Wednesday, we wrapped up primary filming for “Hometown Hustle” and while there is work left to be done, the first part of the process is complete. As we left the last entrepreneur’s business site, I exhaled. I could hardly feel my legs on the drive home, I was so pooped. That’s what no one tells you when you are starting a business. There will be times when you keep putting along even though you’re on “E.”
Being able to manage those moments the difference between those who are able to survive the rollercoaster marketplace and those who are not. I’ve been in both camps over the years. It’s terribly humbling when you call it quits on a venture, but sometimes it’s the right thing to do to save your family or sanity or both. When you see that “Everything Must Go” sign on a store door, know that it has tear stains on it. None of it is taken lightly.
With that said, please note that no matter how bright the smiles or chipper the greetings, small business owners march through days when inside the smiles are actually grimaces and the chipper greetings are screams. Deadlines, payroll, equipment, supply costs, shipping delays, taxes, customer challenges, marketing and about 1001 other issues fall squarely on our shoulders at any given time. Unlike the traditional workspace, small business owners ultimately absorb the weight of all matters involving the life and success of the business. It’s a lot.
Never fear – we were built for it. Though it’s not an easy path, those of us who really dig in are individuals who like problem solving and managing multiple competing obligations. We want our days to have some complexity.
If this is you, here are some survival tips that will help you get through the times when your legs feel like noodles and you can hardly catch your breath.
1. Take up a hobby. This doesn’t have to be a high-level activity. As a matter of fact, you should definitely identify something you can do quickly and easily like yo-yoing or building houses out of cards. When you start to feel overwhelmed, the hobby can provide a nice mental break.
2. Find an accountability buddy. Whether this person is a mentor or a fellow small business owner, know that having someone to idea share or scream at is essential. Your accountability buddy should be someone who understands entrepreneurship. While it’s fine to have support from friends and family who work traditional jobs, it’s sometimes difficult to communicate your entrepreneurial challenges with them. It’s a whole different world.
3. Journal. Keep notes on the highs and lows of the journey. Journaling is not only therapeutic, but it also provides us with a blueprint of success. When you look back over past entries, you will find solutions to current issues. Even when you read over an idea that didn’t work, you will have a starting point for finding an idea that does meet your needs.
4. Stay hydrated. I know this seems odd, but this is a tip that will save your life. In the busyness of it all, entrepreneurs can forget to eat or drink for long periods of time. I’ve gone whole days working on a project without eating. I always mean to, but never get around to it. Missing meals is not optimal, but unless you go for an extended period of time, it’s not catastrophic. However, if you have ever been dehydrated, you know that it can shut down your entire body. Take it from someone who knows, keep hydrated. There are tons of beverages from which to choose, but my recommendation is to make good old-fashioned water your top choice.
5. Meditate. If you’ve read my books or blogs before, you know that this is something I stand behind. Clearing your mind opens the doorway into new and powerful solutions. Meditating helps relieve stress and creates space for positivity. Don’t know how? No problem. It’s not nearly as complicated as you think. Just go into a room by yourself, turn the lights off and close the door for five minutes. Sit in the quietness and listen to yourself breathe. I guarantee you’ll return to your work with enhanced perspective.
Check out more great tips on transformation processes and discovering new ways of being in “From Unemployed to Unstoppable: A 30-day transformation guide,” and of course, follow the “Hometown Hustle” journey by subscribing to the Rudy’s Girl Media YouTube channel.