My best friend and UBER successful entrepreneur and author, Dr. Jana, posted this image on Instagram a few weeks ago:
If you have ever run your own company, this image may resonate with you. When I saw it, I had to laugh at its simple yet very real message. Every business owner I know has struggled with exactly these thoughts!
For example, while sitting with a peer yesterday, we took a look back over the past year together. She said, “I cannot believe that is how much I actually made. It feels like I put at least five times that amount of energy into my company last year!”
I personally have felt this way as well. As an entrepreneur, there are moments when I’m on top of the world. And there have also been days where I have spent hours staring at my bank account balance, blaming myself for my perceived failure.
A Paycheck for Pity?
Though I couldn’t see it at the time, my real challenge was my mindset. As much as I wished for a steady paycheck to regularly hit my account, the truth is, entrepreneurs and business owners don’t get some kind of magical paycheck or surprise boon from a gracious bank account fairy just because they want one.
I felt I deserved a paycheck for the energy and effort I’d put in to my business. Since I wasn’t seeing one, I figured I had to be doing something wrong. I blamed myself for not doing things that I thought I should be doing… even though no one else thought twice about those things. In fact, no one aside from me even cared whether I was doing them or not.
My entire pity party, including the reasons for it, was my doing. And I still blamed myself for not doing more.
So… If you are blaming or pitying yourself, it’s time to stop. Instead, accept where you are, learn something from your (and my!) mistakes, and choose a different way.
Action Over Perfection
Rather than a culture of blame around the efforts you are putting into your company, aim for a culture of responsibility. Fill your mind (and your environment) with mantras of accountability and progress. Focus on taking action, every day.
Remember, daily action does not have to be huge or overwhelming.
But you’ll want to keep two things in mind as you move forward:
- Both action and planning are extremely powerful. But perfection will paralyze you on both fronts. Make sure you are not aiming to be perfect, and instead, create a plan, and take action right now. No one will ever see what you can achieve unless you get started!
- If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, you may be taking action in the wrong direction. Over time, this can be exhausting and will ultimately lead you back to the beginning of your entrepreneurial roller coaster. If you keep ignoring the lesson, it will keep coming up. So to break this cycle, I recommend an accountability partner. You need someone to help keep you on track and remind you of your big goals.
Where are you on the rollercoaster of business ownership today? If you feel the wind rushing through your hair as you bottom out, take a deep breath. Instead of spiraling once again, ask yourself, “What is the next right thing for me to take action on?”
I guarantee that action is not going to be blaming yourself for your perceived failures. The rollercoaster of blame only goes one direction – down, down, down.
Whether you are riding the entrepreneurial rollercoaster up and down every year, every month, or even every day, I encourage you to print this photo as large as you can, and post it where you can see it:
Then, start accepting your power. Stop the blame game. And hold yourself accountable for your success. Remember, every “failure” you’ve experienced has been a building block, a brick in the incredible foundation you are building for your future.