The Struggle is Real, But So is The Love
Valentine's is fast approaching. I thought I'd get ahead of all those sugar-coated messages of idealized romantic love and send out a little love note to all my fellow entrepreneurs & creatives this week. Being in business isn't always lollipops and roses but it is definitely a love affair.
It doesn't matter if you're bricks and mortar or e-commerce. It doesn't matter if you're stepping through the door & flipping over the open sign on your very first day or painstakingly stitching together your first website from scratch. Or if you're struggling to automate & scale because you have so many customers you just can't keep up. It doesn't even matter if you're waiting for that first client and wondering if you can legitimately call yourself a business yet.
Business is about facing down one challenge after the next (without blinking or bursting into a slightly mad fit of giggles). It's about learning new skills & keeping your skills fresh every day. It's about embracing creativity in your work, in your problem-solving and being brave enough to ask questions that challenge "the way it's always been done". And it's about carving enough time & space to preserve your sanity...somehow.
Entrepreneurship is about giving up 9-5 so you can work longer hours and hustle harder than you ever did before because you love it that much. Because you believe in this thing you're creating. Because you believe in yourself.
This is not the easy path my friend. It will test you. Are you ready? Are you determined enough? Are you brave enough?
There will be face plants falling from your stilettos (may or may not be a metaphor) and feet lodged permanently in your mouth. It will humble you.
But there will also be joy. True camaraderie from fellow entrepreneurs who also know the hustle. There will be triumphs. And nothing beats the sense of accomplishment when this thing you've created makes a difference (no matter how small) to someone else. Don't suffer needlessly for your business or let it turn you into a martyr. Pursue it with gratitude and stubborn gladness.
It will teach you more about yourself than you'll see coming. I'm learning to trust myself & my instincts. I'm learning how to ask for help. I've learned I'm not so good at giving up (okay I always knew I was stubborn). I've learned I'm more capable than I ever thought possible. I've learned that I want this so badly that even when I'm exhausted, disheartened & terrified I'm going to show up and do the work anyway.
I still get butterflies every time I hit publish. Or send a deliverable to a client. But I keep moving forward with faith. Learning to trust myself, my process & the universe a little more each day.
For every struggle, know that you're not alone. And beware of the person who says they've got it all figured out. For every win - I applaud you because I know how hard you worked for it.
Know that there will be days when you cry, days when you want to smash your face into the keyboard a few times before you chuck your laptop out the nearest window (even if it's closed). But there will also be days when you dance around the office (or kitchen) with a big stupid grin on your face.
It won't always be easy, but I promise it WILL be worth it.