Every Entrepreneur Has Felt Like Giving Up

I had a tough week recently. One of those weeks that culminates in that feeling that nothing is working. Or a whole day of that feeling.

And that day inspired a question: What would happen if I wrote the truth? If I risked the vulnerability...of struggling...and not having the answers.

I think something about being a marketing consultant, serving my clients as their very own marketing expert, leaves me feeling as though I must have all the answers to all the things all the time. Or at least, present that infallible, unflappable, face to the world.

But. @@I’m not always so unflappable. And this whole mompreneur thing isn’t always pretty.@@

Here's a text I sent my husband at the end of that tough week:

It felt like I was absolutely always on my computer while home w [our daughter] the last two days. And I only logged six hours of work. And I've been consistently only managing four or five hours on a good day. I feel like I sucked at momming and the business this week. And am in general not putting on the hours required to make the $ we need. I'm just deflated.

I posted a similar message to a women entrepreneurs group I’m part of on Facebook. Everyone came back with similar responses: Don't be so hard on yourself. It’ll get better. {And I appreciated every warm hug sent via those FB comments!}

But I am. I am so hard on myself. Especially on a hard day like that one, I feel like I should be working three times as much and twice as hard as I am. As though if I’m not doing that, I’m not doing this whole business thing for real.

But you know what? That’s crazy talk. First of all, I’m just a year into this thing and I have as many clients as I have time to serve well. And I love all of them. Secondly, that hard week? I had a three-year-old with pneumonia at home for four days. My usual back-up care {my parents...b/c being an only child means your kids get all the grandparent time} were traveling Europe. And we were preparing to go away for nearly a week...meaning I was looking ahead to nearly a week of working very little if at all. 

The truth is, being an entrepreneur is hard for everyone.

Even the most successful entrepreneurs have up days and down days. Every entrepreneur has felt like giving up at some point. So, dear reader, when you hit that wall, too, here’s some advice to help pull you through.

Remember why you’re doing this.

You got into this business for a reason. @@You took this leap and chose to go all-in on yourself for a reason.@@ Maybe lots of reasons. Maybe it’s not just about you, but about your family, or the impact your business is making, or something completely different. Finding your “why” isn’t just about leading others or attracting clients...it’s also about keeping yourself engaged.

Take care of yourself.

If I fall off of my exercise habit, for instance, it’s just one more thing to feel like I’m failing at. And of course you know all the benefits of exercise or meditation or eating right or all the other things you know make you better. So take care of yourself first. And then you’ll be able to take care of business.

Be honest.

Be honest with yourself and your people about what’s going on with you. It’s ok to have a tough day. It’s ok to lose faith in yourself for a minute. It’s ok to be overwhelmed. But when you don’t allow yourself to recognize that stuff, or you try to keep a brave face up for your friends + family, you make the problem worse and don’t get any closer to finding solutions.

Welcome help.

Especially if you’re a solopreneur, you probably have a super-DiY mindset. You are the business. You do it all. But you can welcome help. Friends, family, peers, or mentors can help you unpack the stuff you’re struggling with. Freelancers can help take some of the workload off of your solo shoulders. Let them. All of them. It’ll be better.

{And, of course, if you need marketing help, that's what 929 Marketing is here for!}

Make lists. Make plans. Make space.

Taking a step back from the work or the stress and allowing yourself to just think through what you want, what needs to get done, and how you want to do it, can make a huge difference. Just don’t chastise yourself for having a to-do list that’s five miles long. Your mega to-do list is probably a symptom of a full life and a thriving business. Your job in making these lists is to separate what’s necessary from what just isn’t all that vital and maybe can be dropped.

 

@@OK, entrepreneur. Ready to ride that dip and come out on top of the next wave of inspiration?@@

Well, if this wasn't enough, take some advice from Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Melyssa Griffin.