The reading level for this article is All Levels
We all talk about the entrepreneurial journey — how when you embark, the highs will be some of the best highs of your life â€¦ but there will be some lows too.
The reality is that just as the highs you can reach running your own biz are some of the highest you’ll experience, very few things may beat how low the lows can go.
And when you hit rock bottom, you can REALLY hit rock bottom. Because the truth of the matter is you can’t have the highs without the lows. They’re a part of the journey and they also make the highs soooo much more sweeter.
So I’m not writing this because I want to scare you away from the lows — on the contrary. The lows have made me who I am today (and I wouldn’t trade that). Why I’m writing this is to give you some support and love if you are going through a low right now.
I think the worst part of the lows in the entrepreneurial journey (which is why I think the lows are that much lower) is how alone you feel. You own your own business — who are you going to lean on in your life who “gets” it? And who do you have who can help you through it who has “been there, done that and got the tee shirt to prove it?”
So that’s why I want to share these truths you can hang on to as you navigate the sometimes choppy waters of entrepreneurship.
1. You’re not alone. I know I just said this but it’s worth repeating. When you’re in the middle of muddling through a low, you may feel like you’re all alone — but you’re not. Everyone who has run a business has been there. It’s just part of the path of being an entrepreneur.
2. It won’t last. No matter how bad things look and feel right now, know this is only a part of the journey. Things WILL turn around. And the reality is, the more you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom, the faster you’ll experience the turnaround.
Now this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be taking action to change it. Not at all — instead I just want you to really feel this isn’t your “new” reality (no matter how much it may feel like it is) and instead know deep down that it’s just a part of the journey.
3. Only what challenges you changes you. I actually saw this at my local YMCA. They of course were referring to actually doing a tough workout (versus showing up and going through the motions and calling it a workout) but this actually is applicable to all sorts of things in life. If it’s NOT challenging you, then it’s probably not changing you. So if you are in a challenging spot, know that if you’re open and you let it, it could actually be the catalyst that transforms you.
Now if you are stuck in the lows, you may be thinking to yourself “Well Michele, this is all well and good, but I don’t want to be here anymore. How do I get myself out?”
I’m so glad you asked! If this IS you, then here’s something you can do to get yourself back on track – out of the lows and heading into the highs:
Don’t do what you’ve always done.
I’m serious. We’ve all been in lows before and you probably have something you do to cope (maybe it’s a bad habit — like drinking an extra glass of wine or collapsing in front of the television — or maybe it’s something you don’t think is bad, like overworking). I’d like to suggest maybe you DON’T do what you always do, and instead do something different. (And if you’re not sure what that would look like, you could try doing the exact opposite from what you normally would do.)
Regardless of what you choose, just keep breathing. You’re not alone and it WILL pass.