Social media can make entrepreneurial life look glamorous and easy! Oh wow, you’re so lucky! You have your own business. You don’t have to do the 9 to 5 corporate life! You get to be your own boss and don’t have to answer to anyone. You can make millions working part-time!
Although these things may be true for some entrepreneurs, I don’t believe it’s the norm. I am around enough entrepreneurs to know that this life is far from being easy. I see the long hours my clients work. I witness the stress, frustration, self-doubt, procrastination, sabotage, limits, and even abandonment that comes with entrepreneur life.
I know I’m not alone when…
- I want to ignore my work because I finally allowed myself a little piece of relaxation – something I haven’t felt in weeks.
- I want to cry because the overwhelm is more than I can handle at the moment.
- I want to scream because I am so tired of 12 hours days.
- I want to give up because I know my family is sick of watching me work.
- I want to quit because having someone hand me a paycheck seems so much easier.
But I’m not a quitter. I wasn’t raised that way. My life experiences have groomed me for entrepreneur life. You get up, solve your problems, and create a better life for yourself. That’s called resilience!
“Resilience is very different than being numb. Resilience means you experience, you feel, you fail, you hurt. You fall. But, you keep going.” —Yasmin Mogahed
Entrepreneurship requires resilience. My spouse and I were having a conversation a few weeks ago about resilience. As a lifelong entrepreneur and survivor of stage 3 colon cancer, I knew she would have some wisdom to share about resilience. I, too, have experienced quite a bit of trauma in my life and it made for a lovely discussion. What does it take to be resilient?
We boiled it down to three key ingredients…
You must accept everything for what it is right now. You don’t have to like anything, but you must accept it. You need to be real about your circumstances, your situation, and yourself. You’re not making money in your business? Accept it. You are unhappy with your team. Accept it. You are working way more hours than you want to. Accept it. You don’t have the skills you need to be competitive. Accept it. Accept every bit of it, 100%.
Don’t lie to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up. Don’t make excuses. Don’t think things should be different than what they are. Just accept it all.
Because without acceptance, change can’t happen. When you can come to a place of absolute acceptance of everything, then you will have a clear mind and be able to develop solutions to your problems. When we fight, or deny our circumstances, our judgment is clouded. The energy is blocked and we will stay stuck where we’re at.
“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it…This will miraculously transform your whole life.” —Eckhart Tolle
If you accept, but do not believe, you will have no hope. You must believe that things can and will be different. Nothing is forever. Every situation can change if you believe that it can. When I talked with my spouse about belief, she remembered when she was told that she had stage 3 colon cancer. At first, the disbelief hit her. She had colon cancer? On the day of her surgery, she was in high spirits. She joked with the doctors and told them that today they needed to bring their “A” game. She told me, “I didn’t believe for one minute that I wasn’t going to beat cancer.” And guess what? She beat it!
While you must believe that circumstances will change, you must also believe in yourself. Belief in yourself gives you the confidence to move forward. Even when there are things going on in my business that I don’t have the answers to, I believe in myself to figure it out. I know I am resourceful. I know I am strong. I know I will keep digging, learning, and growing until I find the solution I need. I can look back on hardships in my life and know that I not only survived but thrived in the end. I am a warrior and I know this about myself. Belief will propel you towards change.
“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I shall have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning.” —Gandhi
You have accepted your circumstances. You believe that things can be different. But you don’t take action. Then nothing will change. Action is the pivotal turning point for resilience, in my opinion. It is action that picks you up off the ground. Action takes you from failure to success. The medicine for a depressed slump is action.
This year has been a tough year for my spouse. The most important person in her life, her mother, passed away in January. When she doesn’t want to accept or doesn’t believe she will make it through, I always encourage her to take action. Take some tiny baby step forward. Clean out just one of your mom’s closets. Do something to prove to yourself that you will make it through.
Action creates momentum and more action will follow. It’s like a snowball that starts to roll down a hill. Once it starts moving, it only gains speed and movement. The other day, after turning away a client that I thought would be fun to work with, I knew I had to take action. I was feeling overwhelmed with too much on my plate. Knowing that I didn’t want to stay stuck there, I scheduled a meeting with my project manager/OBM. I didn’t have the complete solution, but I believe by starting the conversation and stating my intention, change will occur. I will slowly move things off my plate and onto hers so I can be free to grow the business.
“The universe doesn’t give you what you ask for with your thoughts; it gives you what you demand with your actions.” —Dr. Steve Mariboli
The honest entrepreneur will tell you that this life is full of ups and downs. Just like life, it is full of joy, success, and celebration. But it also includes stress, failure, and disappointment. Entrepreneurship is not for the weak. It is for the resilient ones that can practice radical acceptance, an unwavering belief and a commitment to taking massive action.
Hail to all the entrepreneurs out there that get up every day, fall down, and get back up! You deserve to be celebrated!
Lori Young is a two-time entrepreneur and founder of Amazing OBM, a business management company committed to heart-centered entrepreneurs. Together, we will accept, believe, and take action to grow your business and bring your dream to life!
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