If you’re not careful, the journey to start and grow your business can feel isolating. This path is better traveled together, so don’t struggle alone.
Remember, struggle is part of the process of stretching outside your comfort zone. And, while struggle eventually yields growth, it can also more immediately bring loneliness, stress, and a noisy inner-critic.
So, how might you proactively manage those symptoms?
Well, it’s no secret that we – human beings – are social creatures.
We’ve thrived as a species, in part, because of our ability to work together in groups – especially when there have been new challenges to overcome.
To navigate the pressures of starting and growing your business, you need to let people in.
Simply put, don’t struggle alone.
IT’S ALL A WORK IN PROGRESS
Whether it’s another new small business owner, a mentor, your best friend, your parents, a coach, or a classmate; whether you need to hear a second opinion, to test a new idea, or to just vent; think of people as critical infrastructure for your business.
It’s more important to establish a support network than it is to have a perfect website, for example – because bottling up your fears, doubts, and questions is a sure fire way to slowly kill your business ambitions. If you’re struggling, you need to say so.
It would be normal to feel a little self-conscious or even embarrassed about the state of your business today. If that’s you, I want you to know that you’re not alone.
I also challenge you to acknowledge that thought and let it go.
Your young business is a work in progress. Definitionally, that makes it a little messier, a little scrappier, and a little more fluid. It’s not done. That’s okay.
It can sometimes feel like the world is watching you, just waiting for you to fail. That you – and your business – need to be perfect. But, I promise you, the people who love you – who really care about you, don’t think that at all.
Brené Brown said: “You’re imperfect, and you’re wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.”
If you want to release some of the pressure you might be feeling, connect with other people.
You don’t have to open up to everyone. Find people you trust, who will really listen
Be thoughtful about what you want from them, then ask for what you need.
For example, do you need someone who can help you see from new perspectives, generate new ideas, solve problems, or find inspiration? Or, do you just need someone to listen?
DON’T STRUGGLE ALONE
Here’s something to try: think of one person you want to talk to about the state of your business – maybe it’s someone you know, maybe it’s someone new.
Now, reflect: what’s giving you pause about starting that conversation?
If you’re nervous about opening up, think of it this way:
Which is worse: continuing the grind despite the pain and loneliness you feel right now or the discomfort from demonstrating a little vulnerability to ask for help?
Both might not feel great, but one has the potential to alleviate pain, the other does not.
ONE MORE THING
Starting and growing a business is not a straight line.
It can feel messy. It zigs and zags. It starts and stops. It can feel frustrating even for the most seasoned business owners. And, that’s ok.
It’s also an exciting challenge. It’s going to stretch you. You’re going to learn a lot – not just about business, but about yourself.
And, that’s why it’s worth it.