Being an entrepreneur is the best feeling in the world, until it isn’t, but losing your business mojo is not the end of the world. Read on to discover how you can turn your doubts into dreams.
Starting a new business is usually so much more than an idea. It’s an aspiration for a different way of life – to work independently for your own dream, be the mistress of your own destiny and yes, perhaps even change the world with your idea. It takes courage, spirit, vision and determination, exercised over and over again. But to see your fledgling business take flight and soar is the most uplifting feeling in the world and, if truth be told, rather addictive and all-consuming.
Be still my beating heart
In the beginning, it’s easy to be driven by your passion, an important superpower personal to you that sets you apart from the crowd. Add to the mix a clear sense of vision and purpose and continued success seems inevitable and justified. So far, so good. However, to survive as a female entrepreneur in the 21st century you have to be one tough cookie and alongside growth and development be also prepared for fear and doubt.
Once the initial excitement is over – if growth plateaus out – you may begin to question your idea, or your brand; possibly even feeling as if you have lost sight of what drove you in the first place. Maybe you have begun to have doubts about your team or yourself. Are you feeling like an imposter in your own company or the wider business arena? Do you deep dive into projects only to re-surface to find you have been going around in circles?
Panic not. These are scenarios familiar to entrepreneurs the world over. Yes, they can slow you down and yes, they can be overwhelming and distracting, but if we address our fears and challenges head-on, it will help us to prepare for the next stage of the journey. And to quote Wyseminds founder, Julie Perkins, you can use these experiences and feelings to turn adversity into opportunity without compromising on creating the life you want to lead.
Alone but never lonely
So what should you tackle first? Doing everything yourself is a seductive part of entrepreneurship but this can lead to a lack of clarity. With so many items on your to-do list, you lose sight of what is important and even basic tasks can seem overwhelming. It is not unusual for entrepreneurs to end up feeling isolated and lonely. For many the first step on the road back to self-confidence comes with learning that you are not the first or indeed the last person to feel this way. There are others who share your experiences and mentors who can support you.
“The lows might be lonely, but the highs are totally yours and worth every one of those lows.”
Stand a little taller
To build on this, think about the three cornerstones of running a successful business, the so-called everyday superpowers: resilience, empathy and commitment. Beware of change for the sake of change, spend time considering how your company can shift and adapt in a productive way. By doing so, you will better understand and empathise with the needs of your colleagues and your customers. All together, they help you build courage, performance and a sense of adventure.
Find that loving feeling
It’s easy to get lost in the practical operations of running a business and growing it can feel like surfing a series of waves, small, big and sometimes, gigantic. So to ride them out, take a breath and wait, then reposition yourself to face the next one. To help you form a new approach, ask yourself: do you remember what moved you and inspired you right at the beginning? What is your gift to the world? Can you still relate to that? Reconnecting with your purpose can reset the clock and you can rediscover the joy of seeing your idea come to life once more.
“Being an exception to the rule of business can be exhausting, but being the master of your own destiny makes it worth it.”
I can see clearly now
Having launched a business you are already much braver than you think, so hold that thought; just because you feel challenged does not mean you are not up to that challenge. Turn your doubts into clarity and excitement; don’t sell yourself short. Channel your energy in a positive way and by adding purpose, value and alignment unleash your full potential for the next wave of growth. As Warren Buffet said, ‘risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing’.
Taking a step aside and reflecting on why these things are happening can enable you to feel more confident in what is needed for your next part of the entrepreneur adventure.
If you would like to know more about how the Lift-Off programme can support planning your next growth era follow the link: here