8 Tips for Navigating the Ups and Downs of Entrepreneurship
by Pepper Makepeace
It happens to all of us. The ups and downs of entrepreneurship are unavoidable. They’re just part of the package. And that’s ok. It’s what we do with them that matters the most. It helps to identifying what we’re feeling and why. Then the best course of action will present itself.
Here are some possibilities along with some tools for getting through them.
- Feeling Discouraged ~ Focus On the Why
-> The “Why” behind the work is always multifaceted. Be assured there’s a reason you’re on the entrepreneurial journey and not in a traditional 9-to-5. Check out this free worksheet to help you reconnect with the why behind your business.
- Feel Like No One is Listening? ~Focus On the Who
-> Maybe your content isn’t resonating or reaching the right people. Reconnect with who you serve in your business. What do they they need? Pick ONE person who is your ideal client. [Or focus on your ideal client avatar/persona.] Write your email newsletter and blog posts directly to them. Create content specifically to help and serve that one person. Think about how they might find your content – Google searches, Facebook groups, etc – and get in front of them. Participating in discussions. Use logical keywords and hashtags they might be using. They need you!
- Feeling Unfocused or Stir Crazy? ~Get a Change of Scenery
-> Find a new coffee shop. Work in a co-working space for a day. Or even just take a walk. Shake things up. You’ll be surprised how energizing it can be.
- Feeling Depleted? ~ Fill Your Cup
-> If your creativity well is feeling a bit dry, you need some mental food. Surround yourself with things and people that inspire you and feed your creative juices. Take in new information from new sources. Learn something new. Try something new. Doodle. Write. Craft. Play.
- Feeling Overwhelmed? ~ Declutter
-> Time for some mental and physical decluttering. Clean your desk. Organize your files. Get your inbox to zero. Take a break from social media. Reduce your intake of new information. Unsubscribe. Unfollow. Press pause.
- Feeling Lonely? ~ Reach Out
-> You really aren’t alone. There are other women just like you feeling very similar things. Meet up for coffee or co-working. Join the Sisterhood or another membership site that feels right. Find a Meetup group or local business association that you like. Find your people. They are out there!!
- Feeling Stuck? ~ Work Through It
-> This can be a powerful perspective shift, especially if it’s a particular task or troublesome client that we’re avoiding. Stephanie Pollock recently reminded our Leadership League Mastermind about the Cognitive Triangle of Think, Do, & Feel and how this can impact our productivity. Some things just don’t “feel” fun – like going to the gym – and therefore we aren’t super motivated to do them. And sometimes we can’t “think” ourselves into doing things even though we know we need to – like bookkeeping. So in the end we just have to “do” the thing and move on. Set a timer. Create the space. And just get it done.
- Feeling Burnt Out? ~ Take a Break
-> Sometimes you just need a break. As a solopreneur, it’s likely that you’ve been working your ass off and you are legitimately burnt out and just need some time. Take it! You’re allowed. You deserve it. It won’t all fall apart if you step back for a day or two. In fact, when you come back you might even have more energy, creativity, and amazing insights to infuse into your business.
The ups and downs of entrepreneurship are inevitable. Hopefully these tools can help you navigate them better and get through the lows more quickly.
About the Author
founder of the Small Business Sisterhood
Anyone brave enough to give the entrepreneur thing a try is cool as shit in Pepper’s book. If fact, she founded the Small Business Sisterhood to support women doing just that! As an entrepreneur since 2008 doing coaching and web design, Pepper offers a unique perspective on the entrepreneurial journey and all it entails. Collaboration and community is an important part of Pepper’s business and she’s grateful for the strong connections she’s made with other entrepreneurs and the amazing impact these relationships have had on her business. When Pepper isn’t in the Sisterhood, she can be found hanging out with her fur babies, teaching Japanese language classes, crocheting, embroidering, or having a deep, philosophical conversation with her hubby over copious amounts of coffee. XO