If you’re a successful entrepreneur then you’ll agree, you have to be confident. Because you’re human, fear will find a way to rear its ugly head, but be honest, confidence (and a fearless attitude) has played a big part in getting you to where you are today.
You also have to agree that entrepreneurship comes with a boatload of struggles. If you’re anything like me, you use your confidence to hide some of your struggles. When you’re leading a team towards a lofty vision you don’t want to show the cracks in the armor to too many people. I’ve learned that being aware of the struggles is the best way to deal with them.
Here are three big things that I struggle with on a regular basis and some of the ways I cope with them:
- The ability to maintain focus.
Working for myself is amazing! I absolutely love the amount of freedom I have. I set my own hours and schedule and I get to work on things that I am really passionate about. But having this freedom is sometimes a curse. It’s too easy to get distracted and lose focus. Right now I am working out of my home office and with no one around to ‘keep tabs on me’, what starts off as a productive day could quickly turn into a day of household chores if I didn’t practice discipline.
Then there is all of the modern-day distraction to contend with. Right now I have 13 tabs opened on my computer…two of those are YouTube videos, 2 are email accounts and 3 are social media sites.
Some of the things I do to stay focused include working hard on organization at home and at work. I make large weekly checklists. I get out of my home office a couple of times a day to interact with my staff or have coffee with a fellow entrepreneur. And when I am in my office I listen to music for concentration. All of these little things help me not to give into the quiet of my home office.
- Impulse control.
I’m human and I want what I want when I want it and most of the time this is right away. As an entrepreneur, this is amplified. I learn about the coolest new toy or software application or technology and I want it for my business.
I also get a lot of what I think are great ideas that are in no way aligned with my business goals and direction. One day I want to write a coffee table book about Christmas décor and the next I am opening up an indoor dog park.
I have learned that it’s okay to want to leverage my business with cool things BUT controlling impulses and figuring out needs vs wants is what optimizes the cash flow. And even though I think I come up with some pretty awesome ideas, there’s only one of me and keeping that focus is huge so I write those ideas down for later!
- Saying no.
As an entrepreneur, I want to serve. I want to help as many people accomplish their goals as possible. I also don’t want to miss out on any opportunities. This leads to a struggle with saying no to the things that can derail my focus.
I’m starting to realize that saying “no” leads to a big “yes” in other areas of my life and business. I’ve learned that time is my most precious resource. It has become the most valuable thing I offer and I try to be very strategic about what I say “yes” to.
I will now ask myself if saying “yes” to a request will mean saying “no” to something that is really important to me. And if an opportunity presents that will shift my focus I say “no” loudly and proudly. I am not trying to be a jerk but I am trying to get the message across that I am really focused on my focus right now.
Struggle is a natural part of the entrepreneurial journey. Without struggle there is no opportunity for personal evolvement. I think the goal is not to avoid the struggles but to recognize them, embrace them and work with them. Who you become is a direct result of what you are willing to work on!
Have a great weekend!