I don’t believe we talk openly enough about what it’s actually like being an entrepreneur (or a business owner) as a community. That’s why today, I want to just lay it all out. Being open and transparent about what it’s like can help the collective community cope with their own journeys better. Let’s face it, the journey is a cocktail full of all kinds of emotion.
I find that the more I talk about the emotional side of things the easier it is for everyone to learn from these conversations including myself. After all, being an entrepreneur undoubtedly comes with its never-ending ups and downs.
In today’s article, I’m going to share with you 6 different emotions that are a part of being an entrepreneur (thankfully not all at once though but can you imagine! ?). I see many entrepreneurs going through the same ups and downs as myself. The first of the six really drives the importance of this post because it talks about feeling lonely and alone – which I assure you, you’re not.
We all heard the saying “it’s lonely at the top.” Well, I call bullshit. It’s lonely getting to the top. I find that quote to be very misleading because I don’t think it’s true at all. Whatever your goal is for being an entrepreneur, it can be difficult to pursue them at times. Especially so when no one around you seems to get what you’re trying to do and that, right there, can feel extremely isolating at times.
Being an entrepreneur means being in the minority as most people get jobs instead of taking on their own business ventures. Our friends and family may be well-meaning and supportive, but they aren’t going through these up and downs of being an entrepreneur. Even as recently as this week I was sharing with a few friends that I was having trouble and a rough time for the last few weeks and one of them responded with “I know you hate the idea but why haven’t you seriously considered looking for a job?” I’m not the only one who had conversations like these. I also know I have it easy because my circle of friends and family supports me.
Then there is the whole stigma of women taking risks and doing whatever the hell we want, and people get really confused and uncomfortable about it. When the people closest to you don’t support you, that’s just the worst. I don’t wish that on anyone.
When it really comes down to it, being an entrepreneur is lonely at times. As stresses come up and your boyfriend or best friend doesn’t get what you’re going through it can be very difficult to talk to someone. I too find it hard to open up to some people about what I’m going through sometimes. It’s because they tend to miss the point a lot like my friend who always supposes looking for a job. I love him death, but I can’t keep having that conversation over and over again.
Doing something about loneliness
As with most problems, being a lonely entrepreneur can be solved. First, though, I want to say that no matter the negative or overwhelming emotion you’re feeling, it’s okay to acknowledge it. It’s okay to feel it and think about it in order to learn from it. However, I don’t recommend dwelling in it and letting it overcome you. That’s never a good thing. So, what can a lonely entrepreneur do?
Go make other entrepreneur friends. This may seem awkward or weird at first, especially for fellow introverts but it’s a reliable solution. You have many options such as weekly or monthly business meetings in your area. You can join relevant Facebook groups and strike up a conversation with fellow business women here. I promise you, you’re not alone. But the only way to find someone who gets it is to put yourself out there. Even having one friend who you keep in touch with on a weekly basis can make feeling lonely a world difference.
Business relationships are overlooked for their emotional and mental benefits. They are a lifesaver for getting through your journey while looking our sanity. Over time, you’re bound to build quality friendships and relationships that will bring with you “to the top” where you’ll see that it’s really not that lonely with the right people by your side.
Girl, email me if you must!
I’m serious! I’m always interested in meeting other create entrepreneurs, and if you’re having a hard time, I’ll gladly be there for you and listen.
You’re more than welcome to contact me directly as well! It’s a pleasure to meet you, love: email@example.com.
Now flipping to a more positive and super intense emotion of passion. And, boy, does this one make me feel amazing about being an entrepreneur!
The best way I can summarize this feeling is the phrase “I must do it!” Being an entrepreneur for years and years now, there are always plenty of moments that remind me why I started my own business in the first place. Those moments make me actually want to keep going because I love what I’m doing.
Different forms of passions
On some occasions, I feel energized; I feel so proud and inspired like “Hell yes! Let’s do this!!!” On other days, I am significantly more drained and tired then I am energized, but the idea is the same that I must keep going.
Passion is a drive, a determination that keeps us going; I’m not referring to a specific cause such as “my passion is to save the oceans from plastic.”I’m talking about feeling passion for being an entrepreneur and living that life, whether you’re feeling good or not so much.
And you know exactly what I’m talking about because there is definitely a push every single morning that gets us out of bed and on our feet. That’s passion!
You should also feel satisfaction that is larger than life as a passion for what you’re building continues to evolve.Craig Bloem
Whether you’re in a good, neutral or bad mood, you know why you got started in your journey, and you love the ride no matter how hard it gets sometimes. You end up feeling satisfied by your work.
For some reason, when people talk about being an entrepreneur, they often call us fearless. Have you noticed that? Oh my, could that be any further from the truth?! being an entrepreneur means being in contact fear, amirite?! I truly believe that most people became entrepreneurs because of the fear of missing out on their dreams way too greater than the idea of playing it safe the traditional way. I know I’m one of those.
Personally, I often wonder what if this new project will fail, what if my whole business runs out of money, what if… On top of that, I also personally struggle with the fear of success. I’ve had fear royally fuck me over twice in the last four months. As soon as I’m onto something good, as soon as I’m starting to seeing notable results, I shut down and drop the ball. Not only do I live in fear that this will happen to me again within the next two months, but I also deal with many of other fears on an almost daily basis such as fear of running out of money and fear of spending money (on assets). Oh yeah, I’m that screwed up when it comes to money, but I’m working on it.
Fear is manageable
Now, I know enough about fear to understand that it’s just a terrible feeling that’s evolved with us humans for survival. But, in today’s day and age and in developed societies, we don’t need fear to keep us safe anymore as there ain’t no lions lurking in the shadows of our backyards anymore. Today, fear holds us back and often time leads us to make wrong decisions, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Fears can be dealt with and managed. Being an entrepreneur, over time we get so much exposure of fear that we learn to manage it along the way by default. Some people, myself included, go out of their way to make sure their fears are handled so that we can go on about our days and go after our dreams with less stress.
Ignoring fear, like most negative emotions ain’t going to do much for anyone. However, learning how to cope with it and disarming it can do wonders in freeing us emotionally. Entrepreneurs aren’t fearless, they go on despite fearing failure, success, money, fame, etc…
4. Success and accomplishment
The fourth common emotion felt by entrepreneurs and business owners is the feeling of accomplishment and success. What I mean by success is a little different than having “made it.” As we all know, not enough entrepreneurs or businesses “succeed.” I’m using success as an adjective, as a feeling, not a place or a finish line. You feel it every time you achieve something and have a win, big or small. Pursuing our entrepreneurial goals means we make all sorts of achievements and wins along the way.
Celebrating our successes
I actually don’t think we celebrate our achievements enough as entrepreneurs. Maybe when it’s a special or a big deal, we’ll have a dinner or buy ourselves a promised reward. In Girl, Wash Your Face, Rachel Hollis talked about how she promised to buy herself a thousand dollar Louis Vuitton Speedy handbag when she signs her first $10,000 client. And she did exactly that the second she deposited the check. And that’s great! I am all for it! But what about the little wins she made on getting to that first $10,000 check and what about her future successes such as her first $25,000 client or her first $1,000,000 year?
The day I received my first $10,000 check, I drove directly to the bank – and then from the bank to the Louis Vuitton store at the Beverly Center. When I walked about of that store, it was the proudest I’ve ever been in my whole life.Rachel Hollis, Girl, Wash Your Face
But, more importantly, what about you and your daily wins and achievements, love?
Collecting your wins
Being an entrepreneur, we continuously keep going after our goals and dreams which means we consistently make achievements towards them. I want you to keep better track of those. The more you recognize and celebrate your wins, big or small, the better and prouder you’ll feel about yourself. This is especially true when you end up in a rut where you’re feeling stuck, lost and frustrated at your lack of progress.
These celebrations don’t have to be lavish, a simple happy dance will do.
I’ve created a free printable for you to download so that you keep track of your wins as you go. If you’ve never tried this, give it a shot for a week and at the end of the week read through that list. Women, I promise you will feel so damn proud of your self!!!
You decide what’s a win for you, it can be as small as having your first 50 followers on IG. A win can be blogging for a full year without missing a single week (ops… ?) or nailing your own $10,000 client too.
Acknowledge your work, and feel good more often!
Up next, we have our last unpleasant emotion which is stress. Being an entrepreneur is stressful as fuck!!! No of your friends gets why you’re doing this, you’re in fear constantly…. owning your business, being responsible for so many things at once, and having to keep going day in and day out… it gets stressful, my friend. I feel you, and I’m sending you some love, so you know you’re not alone ?
Stress often times coincides with fear as well. I find if I give into my fears for an extended period of time, I end up more stressful. Yet, stress, just like everything else (including fear), can be managed. That’s the beautiful thing about all emotions, they can be managed.
I bite more then I can chew
Sadly, being an entrepreneur is not a walk in the park. I love the saying “if it were easy, everyone would be doing it” because it’s so true. It’s not easy being an entrepreneur, following your dreams and trying your hardest to make it work. Reminding this calms me down, grounds me, and lets me shift my perspective from whining and being difficult to seeing problems in a new light because I now remember this is only as hard as I make in on myself.
My problem is that I tend to bite more than I can chew, so to speak. And I must say, with time I’ve gotten significantly better at not over-committing or over-extending myself and instead of keeping a good pace and workload. When I am stressed and freaking out, and that makes being an entrepreneur not as exciting as it could be. But, I try to learn and make it better.
Stress management step one
The best way to start your stress management is by learning more about your triggers. Pay attention to the overtime and diminish the power you give to stress to control you.
If you’re looking for help with this, a while back I created another free, printable workbook that will definitely help you with stress as well. Give it a shot, and be amazed how much unnecessary stress you’ve been putting on yourself.
However, if stress is a big problem of yours I suggest getting professional help from either a therapist or a coach (business or lifestyle depending on your specific stress issues). Stress is no joke, and it’s the leading cause of the most common long-term diseases such as cancers or heart. Don’t take this shit lightly; we don’t need you to die while you’re an entrepreneur.
Here we’ve got out last emotion on today’s list which is the feeling of growth; I think it’s got to be my favorite part about being an entrepreneur. Noticing how much I’ve learned and grown over the course of my journey gives me a great sense of pride actually.
Additionally, I hate the word failure because I don’t believe it’s real. Whether you got fired from a job for underperforming or ran an unsuccessful ad campaign, it may most defiantly feel like you’ve failed. However, if you learn something from the “failure,” you end up growing instead. My point of view is simply that you should investigate and learn as to why that ad or your job performance underperformed. Learn from it, adapt and improve, try again. You’re bound to do better the next time around when you learn.
I’ve noticed this in myself that if I don’t see myself improving, getting better, or, you know, growing, I often realize that it’s due to me missing something I failed to learn 😉
Constantly learning on the job
I also think we all grow significantly as entrepreneurs because we always have to learn and master new skills, and often quickly too. We usually start our entrepreneurial journey by ourselves and have to learn how to do a lot of new things by ourselves also. And I love it! I’m here for this! Sure it may suck, and we might not want to but, well, we have to so we do it anyways!
I may not be where I want to be, but thank God I am not where I used to be.Joyce Meyer
Let’s face it, being an entrepreneur forces us to try new things, do new tasks and master new skills and we are continually growing and learning because of it. Even when I compare myself to the “old” me a month ago (not to mention a year or 5 years ago), I appreciate that I am in a new and better place then I was back then. It’s the exact feeling that Joyce Meyer’s above quote described. Thank God, I’m not the women I was even 6 months ago!
Take a minute and think about yourself a month, 6 or 12 months ago. Reminisce about all the thing you didn’t know that you do now. Appreciate your growth! Embrace the fact that you’re going to keep on growing into an even more fantastic boss or entrepreneur a month and a year from now as well.
The big takeaway for this article today is to literally show you that you’re not alone in feeling the different feelings that come out of being an entrepreneur. I genuinely believe that being open about these feelings and experiences of being an entrepreneur help the whole community.
You’re not alone, and these emotions are common ground. Acknowledge your feelings whether they’re good or bad. Connect with fellow entrepreneurs or business owners. Realize you’re not alone and there are others who are like you and who gets it.
Lastly, give writing down your wins a shot; I promise you’ll feel a lot more empowered when you look these over after only a week. Download the free 12-page printable to get started on making yourself feel proud of your efforts.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Dealing with an entrepreneurial life day in and out can be tough. You go this, love!!!