As your business grows, so do you

Post by Patricia Lawless for the Kindness in Business series.


Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Over the last couple of years of being a solo entrepreneur, I’ve learned several lessons but the one that stands out is this:
Running your own business is one of the biggest personal growth journeys you can undertake.

Not only do you have to figure out what you stand for, but then you have to go put yourself and your message out there, hoping all the while that people will resonate and feel moved and ultimately… like you.

Talk about vulnerability and courage.

And that’s all without mentioning the Resistance and Inner Critics that show up along the way, and learning how to deal with that.

Running your heart-centered business, you lay it all out there. Every day. This is who I am. This is what I believe. and This is why I’m here.

That’s big stuff.

So of course, you have hard days when it feels like you are all alone and never going to “make it”.
Of course, you struggle with getting it right.
Of course, it’s hard to take the next step, day after day.

But with each struggle comes a new nugget of learning:

  • “Oh, I see. Those people who unsubscribed aren’t really my customers anyway… no need to feel rejected by them.”
  • “Oh, I get it. I don’t actually need stress over figuring out every detail before I start.”
  • “Ooohh… people respond more when I’m actually being completely and authentically me… even though that’s scarier. I get more comments, replies, and sales. Hmm.”

So on the hard days when you find yourself struggling to step into your big-girl-business-woman pants, remember the things you’ve learned.

Very rarely does someone wake up one morning, start a business, and have a wild & instant success. That only happens for the lucky few. For the rest of us, it takes time. And hustle. And personal growth. And growing pains.

Here are 3 ways to make the growing pains a little easier.

  1. Give yourself credit.

    In the hustle of business (and busyness), it is so easy to overlook the great things you do. But you do great work. If you didn’t, your customers and clients wouldn’t be there, and you would not have a business. So take the time to give yourself the credit you deserve.

    Action step: Whether you do it daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly, take time to reflect and write down at least 3 things you did well.

  2. Stop comparing yourself to others.

    You know that compare & despair thing we all do, right? Well, it isn’t doing you any favors.

    It is fine to admire someone else, and even to look up to someone else. But when they become “everything you’re not”, it’s time to redirect your attention.

    It’s so easy to get overwhelmed by all of the pretty images and happy status updates on Facebook, but that’s not the whole picture, it’s only the highlight reel. SO don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.

    Action step: Whenever you start feeling overwhelmed with the compare & despair syndrome, give yourself a timeout from social media (for a day, a week, or however long you need).

  3. Look for the learning.

    When you overcome a hurdle or fall flat on your face, take a look back and see what you can learn from the experience. This keeps you present to your growth, and by staying present to your growth you can actually accelerate it (by using what you learn).

    Sometimes things get really hard — like, hypothetically, the group coaching program you launched in February doesn’t sell a single spot — and all you want to do is throw a pity party.

    So throw yourself a pity party with cake. Mourn the loss, pitch a fit, watch a cheesy movie. Whatever you need to do.

    And then, take a look back to see what you can learn from the experience. There’s always something to learn. Whether it’s something like: “wow, I didn’t put my energy into that launch.” or simply: “I still have a lot to learn about launching programs.” This is something you can use to improve next time (it’s much more useful than a week of moping on the couch, trust me on that one).

    Action Step: Look back at a disappointment or failure or success you had in the last 6 months to a year. And ask yourself: what can I learn from that? How can I improve next time?

    Take these three steps regularly and watch your business (as well as personal) growth blossom.

    Oh, and don’t forget to have fun!

    Patricia Lawless is a certified life coach and writer who helps women make space for what really matters in their lives by letting go of perfection, overcoming overwhelm, and making up their own set of rules. Visit her website and read more at: PatriciaLawless.com

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