Obstacles and challenges are par for the course when you make the decision to become an entrepreneur. There’s the steep learning curve; tax laws, employment laws, business plan, marketing plan, website design, social media, oh yeah and getting customers/clients! If that wasn’t enough to overwhelm you and have you running back to the ranks of the employed, you then have those well-meaning friends and family who will question your sanity as you declare that you are now ready to give up the comforts of a “steady paycheque”, benefits and paid vacations. So how do you keep your head above water when you feel like the waves keep getting bigger and the undertow is pulling you down?
Networking with like-minded people is a definite must. If you don’t have people you can talk to who can empathize with what you’re going through, all you have left is the peanut gallery of naysayers telling you they know someone who’s hiring. Going to meetings where you can learn not only from a guest speaker, but from the successes and failures of colleagues is going to be a big help, and it gives you comfort in knowing that you aren’t alone in your struggles, doubts and concerns and that success is possible!
You also need an outlet to release the stress and frustration that is part of the package of being an entrepreneur. Whether it’s going dancing with the girls or doing yoga, you need to do something that isn’t related to your business that will let you burn off some steam. This is even more important if you work from home. The feeling of being isolated can get to the best of us. Do activities that bring you joy and/or quiet the mind. Often, it’s during this “down time” that answers to what seem like impossible problems will present themselves to you.
Creating a positive environment is another key to keeping yourself motivated through challenging times. One of my favourite ways to do this is to have affirmations around my workspace. Affirmations are positive statements about yourself and/or your environment. Having positive quotes or affirmations around your desk or work area can provide you with that inspiration and motivation you need on those difficult days. Playing positive, uplifting music is another great way to get through the rough times. Whatever you can do to keep your energy up and put a smile on your face is a good thing, even if it means busting a move in the middle of the day in your office!
The reality is that if you’re looking for an excuse not to follow your dreams, they will be easy to find. What you need to ask yourself when your facing what seems like insurmountable obstacles is how badly do you really want this? Whether “this” means a new client, a new product or the business itself doesn’t matter. What matters is the fact that you have a choice. You can let the difficulties of being an entrepreneur lead you back into the life of an employee, or you can choose to focus on the fulfillment and gratification you will experience when you’ve accomplished what you’ve set out to do despite the odds. No one ever said the life of an entrepreneur was going to be easy, but I do believe that seeing your vision manifest into reality is worth it!
Sandra Dawes is a certified life coach specializing in helping women who feel unfulfilled with their 9-5 follow their dreams and pursue their passions. She holds an Honours BA, an MBA as well as a certificate in Dispute Resolution.She is working on her first book, Embracing My Destiny: My Journey to Discovering My Divine Path.