Everyone needs a little pep talk every-so-often – even the most confident people. As a business owner, especially in the beginning, you may find yourself needing them more frequently. Running a business RARELY goes exactly as planned, and sometimes you just need a little reminder.
So here are nine things I like to tell myself – and some of the business owners I coach and mentor – when things aren’t going to plan.
Don’t expect perfection. Work towards your goals.
Entrepreneurship hardly has a clear path. There will be setbacks and things will likely not go as you plan, but you have to keep moving forward. This is why it is so important to set your goals and then revisit them to make sure you are on track.
It’s OK to grow at your own pace.
Every business is different. Some will grow faster than others – and that’s OK! What’s important is that you have the proper foundations set up so you can grow at a pace you can handle.
You’re going to have different wins than your competitors.
While your competitors may offer similar products and services, the way they run their business is likely very different than the way you run yours. It can be easy to feel jealous, but that will only make you feel worse. The best way to approach it is to celebrate with them and then look towards your own successes.
One set back doesn’t mean your whole business will fail.
You’ve likely heard it before. Running a business can feel like a roller coaster. A setback doesn’t mean the whole thing breaks down. It just means that you can work towards the positives that are coming.
You don’t have to be on every social media platform.
There are only 24 hours in the day. And you have a business to run. You can’t fill the whole 24 hours with social media tasks. And you certainly shouldn’t be on social media if you’re not going to be there consistently. Pick one or two platforms and do them well.
You don’t have to go viral on social media.
Oh, the pressure! “Going viral” may be nice, but what you SHOULD be thinking about is what happens leading up to and after that. Most people don’t go viral overnight. It takes time and a whole lot of getting to know your audience and what they like and don’t like. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Work on connecting with your community and that is a huge win in itself.
It’s OK if a potential customer chooses your competitor over you.
You can go crazy trying to figure out why a customer chooses a competitor over you – especially if you’re in a business where each lead takes time to build and nurture. However, in the end it has to be about fit. If a customer chooses someone else it just means they weren’t a good fit for your business. You have to believe that and move on to the next. And trust me. There will be a next.
You don’t have to be liked by everyone.
Even further than someone choosing a competitor over you, you’re not going to be liked by everyone. Someone may not like your marketing content or how you present yourself as a business owner. And that’s OK, because there are others who do. Focus on those people.
It’s OK to take a break.
Owning a business is hard – even if you love it. If you commit yourself to the “daily grind” and you don’t give yourself permission to rest, recharge, and be a little imperfect, then you’re going to make it harder. Whether it’s some time every day or a longer vacation, take the break. Make the time to focus on your mental and physical health.
Sometimes a self pep talk can be easier said than done, but maybe keep this somewhere close as a reminder when you need a quick pick me up!
Candace Huntly is Founding Partner at SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making the approach unique to you.
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A version of this article was originally posted to the SongBird Marketing Communications blog.