I want you to take a second to remember one of the core values of why you started this entrepreneurial journey. For me, it was when I was applying to graduate programs to continue my education. Before I could press submit I thought of my mother. A small business owner who worked hard yet set her own schedule, supported her three kids, took vacations, met with incredible people, dressed the way she wanted, attended every sporting event, made a lot of money, all while wearing a smile on her face. It was those memories that shifted my thoughts to,” I want that too”. I wanted that freedom…
So think back, what is your core reason? When was the moment that you wanted freedom. (I’d love to read in the comments)
Entrepreneurship brings a beautiful essence of freedom, but I think it would be irresponsible to not also mention the dark shadow that accompanies it, instability. Among many other reasons, the promise of freedom is one of the biggest core values that I hear from business owners on why they decided to become an entrepreneur. I get it, it was my biggest reason, and still is to this day. The idea of being your own boss, setting your own hours, and pursuing your passion is undeniable. Entrepreneurship offers the potential to break free from the traditional 9-to-5 job and provides a space that is rooted in creativity and innovation.
However, this entrepreneurial freedom often carries a unique set of challenges along with it. One of those challenges being the unknown or instability.
“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”
The Dark Shadow of Instability
The main trigger for anxiety when it comes to instability is financial. Unlike traditional employment, where paychecks are consistently showing up every month, we face the ebbs and flows of income. This uncertainty can lead to the constant worry about paying bills, saving for the future, and providing financial stability for not only yourself but for your family.
Success much like anything else, is not guaranteed in entrepreneurship. The fear of failure can be tough for anyone, but I think it is important to differentiate that as entrepreneurs fear of failure also holds a little different weight to it. Think about it; it’s your business, your ideas, your passions, your heart, your name. It is all out there on public display. It is an extremely vulnerable place to not only navigate but to live in. So if and when we fail it is out there for the whole world to see. There might also be a part of you that feels like you need to prove yourself (number of reasons which is a whole other blog post), creating an immense amount of pressure to carry all day everyday.
Now, because of this pressure, this instability, this unknown factor it can cause us to create bad behaviors or behaviors that don’t serve us. Yes, I am talking about work life balance.
The pursuit of entrepreneurial freedom can often blur the boundaries between work and personal life. Think about it, most of us feel like if we don’t send the email, create the invoice, write the blog post, talk about it on social, solve that problem, make a better product, do more, be more who else is going to do it? Who else is going to make my business successful and give that freedom I long for. So we hustle, and hustle some more, and everything is going great until it’s not….
Tips for Success
While there is so much to unpack here, for the sake of this blog post I wanted to share some tips that can help you. Again, these are not end all be all, but they are a stepping stone, a small piece to help you.
Tip 1: Free yourself from the number you are chasing (the number you are fixated on), let it go. Give your brain the freedom to create, try new things.
Tip 2: Instead of fearing failure, view it as a valuable learning experience. You are going to fail on some level. Every entrepreneurs does, it is okay, take it as a learning lesson and take another step forward.
Tips 3: Schedule in some JOY. I wholeheartedly believe that we need to live out of lives. Yes your job, your business is a part of you, but don’t make it all of you. LIVE!
Tip 4: Find yourself a community of other entrepreneurs. Nobody is going to understand the pressure, anxiety, and happiness better than someone else who is going through the same things as you. Find your people through masterminds, facebook groups, email lists. You are not alone.
The Path Forward
My final thought to you is this; entrepreneurial freedom is incredible and it is accompanied hand in hand with the unknown. By acknowledging these challenges you are taking the first step towards finding strategies to manage them effectively. Remember, this path is challenging, but it is also incredibly rewarding.