How to Move Forward When Your Biggest Obstacle is Yourself
To be an entrepreneur, a business owner or even a leader you have to constantly be looking in the mirror. You have a continuous inner dialogue playing that is assessing where you're at, what you've accomplished and where you're going. And if you're anything like me, then you also have a small voice of self-doubt... and that's normal.
We all have things that we have to overcome. For some people it is more tangible like a bad relationship, a business deal that went south or a troubled past. But for some of us it is that internal voice constantly questioning if we're good enough.
And when you have that dialogue looping in your mind, it can become a motivation killer.
Here are a few different things to consider when you're trying to reignite your fire.
Don't Overthink It
I am the kind of person who will work something over and over again until it's perfect and fill my own head with doubts about how good it is until I ultimately decide it's not even worth doing because it won't be perfect.
When we spend so much time analyzing our every move, we hinder both our creativity and work ethic. Of course, you want to put a quality product and well-crafted content out there but not to the point that you feel it's not worth completing unless done exceptionally.
Do it once. Walk away. And come back to it. Give yourself those fresh eyes and realize that no business or leader is perfect. And that's okay.
Find Something Bigger Than Yourself
I've written before that creating content become so much easier once I realized that my true passion was in helping small businesses succeed. When we have goals greater than ourselves we work harder to achieve them.
This can come from a loyalty to your audience and customers, wanting to give back to a charity or community or even the desire to provide for your family. When there are more people counting on you, the stakes become greater and your work ethic stronger.
Go Back to Your Roots
There is a reason you started your business. There is a reason you put up the money, possibly quit your job and went out on a limb to launch your company. Travel back to that reason and remember what is was that made you want this.
Go back to your original designs, go back to your first drafts, your first client work. Go back and remember what makes you different. Remember what you offer the industry and your clients and customers.
When we think about why we started, we can refocus on where we're going.
Visualize Your Future
I have a scenario that plays out in my head about where I want to end up. It's simple.
I leave my house that fits my needs and a family that I love dearly to go to work in an office building with floor to ceiling windows and exposed brick. I walk into my business that uses artists with a passion and talent for helping small businesses succeed.
I go to work every day doing something I love, surrounded by people who share that vision of providing affordable and accessible design.
And then I get to go home to a family and place I love.
When I lose a contract or feel like my business direction is wavering I think back to that image and I remember what I'm working towards. Not just in business, but in life.
Surround Yourself with Pushy People
Pushy sounds like a bad thing and usually it is but what I mean by this kind of pushy is that you need to surround yourself with people who are constantly pushing you to be better. People who listen to you ramble on and on about your business and then offer suggestions or even words of encouragement. These people are your sounding board.
When you live and breathe a small business, it's easy to get lost in the everyday. So, surround yourself with outsiders looking in that can give you a new perspective and can provide the push when necessary for you to fight on.
Laugh It Off and Unplug
No one is perfect. No company plays the game without any fouls or missteps. Celebrate the good times with dedicated employees and an unwavering inner circle but also laugh through the bad times, because they will pass, and you will be okay.
Look at yourself in that entrepreneur mirror and realize that you're doing your best and that business is a roller coaster and celebrate all aspects of it. You are constantly learning, adapting and changing, you need to be patient with yourself and your business while you're on this journey.
Unplug every once in a while. Don't check your email, don't answer phone calls, get off of social media and just be present in your own headspace. Evaluate where you're at, why you're here and where you want to go next.
Reignite that fire, dig your heels in and push forward. You have something valuable to offer your Customer, you just have to prove it.