What is it about the human condition that we like to convince ourselves we’re the only ones?
Everyone else is doing fine, it’s only me that struggles with this.
No one else would understand, I’m weird feeling like this.
Everyone else is doing so well, maybe I’m not cut out for this.
I have fallen into this trap many times. When things in my business aren’t going so well for whatever reason (income, balance, wrong customers, not so good decisions, feeling stuck) I quickly decide that everyone else’s business seems to be doing so much better than mine in this area. That everyone else is handling it, they’ve got it under control. It’s almost not conscious, but very quickly I can feel like I’m not cut out for this entrepreneurship malarkey after all. Not when I seem to be worse at it than everyone else. Ah the good old inner critic!
The irony of course, is that some of the people i’m looking at and thinking they’re doing great, are probably feeling exactly the same.
Running a small business is tough and it’s hard work and it’s a challenge like no challenge you will have experienced before. Many things can give you the skills and disposition to succeed at it. But nothing will ever fully prepare you for it.
I’m a business coach, with a large network of clients and connections including other business coaches and entrepreneurs across all industries, and I’ve yet to find someone who hasn’t thought about quitting at some stage. Who hasn’t scrolled job websites, reminiscing with rose tinted glasses about how easy things were when you got to go to work every day, come home at 5pm and forget all about it (yeah right!).
Let’s face it. Most people start their own business because they don’t want to do that any more. They don’t want to be bound by the poor decisions of ‘the man’, by someone else’s schedule or by someone else’s culture. We do it because we want to pick our kids up from school, attend the nativity guilt free, go for a walk in the afternoon and take a few hours off when our energy is working against us. We want to prioritise our health, our relationships, our values and our passions.
Most of all deep down, we know that we’re up for the challenge. We know we have what it takes. We have our own ideas about how we want to see it done and we want to prove there is a different way.
It’s ok to want to quit your business, we all feel like that from time to time. It’s even ok to browse the job websites and feel sorry for yourself, whilst binge watching Netflix, eating chocolate and feeling guilty (hell we all need a bit of a self indulgent pity party every now and again!). But it’s not ok to convince yourself your alone, because you’re not.
Once the pity party is over, it’s time to reach out. To connect. To collaborate. And to remember why you’re doing this. And to remember, that there are plenty of us out there doing it with you.
If you’re looking for a different approach to entrepreneurship, you can find my free short E-Book here. I’ve taken the 8 principles of inspired coaching that underlie my work with clients and shown you how you can use them to transform your own approach to your business and your life. I hope you love it.