I wanted to write an open letter to small business owners to let you know you are not alone. Not a sob letter, but a letter of encouragement. Let’s face it, business can be a tough son of a gun! Maybe not everyday, but there’s problem after to problem to solve. That’s what business is about, solving problems, learning, improving, creating, being solution-oriented, right? It’s all good if you have the right attitude. It’s all good if problems are getting solved and you are living in your mojo, doing what you love. Some problems don’t even need you, you need to just go to sleep and they solve themselves. Some need to be attacked military-style. Problems can be a great thing, even lead you to your greatest invention. Who doesn’t love a good challenge now and then? On a bad day, the last thing a small business owner needs is one more issue to come up. On a good day, BRING IT!!!
In business, just like in life, there will be trials–that’s a guarantee.
There can be times you find yourself in micro-management mode. There might be times you have personal issues which create outside stress and business suffers because you’ve got to live your life too and take care of your family. A hundred thousand factors can come into play. There could be tech issues, budget strains, vendor problems, marketing failures, or a mountain of rejections, etc., etc. I could go on and on, I could write an entire book on business struggles, pressures, and even how to have separation between work and family. If you’re in business, I know you can relate. Or maybe I’m just speaking from my own experience of at one point owning six companies at one time. It wasn’t because I was following my passion, but because I got caught up in the idea of multiple streams of income. Don’t get me wrong, multiple streams of income are great, it’s just, now I know which ones I prefer. Business is a powerful teacher, not just in whatever industry you are in, but a teacher of your very own inner self. It sizes you up and shows you what you’re made of. You could be great at your craft, but horrible at communication or dealing with people because you’re naturally an introvert as I am.
Business quickly teaches you what you suck at. There have been times I wondered if the only way to get away from it all was to have a mental breakdown so I could run off to a recovery retreat somewhere. I also used to wonder why there aren’t more support groups for business owners…sure, there are a ton of networking groups. But the real support that’s needed without having to pay $20,000 for a mastermind group. Maybe that’s why there’s so many AA groups, depression groups, and anger management groups. Thankfully, now I’m in a business with amazing built-in support! I have come to realize the best thing I can do for my business at that point is have a “come-to-Jesus” meeting. I have spent a lot of time on my knees crying out to God. Sometimes I feel relief, sometimes I have to just trust with no feeling of relief. Admittedly, sometimes I try to handle it all on my own or I become complacent. There were times, I was just tired. Tired of the emotional roller coaster, tired of crying, and so tired of feeling down on myself that it was easier to go into myself and hide as much as possible from the world. Have you ever done this? None of that does any good because I end up stuck and confused. Not seeing at the time that it all started in my mind and I’m choosing to be stuck.
When life and business feel confusing, you might be stuck.
Being stuck in one area leads to being stuck in just about every other area of your life. Stuck in the quicksand or just roaming around the desert in circles…either way, it’s miserable and lonely!
Living this way will suck the life out of you and cause more doubt, guilt, and frustration beyond belief. If you currently identify yourself as being stuck in the desert (let’s just call it what it is, the Wasteland) you will continue to waste away until you ask yourself “what is the payoff for me to stay stuck? Do I feel safer? Do I worry less? Maybe I feel less stress, maybe I get to have a pity party, maybe I am tricking myself into believing I’m free when I’m in the desert, not pursuing my dreams. Or heck, maybe I’m not even sure what my dreams are anymore. How long can I get away with looking productive and using the same excuses?” These are all questions that have come to my mind while I was in the desert. The desert tricks you into thinking you’re comfortable and you will find peace. What you find is that you had more peace and satisfaction when you were out there trying, doing something, even if it was the wrong something, at least you were trying. You were putting yourself out there, maybe doing it afraid, but YOU WERE DOING IT! You felt alive! Even if you don’t know exactly you’re doing, it’s liberating to be lost in the right direction. Because the right direction is anytime you are moving forward! It might have been a little uncomfortable, sure, but now that you’ve experienced the desert, you know what REAL discomfort is.
WAKE UP! This is not you! This is not how your life will be lived…NO, not by you. Because YOU are BOLD as a lion! You learn valuable lessons in the desert, it’s for a reason and a season, but you are not supposed to stay there. You are not afraid to put yourself out there, no matter how scary it really is. No matter if people think you are crazy. No matter if those closest to you say something to make you doubt yourself, YOU can get out of the desert.
You can be free, truly free!
It’s actual freedom to be doing something worthwhile, something that makes a difference, something that can not only change your life, but other people’s lives. You have the power to decide to leave the desert! And I believe you wouldn’t still be reading this if there wasn’t something inside of you that believed you don’t have to suffer in the Wasteland. You were designed to be in motion, to keep moving forward, to keep dreaming, to keep doing and being you. No one else can be you. You have the power to switch your doubt to faith! The entrepreneur road can be strange, yet heavenly. You may walk down unfamiliar paths. Paths that many start but few finish. The moments of heavenly bliss keep you going–those lightbulb moments. The times you know that you know God just moved and worked a miracle…no question.
You have only ONE life to live on this earth and you still believe in finishing your race like a champion. You will never believe the lie that it’s okay to quit, or to waste away, or to give up on the dreams that you once had. Sometimes in life, we lay down our dreams because we think it’s too late. I’m here to tell you that it’s not too late! Your dreams and desires are in you for a reason! There is a work inside of you hoping you will have the courage to draw it forth! Hoping you will listen to the voice of encouragement instead of the voice of doubt. It will take courage, bravery, gusto, moxy, but isn’t it better to feel a little scared than to keep spinning your wheels or live in regret. You can change things up if you have to, go a different direction if needed. You are a child of God–created to create. You can create anything in your life that you can dream up. Start writing everything down every day (the bad stuff too), new inspiration will come to you. Have fun with it, change your perspective! Believe in yourself with a relaxed intensity. Fiercely trust without being attached to the outcome. You do not have to know all the details, just put one foot in front of the other and GET BACK OUT THERE!
And that…will turn into, YOU DID! You will look back at your life and say, “I DID IT!”
Now, go get ’em!
Please share this letter with every business owner you know. Especially the ones who look like they’ve got it all together. 😉
And for some extra courage in your business, go here for my free mini ebook: http://hearttoheartbiz.com/ebook/