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

 

Prepare for Lift Off

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Learning to fly and excel in your dreams is not an easy lift-off. Here are three tips for enduring a shaky launch!

Have you ever had a day where nothing seemed to go right? No matter what you did; whether it’s tasks that you can normally do blindfolded or a daily routine that usually flows seamlessly, all of a sudden becomes disrupted with frustration and difficulty. This was me last week. I even became a little more clumsy physically and scraped the back of my heel (still trying not to pick the scab)! Times like these make it easy to give up and just call it a day, which is exactly what the enemy wants you to do. But I’ve found that it’s even harder to  get back on track when you end your day earlier because things aren’t going your way. It’s better to stay the course, and endure the shaky lift-off because it’s the only way to get in the air.

Just Do It Last week when it felt like I could do absolutely nothing right, I began to question myself. I asked, “What is going on?” and “Did I do something that caused this to happen?” And then, once one thing after the next continued to become a struggle, I began to expect everything to go against the expected outcome. This is a bad place to settle. My attitude was in the wrong mindset, but I’m so thankful that I continued to persevere and keep going. Things were harder and it took longer to accomplish tasks; but, at the end of the day ,forward progress was made. It wasn’t as much as I had hoped for, but every step counted. Choosing to keep going moved me farther than I would have been if I had decided to wait for circumstances to get better. What if they had never gotten better? Think of all the time that would have been wasted if I continued to wait for perfect conditions? It’s laughable!

Ask for Help Believe it or not, you are not alone in this process; but, you have to learn to ask for help when you need it. There are plenty of people who love and support you, but they are not mind readers! There are times when people can sense that something is wrong and you need help; but you will not receive the immediate assistance you need without opening your mouth and letting others know about it.

When you ask for help, remember to include the ultimate source of all blessings-God. He will send help in unconventional ways and through people you did not expect or even think of ! This is why daily prayer is so important. When you talk to God frequently, not only do you develop a better relationship with Him, but you learn to also listen for His answer and response to situations in your life. It’s a beautiful thing for this revelation to happen;  and, it’s when you truly realize that you are not alone!

Stay Positive The lift off may be shaky, but it’s important to remember that it won’t always be like this. There will come a time where you will be able to reap the reward of your decision to start the engine and go! Take off won’t be the only time you experience turbulence; but those rocky moments will help you appreciate the ease and shear wonder of being in the air! So keep going because the only way to reach your dreams is to fly toward them!

JRobinson

 

Adulting: Growing up is Hard To Do!

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Let’s face it, being an adult is hard work! And if you were anything like me as a kid, you couldn’t wait to grow up! I wish I could tell the younger version of myself to enjoy the moment and embrace being a kid, because being an adult is not an easy thing!

Do you know one of the hardest things I found about being an adult? Dealing with childish “adults”. These are the humans that are technically considered adults (they’re over 18; many of them well into their 30’s and 40’s) but their thoughts and actions are immature.

Here’s another tough thing to deal with about growing up. We all have our burdens to bear. Most of us don’t talk about our issues because we’re not looking for sympathy and we don’t want to weigh others down.  So we keep our feelings to ourselves, holding our emotions inside until we reach a boiling point and explode. This is not a healthy way to deal with one’s emotions; mentally or physically. There is a better solution, but it involves what’s so hard to do: maturity.

What I’ve recently discovered and have put into practice is sharing life’s difficulties through conversation with true friends. The true friendship aspect is the most important element of opening up. Talking to someone you can trust helps improve your outlook and perspective on things. You will never know if someone can relate to what you’re currently going through unless you verbally communicate your feelings. There’s an added bonus to this type of vulnerability. The person you confess your deepest thoughts to may have actually experienced your current situation and can help! Here’s another kicker: you might be going through the same thing that the person you confided in is and you can help each other out!

I recI invited a friend for coffee that I knew had been struggling, but she had not told me the source of her problems. The day we sat down over coffee was the time that she started to open up. As she was talking, I realized that I had encountered the same problem! Her words confirmed that I was not alone in my way of thinking and that I should not have second guessed what my instincts told me were the truth. We helped each other that day, and it was such an encouraging experience.  It was the kind of experience that encourages me to commit to get outside of my head and share my inner thoughts with the right people.

I challenge you to do the same thing. I promise, the experience will not leave you with your head hanging down; it’ll be more like having a 180 attitude about what you’re going through.

Stay encouraged!

JRobinson, Owner and Founder, JRobinson Digital Media Services