It’s a Roller Coaster: Hang On for the Ride

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3 tips for overcoming the emotional roller coaster in your mind

This is a visual graph of the story of my life as an entrepreneur, and I think others out there might find it familiar. Fortunately, these peaks don’t happen every day (at least not for me), but they do happen frequently enough to make one feel like her life is a literal roller coaster! Just when you feel like you’re making strides, and are in a place of stability, the bottom drops out; and everything you thought you could rely on is no longer there. If this happened to you on a regular basis, how would you respond?

When I became a full-time entrepreneur about a year and a half ago, these peaks and valleys scared the living day lights out of me! Fear paralyzed me to the point of not even being able to focus and work. I had literal panic attacks, with shortness of breath-something that I had never experienced before. When I left my former job to pursue my online business full time, I was confident that I was in a good place to do so for several reasons: I had acquired a fourth client, had a decent savings; and crunched the monthly budgeting numbers to ensure I would have enough money to pay expenses. So I happily left ( I was miserable at that job anyways and created this plan in order to move on) to begin a new thing. Little did I know that it would be hard to find a schedule that worked for me in order to accomplish my daily tasks and balance my home life. I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, without any structure or organization. Two weeks into my new venture, I lost the client that I acquired right before I resigned from my full-time job. That moment in time shook me, because I knew that I was counting on that money to keep the business afloat. It brought me to my knees, crying and praying incessantly. That SAME day, I received a phone call from a small business owner who was referred to me, inquiring about my services and she’s still a loyal customer today. The spikes from the graph are real! Just when you think you’ve lost it all and everything is spiraling out of control, something happens that makes you feel as if you’ve gained a sense of normalcy. There is no way that one person can manage these drastic changes alone. I’ve discovered a formula that gives me the strength to keep moving forward and I’m sharing it in hopes that it will help someone else.

Faith A habit of daily prayer and faith have helped me to keep moving when I am afraid. Prayer brings me the sanity that I need to continue working on the things that I have control over, even when it feels like everything around me is falling apart.

About a year ago a successful entrepreneur recommended that I read Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich”.  One of the assignments from this book was to write a clear and concise statement of your goals and the steps you plan to take to achieve them.  I took the time to complete the exercise, and every morning before I begin working I repeat my action plan. The excerpt below is the part that I mentally ingest into my spirit the most. It gives me the  shot of courage that I need to keep pressing forward when I feel helpless and have no sense of control:

I will sacrifice time to gain additional knowledge and financial hardship until my business becomes a success, temporary suffering in defeat, and being uncomfortable from uncertainty. I will make a daily habit of talking to God in prayer. I will not give up when situations look bleak and unpromising. I will continue to persevere and keep moving even when I am afraid.

Persistence There are so many days that I feel like giving up. Just about every day, I ask myself, “What am I doing?” and I question my decision to become an entrepreneur. I thought that taking the risk of working for myself would be rewarding and wouldn’t come with any regrets. Boy, was I wrong! I have learned that what I did when I resigned from working for someone else was exchange one set of problems for others. But just when I’m at my lowest, something positive happens, where an effort to help someone actually works; and, it gives me the boost of energy I need to keep going. The moments in between are excruciatingly hard, but it’s worth it to continue trying in order to feel the sensation of success!

Improvise

You’d think that stand-up comedians would be the only people who would need improvisation skills. Nope! Not the case! As an entrepreneur, there are so many hats that you have to wear during the day: laborer, accountant, marketer, etc. Then there are the unexpected things that distract you from daily tasks; and, if you aren’t careful, they will frustrate you to the point of giving up.

Last week, I had a working vacation. My husband had to office out of his organization’s Dallas location, so my son and I tagged along because my family lives there. I enjoyed being around family, but my schedule was so different from the norm; and to top off all of the confusion, I spilled water on my laptop midweek. Talk about having to improvise. I used my phone and my husband’s computer (still doing this as week speak) to get major tasks out of the way. I also just found out that my computer won’t be able to be repaired because of the water damage. So guess who gets to figure out how she’s going to get another computer? This chick! But guess what? It’s not going to keep me from doing what I need to do. I’ll keep on pushing, praying, and waiting on God to open the doors that I can walk through to be successful!

Keep your head up, and keep going!

JRobinson

 

The Most Valuable Business Element Is…

Satan tried to steal my joy earlier this week because I din’t get the project that I spent so many consecutive hours (almost 48) working on and lost the bid. I had my pity party moment, doubted my capabilities, and felt bad about the people I let down because I didn’t get the gig. I thought God was sending me this opportunity as a means of making some extra income; it would have been an answer that could have easily solved some of my current money issues. But after further reflection, I believe that He wanted me to learn a different lesson.

I told my husband that I didn’t get the job and his immediate response was,”Well, at least you have a couple of clients that like your work”. I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but my response was that it’s hard to eat with only a couple of clients. I’m so grateful that I have such an insightful husband (and he probably wasn’t even trying to be in that moment), but his statement stuck with me because he was right!

God wants me to appreciate what I already have, and I truly am thankful for my clients. They have not only been a blessing to me through supporting my business, but they are amazing people! They are my confidants, I’ve shared successes stories and failures with them. Together we have been through good times and bad times, and when I reflect on the history of my relationships with them, I can truly say that they are my friends.

Value Your Customer

There are many ways to show your customers that you value their business and relationship; here are a few of my favoritess:

  • Make It Personal Do you know your client’s favorite restaurant or drink? What do they like to do in their spare time? Treat your customer with a gift certificate, or if time permits and they’re comfortable with it, take them out to their favorite spot and celebrate your business partnership together!
  • Do Something Unexpected Hand-written notes  are always a pleasant surprise when you’re displaying an attitude of gratitude! Not only will your customer feel appreciated, but the memory will linger with them for the rest of the day and serve as a great moment of reflection for years to come
  • Verbal Thanks A simple expression of thanks goes a long way. Call or your client or meet them in person, thanking them for your relationship and why they are valuable.

Not sure how or where to start? I’ll kick it off!

Thank you, Kimberlee Wright with Young Women Winning, PJ Payne with Your Coffee Fix, and Pastor Tim Daniels with the  Trinity Gardens Church of Christ. It has been a privilege to help build and maintain your online presence; more importantly, I value our friendship! Thank you for the opportunity to learn more about you and share your platforms with the world!