When small-business owners become discouraged, they have the tendency to feel alone in their despair. You're not alone. Even the most successful among us have their moments.
There are surprising commonalities in my conversations with notable business leaders that I've found interesting when it comes to insecurity and success. Here’s what they fear and how they cope.
They have fears, too.
Successful people want to build upon their success, which means taking continual, albeit calculated, risks. With that comes increased odds of failure. Although they may seem impervious to it, failure can still sting enough to create a setback. The difference between them and many entrepreneurs is that highly successful entrepreneurs use their resourcefulness, creativity, and boldness to either reinvent their idea or go on to the next thing.
Go ahead; take a little time to emotionally process your setbacks. When you're done, assess what you've learned and what you will do differently, and then move on.
They want to give up.
Do you think you're the only one who wakes up feeling drained, exhausted, and in doubt? Nope. Even successful people get discouraged. They just don't wallow in it. Though they may be tempted at times, true achievers have a ferocious drive and hunger for success that does not allow them to give up.
They have routines.
Above all, most entrepreneurs value freedom. Some people believe that means doing anything they want when they want to do it, but that's rarely the case. Successful people have the discipline to stick to routines that enhance their creativity, lower their stress, and increase their energy. They engage in things such as daily exercise, steady sleep habits, prayer and meditation, and regular meals, even if they don't feel like it.
Sure, you're busy, but you'll benefit greatly from taking care of yourself. You will be more productive, focused, and positive if you engage in healthy self care. Try it for a month, keep a journal so that you recognize the changes, and let me know how it works for you.
They avoid ruts.
Although a good, healthful routine is important, so are new experiences. Successful people challenge themselves by trying new things, exposing themselves to different cultures and ideas, and surrounding themselves with people who think differently.
You may not have the means to fly across the globe, but you can choose books that you normally wouldn't read, take a trip to a culturally diverse part of your city, and go to events that are out of the norm for you. The goal is to expose yourself to new ideas and ways of life. This will help you to get in touch with global needs and changes so that your business can always be one step ahead.
They want to help you.
Successful people believe there's plenty of room at the top, so they are generous with their insights and knowledge. They know a determined entrepreneur when they see one and are often willing to invest a bit of their expertise to lend a helping hand. In fact, I frequently recommend that my clients seek advice from someone they admire and respect--someone who's been in their shoes and grown out of them. And you know what? Most of them are able to connect with people they once believed were inaccessible.
Who is the mentor of your dreams? Connect via social media, read his or her books, listen to and read his or her interviews in the media and at industry events. Think about what you'd ask him or her if you were given the opportunity. Then, find a way to get noticed by him or her. I had a client who put an amazing amount of mental energy into meeting her idol, Kathy Ireland, whose worldwide retail empire is estimated to be worth some $350 million. Guess what? Within two months' time, she found herself seated next to Ireland on a flight from Los Angeles to New York City. Two years later, and that relationship is still flourishing.
It's OK to feel as though you need a break. It's even OK to feel like giving up. Just don't dwell in those emotions. When you're in a negative frame of mind, break out of your routine and do something that makes you feel good. Also allow yourself a mental break to reconnect with your passion. This whole entrepreneurial venture is bigger than you are. Stay connected to your why, and you're sure to make it through just about anything.