I loved reading Verity Johnson’s article on falling out of love with your business on the stuff website this week. (you can check it out here)
Verity has hit the nail on the head here, on a topic that I for one, think we need to be discussing more openly.
Its hard to run a business
Its especially hard if you are a sole trader and responsible for every single aspect of the business from bill paying to client facing to product development to social media. The ugly truth is, there are days when you actually hate your business and wish you had never created it in the first place. Yes I said that out loud!
If your business was a romantic partner you likely would have broken up with them multiple times by now because quite frankly they are just plain hard work!
Its time to be REAL about this
The reason I felt compelled to write about this and to share Verity’s article is because I have seen so many clients and colleagues struggle with this reality and the burn out that comes as a result of giving, giving, giving your energy to your business and not feeling like anything is coming back in return. The most concerning part of this for me as a coach is that I continually see people making it a personal failure.
“I dont love my business so their must be something wrong with me”
“I just cant seem to make it work or catch a break or connect with the right people so maybe I’m just not cut out for this”
“My competitors (and everyone else I am comparing myself too) seem to be doing so much better and make it look so easy, What’s wrong with me?”
I think its high time we normalised the tricky, unrelentless and down right disappointing side of running a business and began to foster acceptance that its ok for it to feel hard and to sometimes suck!
I’d love to see more conversations in the media, in networking and facebook groups about the relationship we have with our businesses. The good, the bad and the ugly. We need safe spaces where the business “highlight reel” we all hide behind can be let go in favour of genuine conversations about our daily business lives.
The thing is success doesnt happen by accident.
Success happens through hard work, adjustment, failure, gettting up again and trying a new approach. Success comes from sleepless nights and left turns that turn out to be just the innovation that was needed. Maybe we could all get there quicker and bypass the burn out if we knew it was meant to be hard and often unrewarding!
No amount of reconnecting to your “why” will save you from the self doubt
But just maybe a real and supportive conversation will.
Maybe knowing you are not alone in your experience will
Perhaps sharing about the tough times we dont speak about will
We celebrate our success but we dont create the space to nurse our wounds after our losses.
What I really want to say is, that if you are having a tough time in your business, if you have lost the love and feel the approaching fatigue and fog of burn out, its not because you are all the negative things you believe about yourself.
Its not that you’re a failure. Its because its bloody hard and you are a hero for even deciding to get in the game. So before you throw it all away, close the doors and call it quits, take a breath.
Give yourself some space to reflect and recover
Talk to a trusted friend, coach or therapist
Decide what you really want from your relationship with your business and find a way to get that. Even if it means a hybrid business/paid work model or putting your business on the backburner for a few months.
To have stepped into the small business arena takes courage and a big dream and those things will still be burning away somewhere within you. But maybe they look a little different to how you first imagined and maybe there is another way that feeling bad about yourself is keeping you from discovering.
And to those of you who are currently in a loved up phase with your business, I’d encourage you to take a moment to be a supportive ear and wise counsel for another business owner who’s currently in the mud with their’s.
I’d love to know if this resonates with you? free to leave me a comment with your thoughts
I’m always happy to lend an ear if you find yourself in a quandry with your business. For a free chat Book here