Things I Didn’t Know About Owning a Business
Things I Didn’t Know About Owning a Business
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Owning a business, it’s time freedom, its financial freedom. It’s the ability to do everything I love every day. But is it as glamorous as you think?
There are definitely high highs. But there can also be some low lows. And what’s going to make the difference is the personality, the mindset, the commitment that you have when being a business owner.
I’m going to share with you some of the things that I didn’t know that I was going to have when I became a business owner, that might be able to help you skip a few mistakes along the way.
Why do we become business owners in the first place? Well, for a lot of us, we think that we want to be able to set our own hours to not have a ceiling on our income, to be able to provide a better life for our family. But then somewhere along the way, a lot of entrepreneurs fall into this trap, where they’re so consumed with their business, where they keep putting in more hours thinking that it’s going to keep paying off and neglect the reasons why we started, that we give more time to our family, but how do we do that when we’re so into the business? And that we have the ability to make our own hours, yet, all of our hours are filled with our business. Have you ever been stuck in this? If so, I want you to comment below because this was certainly one of the big learning experiences for me.
About a year into my business, I found myself with lots of clients enjoying what I did, making more money than I ever had in my life. But, was reminded that the reason why I started to have more time with my family, to create a better life for us. I was actually further and further from it, that I was so excited about all the clients I had and about the income I was making. And I needed to keep working and hustling to keep earning that. Meanwhile, I was missing the quality time with my family.
As an entrepreneurial personality type, you’re likely someone who is achievement-oriented and you’re someone that seeks certainty and significance. And so it makes sense that a lot of us put our heart and soul into our work that we give so much, that we take a lot of our self-worth and validation from the achievements that we create, the clients that were able to help, the accomplishments we have. But because of that, we lose who we are, and why we started this. And that was certainly my story.
I was so grateful that I discovered this before it was too late before I had created enough damage. Not that things were bad at home, but they just weren’t what I saw for my life. I had a business coach ask me, “Where do you get your self-worth from?” And I said, my business, how happy I am, my family, my lifestyle. And he asked me, “Why do you get so much validation from your clients and work so hard for them to get their approval and for them to like you, when your family who’s right here, who are begging for more of your time, loves you unconditionally already? And you say that you’re doing this for your family that you’re doing this because you want to have a better lifestyle with them. But what are your actions at the moment saying?”
Wow! that changed everything. And that was actually a really amazing time but an also tough time, because that’s when I had to make some decisions on what is actually in alignment with me and who I want to be. So at that moment, that’s when I actually decided to let go of some clients that weren’t in alignment with what I wanted to do. And that also allowed me the space to be with my family and to make decisions for them and for us.
So now when I take on a client, I want to make sure that their personality and their values are in alignment with mine. And my values are my family, my commitment and service, giving back to the world, giving back to others that every client I take on is also someone that is family oriented, that is committed to their craft, to their goal, to their dreams, and being able to use that to serve the world in their own special way.
Now, the other thing that I didn’t expect about running a business was the ability to employ other true believers in my business, these people who work with me every single day and make my dreams their dreams, that they love what they do, they feel fulfilled by their role every single day. And there’s an upside and there’s a downside to being an employer. That the upside is you get to be a leader and create more leaders that they’re fulfilled in their role every single day, you get to work with them in their strengths, and build them from their weaknesses, to be able to take away any areas of constraint so that they can continue to grow and be fulfilled in their career. Because when someone works with me, they’re spending so much of their day devoted to our mission. And then be able to go back to their families and be fulfilled from the tasks and the dreams that they’re fulfilling every day to be their best selves for their family and their community and then the world.
The tough part of it can be business, it’s business, sometimes, there can be people that come in that aren’t the right fit. Or maybe you need to downsize and do what’s best for the company and your family. And that can be a really tough decision to make. It’s such a privilege to be able to lead people and even the highest can have challenges.
As you’re pushing through to the next level in your business, you’re always going to face resistance. And even in the lows, because like any business, like life itself, there’s going to be high highs and low lows. And there may be times where you have to make difficult decisions. And the tough part is that as an entrepreneur, everything feels personal because this business is your baby, and your employees, they’re your team, they’re your people. And sometimes it can be tough to know, how do I grow them? Or how do I let them go so that they can focus on their dreams?
There was a time that I had to let go of someone who I really loved, and they were so great at their job. They loved what they did, but there were some parts that were missing and that they weren’t able to grow in those areas. And I could see in that person, that they had a bigger purpose than what was here and even though they felt like this is where they wanted to be. Shortly after I let them go, I got a message back from them saying, I’m so grateful for that because now I found this opportunity that is really in alignment with me. And it can be really, really hard to fire people or to let them go. But when you look at it from that perspective of, I know that there’s another purpose out there waiting for you, and this just isn’t the right fit, it can be really fulfilling for both sides.
When you own a business, you have the ability to create your own schedule and design the life of your dreams. For example, I’m filming this from Greece, and we love to travel. But at the same time, travel isn’t always as glamorous and luxurious as it looks. There can be some times where you have to travel for work, or sometimes where you choose to travel and work from anywhere. And you can design whatever that life looks like to you.
If you want to work from home, if you want to work from coffee shops, if you want to rent out of space, if you want to have the laptop lifestyle where you’re a nomad and traveling and living in different places. But again, you got to take the good with the bad.
The way that we’ve gotten through that is that we realized what we were committed to which was serving our clients, creating their content, putting their content out in the world, and not just selling our services to our clients but selling our clients to the world. That our content is seen far and wide that people are able to tap into their message. And they build and become a huge part of that movement. And a lot of that meant physical movement for us that we traveled last year, 186 days out of the year.
Now, for some people, that might sound amazing. But in reality, it was, but it’s also a little bit tiring. And so the mindset that we had to develop was to build that capacity and that strength inside of ourselves and to really focus on self-care, that although we’re traveling, we’re on a routine and we’re taking care of ourselves. Because if you’re just constantly go, go, go and you’re emptying your tanks, you’re not going to have much more to give back to your clients, especially when you’re in different locations all the time.
And speaking of mindset, understanding that I need to continuously always have a growth mindset is what keeps us going that we have the commitment to ourselves, to our clients, to our craft, and that is always growing that we’re not stopping, we’re not feeling like I’ve made it, that here’s the ceiling and that’s it. That can also be the detriment to some people is that they think, when will I feel like I’ve made it? But you know what, if you are a true entrepreneur, you’ll never feel like you’ve made it. And that’s a good thing. Because you don’t get to a certain level and think that’s it, my life is over. It’s what’s the next goal? How can I give more of myself to the world? How can I serve others? And as you build in that capacity, your capacity expands so that you can give more, so that you can grow more. And that’s one of the most beautiful things, but can also be one of the hardest things because you’re constantly stepping out of your comfort zone. You’re constantly trying new things. You’re constantly putting yourself out there and in a way that’s exposing you. And that can be pretty scary and vulnerable. But on the other side of it, is amazing success and fulfillment.
So if you’re an entrepreneur, and you know what this is like, or you’ve had your own struggles, your own things that you didn’t realize was going to be one of the amazing things that you learned along the way in your entrepreneurial journey, I’d love for you to comment below, I’d love to hear from you.
And if you’re someone that you want to be a thought leader in your space and lead a team of leaders, I have a thought leader handbook that you should absolutely get, it’s absolutely free.