3:00 a.m. Once again you're holding your laptop, checking your metrics to see if someone noticed your blog, today. Your work feels so important to you. You know you can help people. You do not know, however, how to pay the bills with your good intentions. Maybe it’s your website. So many look better than yours. Or your headshot. Yours is a selfie but you can’t really afford studio shots right now. So-and-so said the headshot sells the whole deal. Maybe she’s right. Didn’t she say something in her newsletter about her eCourse on attracting clients? Where did that email go? $299. Well…. if it gets you some new business, it would pay for itself. What if you just don’t belong in this circle at all? Time for bed. Maybe tomorrow you’ll know what to do next.
As I’ve moved along the journey of growing several businesses, I’ve enjoyed elated highs and wallowed in messy lows. In this post, I'm going to tell you 3 things that I don’t see many (any?) people putting out there. It’s real talk about real struggles. You need to know you’re not alone. It’s part of the process.
1. When you start your blog, it might not take off quickly and by quickly I mean like, having 1 subscriber. This depends on many factors including the subject matter of your blog, your circle of already established followers on social networks and so forth. But in reality, it takes time and hard work to grow a blog that attracts readers, inspires sharing and roots into a community. Celebrate the little wins, try not to check your traffic stats 50 times a day and just keep going.
2. No eCourse has the secret to your success locked inside of it. And that includes my eCourses. If you were considering buying something from me, thinking it would instantly make your business thrive, please don’t. Read the blog and use the free things here, but don’t throw away your money. There are tools that help you find answers and talented mentors and coaches who can guide you, lantern tend and give amazing advice (yes, I know coaches do not give advice in the role of being a coach. I was referring more to mentors or consultants with that part). But after all the tools, teaching and advice, it is you who must refine it for your situation and apply what needs applying. I highly suggest investing in your knowledge base and support systems, but not with the notion that doing so will give you some kind of glitter dust that does the work for you. It's messy work and it is sometimes very challenging work, but if you are called to go after a dream, it is work worth doing.
3. You’ll be sure you are not as good as the next woman and she will be sure of the very same thing. You're going to struggle with this. To say otherwise is like telling a pregnant woman that she’ll have no labor pain. This is part of following your dream, birthing a business and growing your business or intentional lifestyle. The contractions of bringing it to fruition can hurt. It can feel like emotional torture. At least is does for me, at times. We compare ourselves, our websites and our businesses to other people’s stuff and we wind up feeling inferior. Remember that an Instagram post is one captured moment; that other person’s life or business is probably not 100% neat and perfect all the time. Be gentle with yourself and appreciate the beauty of creating something meaningful.
So, what do we have here? Slow growth, hard work and painful insecurities. It might sound like a heavy and negative road. Sometimes, it is heavy and it can surely bring up negative emotions. But being an entrepreneur for around 2 decades at the time of this writing, and having birthed multiple businesses, I can tell you that it is also beautiful, rewarding and freeing. If you stay on your path and keep going, the positive will outweigh the struggles.
If you're in a season of labor, be lovingly reminded that through the struggle comes the birth.
2-Minute Take Away (Journal Prompt): Set your timer for 2 minutes and allow the doubt and pain to flow. Give zero thought to the sentence structure of your writing and don't judge its validity. Just get your pen, open an emotional vein and let the pain drain from you. Afterwards, read it and cry for your struggle, if tears want to come. Sit with it as you need to and decide if it's okay to throw it away. Honor your inner knowing and do what you need.