I nearly gave up…running my own business, that is!

Being an entrepreneur is tough!! Super tough! And I would be lying if I told you I never had the thought of just throwing my hands up in the air and wanted to go back to being employed and working a 9-5.

These thoughts haven’t been around for a while, though…they were especially prevalent during my first 2 years of running my own business.  They were frequently running around in my head, and I was second-guessing everything I was doing.

I was accepting clients everywhere, even the cheaper gigs that I felt were seriously undermining my value.  But I was in a space where I felt I had to take all the work possible to be able to pay my bills and stay afloat.

I even applied for jobs, and I would get the interviews, but when I heard what the salary was, I just couldn’t justify it!

There were months when serious anxiety consumed me as I was working myself to the bone, NOT living the life I wanted.

I mean, I quit my job so that I could be around my children more…but at this stage, I wasn’t.  I was working from 9 am until 2 pm (sometimes even after my baby would wake up at 5 am, and I eventually got him to sleep again, I was wired and would sit down at my desk and started working). Then once my child went to bed, I would work until midnight pretty much every single night.

HOWEVER, I had read that you had to really push through the first 2-3 years of running your business, so I saw it as a right of passage.  If I got through these first years, then I would have made it.

So I put my head down and worked. And worked.

Now, I am at the point where I choose who I work with, the hours I want to work, and how much.  Because I know I have put in the work to build my credibility and authority.  I KNOW I am good at what I do.

So what helped me stay focused and push through the first couple of years?

  1. I was lucky I grew up in an entrepreneurial environment where both of my parents had their own business.  So for me that was the norm.  That is what life was.  I saw them designing their own lives.
  2. I knew the first couple of years were going to be really tough.  Knowing this and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel kept me focused and on point.
  3. I learnt so much about my self worth in those first years.  As soon as I recognised my value, realised I could say NO to a potential client where in my bones I knew would not be a good fit AND I increased my rates, my whole business launched forward!
  4. The pathetic salary offerings for the 9-5 jobs were just NOT an option…I earn 5X the amount I would be receiving if I was employed….5X! And that is no exaggeration! 
  5. Last but not least…my why!  Wanting to spend more time with my family and have the freedom to design my own life.

So if you are at the stage where you doubt your ability to run your own business and your inner critic is loud in your head, do this:

  1. Take 10 minutes to reflect on your why – write it down, read it aloud and feel it.  Really imagine what it would be like to achieve it, smell it, taste it and feel the energy bubbling up in your body.
  2. Take a long hard look at what you do – write down EVERYTHING you do and you will be surprised how much value you give to your clients…then increase your prices! You will work yourself into the grave or into another 9-5 job if you don’t.
  3. Network…yes not my favourite word as an introvert HOWEVER, that is where I got my best and biggest clients.  Chat to people, join networking events, in person or online…you are putting your energy into the world and I promise you it will come back 10 fold and;
  4. Lastly, reach out to other women entrepreneurs…I guarantee you they are going through the same thing or have come out the other end.  Lean on a shoulder for support and when you have “made” it (although it is a continuous journey) pay it forward.  Support another entrepreneur through their journey.

The entrepreneurial journey is hard as nails but so worth it!  You can do it…keep going.  

Women work best in a supportive environment which is why I joined forces with Abigail K from CAF-innate in creating a warm and welcoming community for women entrepreneurs over 40.  A place where we nurture you and encourage you to tap into your innate personal and business confidence.

If you need support or just want to chat, come and join my community and me in our free monthly meet-ups.  It’s an online space where you can get the support you need and meet other wonderful women on the same journey as you. You can join here.

Where are you on your business journey?  Are you currently going through the beginning stages with a loud inner critic? Or have you moved past that and are on to the next phase?

Let me know!

Until next time,