I am an entrepreneur and I consider myself blessed most of the time, well at least for 327 days a year. The rest of the days I doubt if I did right by leaving my highly paid regular job to become an entrepreneur.
After all, let's face it, we are human and human beings often self doubt themselves and their actions. As an entrepreneur though, I believe I have fewer regrets than my counterparts.
The days I doubt myself are usually the ones when business is slow or I have got too much on my plate and I am tackling them all alone.
So what does one do when you feel low or demotivated? How do you keep going when there are no teammates to support or a boss to look after you or give you a pep talk?
Here are the 10 things I do when life doesn’t seem so great and entrepreneurship seems like a challenge, though these moments are few and far between.
1) Read blogs and quotes of successful entrepreneurs across the world – Yes, this one is like a caffeine kick. Every time I feel my adrenalin dropping to low levels, I resort to this trick. I read a few blogs of people who made a success of their businesses. I also search for quotes of great men and women and believe me, it instantly peps me up apart from really inspiring me to pick myself and start working.
2) Remember why you started – Going into a flashback of why you started your business or decided to be an entrepreneur will often put it all back into perspective. Was it a bad job or a bad boss who made you quit and start on your own? Was it your thirst to work on your own terms and time? Did you want to spend more time with your family? Did you want to create your own legacy rather than building someone else’s? Reminding yourself why you chose this path will clarify your doubts and re-inforce self belief.
3) Meet a fellow entrepreneur – Sharing your wins and woes with someone makes the entrepreneurial journey more exciting and less lonely. When you win, you have someone to pat your back. When you are down and out, there is someone to pick you up. We all need help, love and support and a fellow entrepreneur who understands your plight is the one to cherish. Meet for coffee, offload your woes, pick each other up and get ready for another day!
4) Detach for some time – As much as you are involved with your brand or business, sometimes taking a step back, detaching yourself and seeing your business from a third perspective helps tremendously. When you see it from an outsiders perspective, you will notice that all is not bad. It might even give you an insight into things you can improve, things you can work on and things you have done really well. Use that perspective to strengthen your weaknesses and solidify your strengths.
5) Reach out to your mentor or a senior from the same field – It pays to have a mentor. I found mine quite by accident and cherish him like gold. Mentors can back you up with advice and motivation like no one can. They are like fathers who can hold your hand while you learn to walk. They are like mothers who console you when you fall. They are like friends who celebrate and applaud for you when you succeed and yes, having a mentor is like having an angel always on the lookout for you. Believe me, this mentor gave me wings. A coffee with him once in a month or just a two line chat with him on phone picks me up like no other. Find a mentor and yes, cherish him or her.
6) Connect with your customers – Your customers are your lifeline. You might not sell products everyday, business may not be as busy everyday but often these are good days to connect back with the very same people who made you a brand. These are the people who truly love what you have built. Reach out to your most loyal customers. Send them a handwritten note appreciating them, give them a discount offer, write a blog for them, ask them to review your product for you, let them write a testimonial, send them a free sample as a gift. Make them feel special, just like that. When your customer feels happy, you feel happy too. Giving is Receiving. Yes it applies here too.
7) Accept that there are highs and lows in everything – Acceptance is the first step to feeling better. Once you have accepted something, it becomes easier to deal with. Once you have accepted that things are not as good, write down what's working and what's not. Then get to work to correct the wrongs. Have the courage to throw out whats redundant and to accept new things. Constantly re-inventing yourself and your business keeps you charged and your brand relevant.
8) Count your blessings – You work when you want, you switch off when you need a break. You spend quality time with your family. You are answerable to yourself, not to a nasty boss. You do not rush in peak traffic to reach office in time. You do not have to wear a stiff tie and suit all days of the week. You work in the most comfortable attire you choose. Count all these things as perks of being an entrepreneur. Share notes with your counterparts who are stuck in 9 to 7 jobs. You will probably realise you are doing far better. Maybe often not in terms of a pay cheque but in the quality of life you are leading. You are living your passion, your dream instead of fulfilling someone else’s wish or command. That itself is a huge motivational factor to get you back into the game.
9) Switch off everyday for a few hours – Sometimes the reason for feeling low is often a burnout. Entrepreneurs often do not have fixed hours. There is no entry or exit time as in an office. The result is sometimes you fail to draw a line to demarcate your working hours. Avoid falling into this trap. Fix a schedule for yourself. Give time to your favourite hobby. Read on other topics apart from your business. Go for a walk. Meet your friends. Spend quality time with family without discussing your business. The more you make time for yourself, the more charged you will be to face the challenges of being in your own and being well.
10) Believe in yourself – Lastly but most importantly, BELIEVE. Believe that tomorrow will be a better day. Believe in your dream. Believe in the power of the universe and its manifestations of your dreams. Believe in your vision for your brand. Persistance, Patience and Passion, the three P’s make a deadly combination and will see you through the worst of phases. Believe you are the blessed one to have found an opportunity to work for yourself. Belief invariably leads to miracles. Never, just never let go of that belief.
These are the 10 tips which hold me in good stead when I am feeling low. If you have any such tips which you use, do write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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