In the last 7 years, my hubby and I have created two businesses. The whole point of this entrepreneur adventure, for us, is to share all we have with the world and hopefully by doing this, we’ve made someone’s life better. Oh, and we definitely dig mid-day bike rides and soaking up sunshine on the coast (which definitely has something to do with us living and loving this gig, too).
At only 33, I know there are so many others out there who have so much more wisdom than I do! I am always learning and growing and improving myself along the way. But, since a quarter of my life has now been spent in entrepreneurship, and I’ve had approximately 97 meltdowns along the way, I figured I’d share with you what I DO know. My lessons learned over the years. My 5 wisest words of advice for lady bosses building businesses with soul…
Take it easy on yourself. No matter what you do or don’t do; no matter what happens; no matter if you meet your expectations for yourself or not, give yourself some grace. We are our own worst enemies. Think of the respect, grace and understanding you offer your best friend when times are tough. Are you that kind to yourself? I know I’m not, a lot of the time, because perfectionism wiggles its way into my mind and I can be really hard on myself. But the more intentionally I work on grace, the less disappointed I am. I am happier, freer and actually more productive and successful.
There are two ways I’ve learned to use boundaries to my advantage. The first is probably the most obvious: establish boundaries for work/life balance. Shut the office door at night. Put fun, social, personal things on the calendar first each week, so you don’t run yourself into the ground. Create office hours. STICK TO THE OFFICE HOURS.
The second way is this: Guard your heart. Not everyone is going to understand, be interested in or possibly even support your ideas and decisions in entrepreneurship. That’s okay. You’ll get a pretty good idea of who these people are early on. Keep those relationships about something else. Don’t pour out your heart about your business dreams to these friends and family members if you know their response will disappoint you. Love them anyway. Just talk about other things. There are so many people who DO get it (umm, hello, TGWK tribe!!!). Share those ideas and your excitement with that crowd.
The fastest way to get to where you want to be is by having a strategy. This comes in all shapes and sizes, for all sorts of things like social media, networking, how you spend your time working on your business and in your business, marketing . . . you can name it, you need to have a strategy for it!
Ask yourself: What is my purpose? What do I desire to achieve? What can I do with this partnership, Instagram post or conference I’m going to that will better my business and take me to the next level? How can I make this a win-win situation for everyone involved? How can I maximize this opportunity? If strategy isn’t your strength (yet), write one of these questions on a Post-it and put it on your computer as a reminder to guide your business in that direction.
Those who make it to the top of the mountain have had plenty of crummy days in the valley. But the reason they “made it”? Persistence. You will fail. You will doubt your dreams. You will want to give up, for good. Don’t do that! (Unless, of course, this whole scene really isn’t for you. At least you’ll know that for sure now!) Instead, cry it out. Do some yoga. Just breathe, and maybe get yourself a brownie, too. And then, tweak your plan and try again. Repeat after me:
“Fear, pride, comparison, naysayers, self-doubt and failure will not stop me from living to my fullest potential.”
Use those challenges and setbacks to grow and position yourself as a leader whose ways are tried and true.
Gratitude is like a sunny, 50-degree day in February for Midwesterners. It’s a cure-all. It makes you feel warm and fuzzy and happy. And it’s the absolute BEST way to start your day. Even in the crappiest of situations, there’s something to be grateful for. Nothing is too little to go unnoticed either! Wake up each day and set the tone for all that’s to come. Make it a new habit to inject gratitude into your day.
Soon, this new habit will shape your new sunshiny perspective. This is HUGE when you’re a business owner because there will always be ups and downs. The more successful you become, the more potential there is for complicated challenges. Gratitude is one vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to a solid mindset.
There you have it, my five wisest words for you, my fellow business owner. No matter what situation I’m in or challenge I’m facing, one of these words is usually the answer. Try them out. Let me know what words have taught you the most and help you be and do everything you’ve dreamed up for your business! Drop me a note in the conversation box below!
Photo by Christine Chang