Every entrepreneur wants their business to “work”. When it works, it provides us with money to pay our bills, buy us plane tickets for wonderful sunny getaways and take us out for dinner. It may provide us with a sense of purpose and meaning, a warm fuzzy feeling of “doing the right work”, and a sense of pride every time we say “I own my own business”.
It makes perfect sense.
When I was starting out as a full-time coach, I had no “job” – my business was my job. I needed my business to bring in enough money to support my life. Not to mention, I left my day job so I could do something that gave me a sense of freedom, fulfilled me and felt meaningful. Furthermore, my entire identity was wrapped up in being an entrerpreneur. I was terrified of failure (“What if I fail and have to admit it to everyone?! Then what will I do?”). There was was a lot riding on my business.
Little did I know I was setting myself up for a difficult road.
When you haven’t grown your business up yet, but feel that your life depends on your business (like I did), your relationship with your business is sideways. If that is the case, you likely feel overwhelmed, stuck and frustrated. You may feel like you are spinning your wheels – mega output but limited input (lotsa work but lack o’ cash and fulfillment). Familiar? Yes, me too. Read on…
Before you’ve grown your business to a place of sustainability, your business is essentially a baby. Your job as the “parent” of your business is to take care of this little one, not the other way around.
The first few years of business – until you become sustainable – is about the hustle. You’re researching your market, testing pricing and marketing, clarifying offerings, building a reputation and deciding how you want this baby to behave. Like being a new parent, it’s a big job. In these formative years, it’s imperative to stay open to learning everything you can about your business baby, because while you’re growing your “baby” up, you’re also getting to know it.
If your relationship with your business is healthy, it will start with a clear understanding that you’re the Mommy. If that’s clear, you’ll be more open; more receptive. The more open you are, the more you’ll be able to make smart, clear decisions.
The more open you are, the more you’ll be able to gauge exactly what’s needed.
Eventually, your business will be grown-up and it will be able to take care of you more. You’ll know it’s grown up when you can step away from it and it still keeps running. But until then, it’s by no means ready to take care of you. You are, after all, the Mommy.
This mindset switch will change the way you live your life, for the better.
Because in fact, your business depends on your life.
This means that we have to take care of ourselves – our health, our relationships, our finances AND our business. When I realized that my business was too young to take care of me, I decided to take care of it. That’s when I started investing my resources (time, money and energy) it both me and my biz, and that’s when my business really took off.
3 things to do this week to help you start living, so your business can too:
1. Get hustling on The One Big Thing
After building a super successful business, I can say that the one big thing that’s made the biggest difference is doing The One Big Thing. What I mean is, focus on the thing that is going to propel your business forward the most, and only that thing. If you want to get more clients, stop spending your time cleaning out the inbox before you go get more clients. First thing’s first.
2. Have a date with your money
The area that most people struggle with, when building a business, is finances. Most of us avoid them altogether, and we all know that nothing good comes from avoidance. Set an hour this week to have a “date” with your money. Put on some lipstick, get dressed up and just look. See what’s really going on with your finances, and craft a plan to move in the direction of your financial goals. All you have to do is start.
3. Take the weekend off
In order to have a healthy biz, you need to be healthy. You need your people. Go share some time with the people you love. Talk about something other than work. Play, eat, sleep. Just take one weekend off. Putting the focus on taking care of your life creates flow and ease, and takes the desperation out of your business. Hunger is good – starvation is not. It makes all the difference.
Nisha Moodley is a featured Business Matters Contributor and is fiercely dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs live their dream lifestyle. For more about her click here for her full bio and all of her articles!
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