Your life as an entrepreneur – hard work, dedication, taking risks, being fearless – you know what I’m talking about. It takes inspiration, willingness to be out of the comfort zone and lots and lots of energy to keep your businesses going day after day, week after week.My life has been turned upside down this spring. In addition to building a house (which is enough excitement and stress for a lifetime) I lost loved one, had a family member diagnosed with cancer, and have been nursing my entire family, including myself through a zapping dose of spring illness for almost a month now.
It’s not sympathy I’m after here – just the opportunity to share with you my perspective as a result of some pretty unusual circumstances. Truth be told, I simply haven’t had the physical or emotional strength to apply my usual vigorously engaged approach to working and building my business. And, I’m sure you can relate – this isn’t the best position for a small business owner to be in.
At some point during the past month I was stressing (complaining is more like it) about my dormant energy and serious lack of action to my supportive and wise friend. Instead of helping problem solve me back into the productivity saddle, she asked me one simple, yet powerful question – she asked me to tell her what was working.
It was a brilliantly disarming question – it completely stopped me in my tracks. Suddenly I had the opportunity to turn my half empty glass over and see it as half full instead.
When was the last time you took a step back and took a good look at what’s working in your business rather than at what’s not?
What Are You Proud Of? As I indicated in my opening, it takes something to be a business owner. You probably didn’t develop your ability to weather the ups and downs of entrepreneurship by hanging out under a rock. Give yourself a pat on the back for how much you’ve pushed through and how far you’ve come.
What Have You Learned? New businesses don’t come with an operating manual. I bet if you made a list of all the skills you’ve learned, you’d impress yourself. Don’t under estimate this. Business skills like budgeting and marketing, and personal skills, like communication and time management count. (Please resist the temptation to flip back to what you still have to learn). Trust me, you have grown.
Acknowledge Your Wins. What accounts have you landed that surprised you? How much more income did you generate this year over last year? What positive feedback have you gotten from customers? It’s very important to stop and notice where you’ve succeeded. Don’t forget the small successes, they’re just as important as the big ones. I challenge you to make a list of ten wins right now.
Regularly asking, “what’s working” is a great anti stress, success tool to adopt and use frequently. You don’t have to wait until crisis hits. It builds confidence, self-esteem and kicks your entrepreneurial passion in the pants inspiring you to keep going.
When I answered this question for myself I was amazed. I immediately shifted my attention and became aware of how well I’d done building my business to the place it is now. I knew I could weather this crisis and give myself the time I needed to relax and allow the fruits of my hard work to carry me – until the next wave of inspired energy shows up, which I can feel is right around the corner.
It’s YOUR life…imagine the possibilities!