The start of the year has come and gone, and with it came some harsh realities about starting a business.
I don’t know about you, but I found it incredibly difficult to get back into the swing of things after the holidays. When I started to set my goals for the year, I felt discouraged instead of excited.
I’ve been taking things step by step, working really hard, and I’m so passionate about what I’m doing, but things aren’t moving as quickly as I’d like them to.
reality set in
I started to panic about money. What is my break even point? How many clients do I need to take on in order to cover expenses? How many more would I need in order to pay myself the money I need to survive on a monthly basis?
Those numbers scared me.
How was I ever going to get there?
Is it time to give up??
time to quit?
Panic consumed me. I had no idea what to do. I was depressed, irritable and so disappointed.
Instead of refocusing on my business, I considered finding a part time job instead – something that would give me a bit of money while things continue to grow but wouldn’t require so much brain power that I would be too exhausted to put any time into my business.
Just thinking about this made me feel like a failure. To take on any sort of job would mean that I would lose my flexibility to work with clients and attend events. It would possibly mean that I’d end up months behind where I am at the moment, making the journey much longer and harder.
an objective perspective
When you’ve been on the startup journey for some time and you hit bumps along the way, it’s easy to get discouraged. When you’re working on your own, there may not be many people around to lift you up again. It’s easy to let self-doubt creep in and those doubts and fears can quickly become unmanageable.
A serendipitous lunch date with Mark Leruste helped to snap me out of it.
With genuine interest, enthusiasm, and encouragement, he asked me a lot of insightful questions about who I am and what I’m doing. Some caused me to reconsider the decisions I’d made along the way and others caused me to re-evaluate what was working and what needed to change. He also offered some really insightful observations that not only got me thinking objectively about my situation, but also sparked so many exciting ideas, renewed my sense of purpose, and gave me that nudge to get on with it.
i refuse to quit
Sometimes all it takes is an objective, heartfelt and brutally honest conversation with someone to get you back on track.
That lunch date melted away my January blues and restored my confidence. The voices of self-doubt have been replaced with these voices instead:
I refuse to quit.
It is absolutely not time to quit.
I refuse to give up on everything I’ve built up so far.
Nor walk away from the people I most want to help.
I will persevere.
And I will make it work.
over to you
Does my story sound familiar? What have you discovered about the pitfalls of self-doubt? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts so do share your comments below.