
If you're a small business owner, and have felt like giving up because it's getting too taxing on you, or you feel that success is just too far out of reach, keep in mind that you aren't - and never have been - alone. Pretty much every small business owner on the face of the planet has felt like giving up on their dreams at some point, and those that say those doubts never crossed their mind are either lying or inhumanly tenacious.
When you feel like it's all too much, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
1) What really matters to you?
The chances are that you started your business because you didn't want to work for anyone else, had a great idea, or were just sick of being told what to do. Now that you've had the chance to experience small business life for yourself, you need to be honest and have a long, thought out conversation with yourself about what your reasoning is for sticking with it. If you end up despising the hard work it takes to build something from scratch much more than you loathe making money for someone else, then maybe running a small business isn't for you. However, if you truly believe that your service or product makes a difference in people's lives, that you are happier than you've ever been before (no matter how much sleep you miss every night), or that you like the freedom being a small business owner grants you, then you know that giving up isn't in line with your vision!
Remember, running a small business isn't for everyone, and it's okay to quit. BUT - would that REALLY make you happy? Would giving up TRULY fulfill you as a person? Answer those questions truthfully and I know you'll be able to make the best decision for yourself.
2) Your success is dependent on your determination
There are people everywhere, all around you, working jobs that aren't conducive to demonstrating and fulfilling their talents. You have chosen to stand out because you took the leap to change that future for yourself - you saw something different. If you could believe in yourself enough to make that jump; enough to start something, then you sure as hell can see it through to the end.
The question is: are you willing to? Success doesn't come overnight, and perhaps not even after the first hundred; two hundred; three hundred failures! What sets apart the wolves from the sheep is the drive to keep getting up and going at it, no matter what comes your way. You're already one of the few who made it to the summit, so be one of the even fewer who make it to the peak.
3) Dreams don't come with an expiration date
Take a second to think really hard about this one - are you timing yourself for any reason? Is there really a productive goal in believing you need to accomplish something by the year 20XX?
On one hand, yes, setting time limited goals and working towards them can greatly increase your chances of reaching them. But sometimes, timing yourself is only a detriment. When all is said and done, time is a human construct. It's a human illusion. We have concepted time to keep us on track; box ourselves in; but some processes TAKE TIME - more time than we're often willing to give. But to force against it will only cause greater pain. Sometimes, going with the flow and not setting a time limited goal will be more conducive to your success - it will give you the space you need to try over and over and over until you finally figure out the direction you need to be heading in.
Stay vigilant enough to know when you are working against yourself by using time as a key factor in your dreams.
4) Are you creating fallbacks or backup plans?
Fallbacks are a great way to ensure that you're never left with your pants around your ankles. They can get you out of a tight spot, and save you time, money, and maybe even utter disaster if implemented successfully.
However, in my opinion, a fallback is completely different to a backup plan. A backup plan is the "just-in-case" scenario you enact when you're scared of reaching for, or even achieving your main goal. To be honest, the only thing they do is keep you from achieving what you actually want. If you're continuously looking backward as well as forward, you will never have complete forward-moving intention.
I'm not going to delve into the psychology of why people are actually scared of achieving their goals, but I will say that you should be honest with yourself and discern whether you're creating a backup plan instead of a fallback.
5) Celebrate yourself
Look at you! Not many people take the plunge and start a small business, but you did. Celebrate the smallest of victories - if you've failed at something ten times, look at all of the knowledge you've gained since the first time you tried. That's progress, and just because it didn't work out exactly as planned doesn't mean it's any less significant.
Have you looked at all the small victories too? Your first employee, your first $1,000 in sales? All are just cause to give thanks and be appreciative of how your journey has progressed. Never lose sight of the big goals, but be humble enough to appreciate even the small ones.