By Laura Wallace | August 9, 2018
I always find it interesting to look back on the things I’ve learned as an entrepreneur. It’s one of the most uniquely rewarding and challenging aspects of my life. And yet even in the darkest of hours (and I can tell you some stories!), I still can’t imagine doing anything else. There’s a saying that “with great power comes great responsibility” and it’s certainly true when it comes to running a business.
I’m fascinated by the resiliency of people with a vision. It becomes so real that you can physically feel it, visually see it and emotionally connect with it. Any time I have a chance to chat with entrepreneurs, be it through Worx, The Green Couch Project™ or out in the world, I try to extract their thoughts and feelings about being in business because I know if one person is feeling something, chances are someone else is too. It’s all about knowing that you’re not alone.
A few months ago, I asked my Facebook community “Looking back when you started (or if you’re just starting now) what business help/guidance do you wish you had?” I wanted to hear the truth behind entrepreneurship through the eyes of other people and share it with others to inspire someone to keep going, get started or take it to the next level. Here are some of my favorite responses that I hope resonates with you on some level…
“Step outside your personal circle – it’s much more important to have the right people in place.”
“Don’t compromise who you are just to get cash in the door. Better to fail at business than fail your principles.”
“It’s not your job to make people happy. It’s your job to help them be successful.”
“Friendships don’t always make good business partners.”
“Be humble and ask for help from people who have skill sets you don’t have.”
“What you allow will continue.”
“Create an annual budget and have the discipline to adhere to it.”
“Study and learn from others but pave your own path. Be true to your values and your why.”
“Keep moving forward. Slow is ok.”
Mary Kate Battles
As entrepreneurs, we create a perfect path in our heads. We can see the other side but hold ourselves to unrealistic terms to get there. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be perfect or else we can’t finish something, mimic what others are doing around us and create timelines that keep us up at night. There’s also the trap of “if I read one more book” or “take one more class” then we might feel qualified to take the leap.
If I had to choose one piece of advice I wish I had when I started Worx 11 years ago, it would be this: “Don’t hold back and make yourself small because you’re afraid that being boldly who you are will push other people away.” I spent too many years holding back who I truly am and going against my better judgment in fear of upsetting people. I sacrificed things I wanted to do and revenue I could have earned to please other people’s comfort levels. The beautiful thing about being an entrepreneur is seeing that vision and taking people who support you on the journey with you. A rising tide lifts all ships, and there’s a big ocean out there my friends!
If we shift our energy to put momentum behind an action, we could create, grow and learn a lot faster without having ridiculous standards. On the other side of the mental chatter are endless opportunities to exchange our time for something that generates income which allows us to live a meaningful life. You are talented. You have what it takes. You have the support that you don’t even know exists and you most certainly owe it to yourself to at least try.
If you’re needing a little inspirational pick-me-up, head over to The Green Couch Project™ YouTube™ channel. I’ve been told its binge-worthy.