This thing called entrepreneur life isn’t easy. It isn’t for those who give up easily, get discouraged and walk away or need constant encouragement. Why? Simply because there are hard days, many hard days where the only one who is going to pick you up and cheer you on is you. Long days and long nights. Being disciplined to do the stuff you don’t want to do. Working when others are playing. Spending alot of time alone.
So I made the mistake of thinking I would take some time off over the holidays. It was well deserved time off because I had been going at it hard for a long time. But, when you are an entrepreneur any time you take off comes back to haunt you. Right after the holidays were over and I got back to work, I got sick. I pushed through and worked from my bed even though I just wanted to sleep. January is a rough month when you are bookkeeper or accountant. Tax season officially starts at the end of the month but 1099’s and W-2’s make the month super busy on top of an already heavy workload. It’s also a time when new clients start calling as they have put off looking at their books all year long and now they are ready. Fresh year, fresh start. Yeah, June would be better not January. No one has time in January.
January was off to a crazy pace already with me running behind from being sick and then my daughter got the flu and strep. Major stop. She required round the clock care for several days. I haven’t seen her that sick in a long time. And of course, I was still sick as well. I worked through all of this but work was slow going. It was brutal. It was hard. But I kept going because I love this thing called entrepreneur life. I love working for myself. I love charting my own course and deciding my own life. So it got me thinking of the things I do to help me push through when this life gets hard. Here are 5 of my go to practices when entrepreneur life gets hard.
1) Boss your thoughts around – When things get rough we can get negative. We can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Everything looks more difficult than it is and it seems that it will never get better. It’s a mindset. Tell your feelings and thoughts who are boss. They aren’t always telling the truth. Feelings and thoughts do lie to you. The way you talk to yourself and talk about your situation is SUPER important. You are what you think. The things that you envision will happen. Envision the good. Envision the hard breaking way to the easy. It will happen.
2) Meditate, pray, take time to be still – If you meditate or pray, practice it daily. It clears your mind and allows you to connect with yourself and identify what is causing you anxiety, worry, fear, etc. It calms the mind and soothes the soul. Something we desperately need when things are hard. My anxiety and fear goes up when I am overwhelmed and stressed. My thoughts become irrational and I think the worst outcomes for everything. So be still. Meditate and clear your mind. Give it space to breathe.
3) Exercise – This one is huge for me especially if I am experiencing overhwhelm, stress or anxiety. Physical exercise calms my mind, helps me to think through things and gets the pent up energy out of my body before it drives me crazy. My anxiety drastically reduces if I exercise. It took me years to figure that one out because I used to not be into exercise. Those endorphins released by exercise help alot too. They lift the mood, soothe the mind and the body.
4) Sleep – Even though I may have so much on my to do list that I need to stay up and work for days, I don’t. I go to bed at a decent hour. As I have gotten older I find it so much easier to get up early to work vs. staying up late. Every once in a while I will pull a late night and work until 11 or 12 p.m. but most of the time I am in bed by 9 or 9:30 and out of bed by 5 or 5:30 a.m. to start my day. Consistent rest makes the brain work better and reduces the effects that stress has on the body. Sleep is so very important to a healthy body, mind and spirit.
5) Take time off – Even if it is just an hour or two, step away. The brain is not designed to work nonstop without a break. Step away, go for a walk. Eat lunch out. Visit with friends. Whatever gets you away from your work for a little while is a good break for the mind. You will be much more productive when you return. If you know you have a hard day ahead, schedule something fun for the evening. Give yourself a reason to work hard. Work hard but play harder. Life is much more enjoyable this way.
Just remember, the hard times are simply a season of life. It will pass. There will be good times, easy times. And you will look back on the hard times as just something you had to go through. But you will be stronger, better for having pushed through. And you will learn that you have the strength inside you to keep going when things are diffiicult. I’m here, cheering you on. One fellow entrepreneur to another. I know it’s hard but you got this!