The mental image most hold of business owners is that they are put together, strong, confident, outgoing, dynamic and driven. They are the “tough guys”.. The ones who never let anything get them down. They always have the answers and know what it takes to make things happen.
I can tell you, first hand, most days I feel like this. There are days when things are “clicking and banging” and I am meeting with wonderful people, feeling like I am making a real difference. It feels good and it is in those moments where I am glad that I chose to own a business.
On the flip side, there are days when this isn’t the case, especially over the past eight months.
There are days, especially today in hearing that a fellow business owner has decided to shutdown their business, when I don’t feel so strong…or confident…or outgoing…or driven. In fact I feel sad and overwhelmed and uncertain about what tomorrow will look like.. I am scared because you see, if having to walk away from your dream could happen to them, then I would be a fool to not believe it could happen to me.
None of us like to give up, especially someone who owns a business. It doesn’t matter that it is because of circumstances far outside of our control. It doesn’t matter that it is because there is some sort of pandemic. It simply doesn’t matter because the day you decided to own your own business, you looked the fear of failure in the eyes and said there was no way that it was ever going to win. It didn’t matter what it threw at you, there is no way it was ever going to win.
The fear that you might fail, for a business owner, is always in the back ground…a constant reminder. You hear it in the voice of the people who tell you that you are crazy to start a business. You are reminded of it, when you sit down to figure out who is getting paid, when cash is tight. You see it when you miss out on a big deal and are second guess your pricing. And most of all, you feel it when you have to forego the family fun because you have to take care of business. That fear is the thing we all as business owners, fear most and yet, it is the thing that motivates us until we fear it no more.
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but today, as I sit here and contemplate the sad news of my friend, there are three things I would like to remind you of (because this is the message I am giving myself):
- Remember that while you have the title of business owner, you are first and foremost…a person. There will be bad days, really sucky days, happy days and exceptional days. If there is one thing you can be sure of…this too will pass and things will continue to change and morph…it makes it all worth it.
- It is better to have a dream and be driven to succeed than to not take on something because you are afraid to fail. The only way we can ever truly know what we are capable of, is by doing something we have never done. Failure isn’t in the doing, it is in the not doing. Chasing your dreams, in and of itself, is always success.
- Focus on what you can control today and work on that. A dream isn’t fulfilled by someone else. Your dream is fulfilled by you and the things that YOU do, each and every day. When you let something outside of you take over, then it is no longer your dream.
Remember that you are never in this alone. Be grateful for the people around you and remember to lean on them when you need to and be there for them when they need it in return. We are a unique breed and there is no one who know you better than someone who is chasing that same dream….continue to be amazing!
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