Over the past few weeks I have experienced a lot of emotional roaster coasters—such is life of a young entrepreneur. And some days have been dark, and I mean dark. The kind of dark where you don’t get out of bed, are crying at a drop of a hat, and shoving your face full of anything covered in chocolate or deep fried. Anxiety is always a fun companion during these times too. It’s always there to give you that extra little push when you’re teetering on the line of, “I may be able to do this” and, “Holy sh*t my life is a black hole of doom.” You can guess which way it was pushing me.
The cool thing about getting in these ruts is you always come out learning something from them. Because let’s be honest, we all know the only constant in this world is change. So that means nothing will last forever. Which is always what I tell my friends during their dark times, “This too shall pass. Let it run it’s course.” But it’s always easier to take advice then give it. But it’s nice knowing that when we are at our lowest of lows it’s not going to last forever.
So, to force myself out of this pity party of a rut, I grabbed dinner with a girl friend. We ate where another good friend of ours works and enjoyed some complimentary champagne and gluten free crackers (because my friends are awesome and always look out for my colitis outbursts). Anyway, we got our entrees and got down to business. I told her all my fears and the things that have been going on in my head in regards to my business. And honestly, she didn’t say anything ground breaking. Nothing I hadn’t heard before or something that I couldn’t read in any business book or on the internet. But I felt better.
Just talking with my friend and knowing she is there for me in this dark time reenergized me. She ensured me of my talents, my drive, and that this is never going to be easy. But the most important thing she instilled in me is that she will always be one of my biggest fans—and she isn’t going anywhere. THAT is what we as entrepreneurs need. We need to accept the fact we are only human and we can’t always fix all things on our own—especially taming our inner doubts and demons. That’s why we have our tribe. The group of friends and family that are there to pick us up, dust us off, and remind us of why we started this venture.
Do I know what will come of my entrepreneurial efforts? No. Do I know that all of these late nights and stressful days are going to be worth it. Yes. Because I’m learning something about myself every single day. My skin is thickening. My brain is sharpening. I’m gaining new skills that help me in all aspects of my life, not just photography. And most importantly, I’m building a tribe of the support system I truly need. I’m not alone in this—that’s the best comfort I can ask for.
My quick steps to breaking out of a entrepreneurial rut:
- Embrace your feelings (at least for a little while). The beautiful thing about being human is we are given the freedom to feel. Our emotional state is constantly changing—and sometimes that means feelings of doubt, sadness, and hurt. It's normal. Embrace it! Some of the best work has come from those during their darkest and hardest times.
- Drop the candy bar and turn off the sappy music. Go for a walk, listen to your favorite podcast, make a healthy smoothie. Do something that is going to make you feel good!
- Call on your tribe. Get a hold of a person you can confide in and you trust. This should be a person who supports you and will give advice when needed and knows when you just need to vent. They will help you see the light again.
- Remind yourself of your "why." There is a reason you started this venture in the first place. What was it? Sometimes we forget why we started and that was the fire in our belly. Light that fire again, remind yourself of the why. Write it down. And write down a list of new goals you want to achieve in the next week, month, and year. Then start planning ways to make that happen. Give yourself a reason to wake up and start that positive grind again!
- Take in the now. Life is about change. Things happen and we need to learn to roll with the punches and grow with them. Change can be good. Repeat this to yourself 5 times, "Change is good. Change creates opportunity. Change is exciting. I embrace change."
What things get you through your darkest times? Is it reading your favorite inspirational book? Talking with a friend? Taking a long walk? Please share below!