The Productive Solopreneur Series | My 3 Tips to Deal With The Entrepreneurial Rollercoaster
Let me ask you something…
How has your journey as an entrepreneur played out so far? As a graph what does it look like?
Is it a horizontal line heading straight to the sky, a smooth journey from not being an entrepreneur to being a super successful entrepreneur with not a single hiccup?
Does it look something like a three-year-old has grabbed a crayon and gone crazy on a piece of paper?
My journey definitely looks like something my little guy, Noah, does at daycare…
And that’s normal.
Being an entrepreneur, being self-employed is anything but smooth sailing.
Some days it’s an absolute hot mess…
Some days it’s riding an emotional rollercoaster.
The highs can be extremely high.
Imagine waking up one morning to find that you’re trending on social media, or that your website has been shared on some news site and has had thousands of hits overnight.
Or imagine that you wake up to hundreds of notifications of sales that you’ve made while you sleep from your latest Facebook ad.
What about being asked to give an interview on the podcast of someone you’ve followed for the longest time, knowing that this alone is going to take your business to a new level.
All you can see are clear skies ahead...a straight line heading to the sky.
But on the flip side of the highest of highs, there are the lows…
And they can be sooooo low.
What about finding out that for some unknown reason Google has de-indexed your website and all the hard work ranking with SEO, well it’s just gone down the toilet.
Or being sued by a client because the advice you gave them caused them to lose money.
Think being shouted at by your boss is stressful?
How about being yelled at by angry clients who you’ve worked your butt off to support and serve.
That’s a different level of stress.
And when you work for someone else and you have an unproductive day...you still get paid.
When you work for yourself and you have an unproductive day, what do you get? Nothing...nil...nada.
Have a bad month? You get nothing.
Working for yourself can sometimes be highly volatile and unpredictable. You move from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.
Working from home gives you the freedom and that freedom can give you the option to become incredibly healthy, happy, and effective.
But at the same time that freedom comes with a huge responsibility.
Fail to manage that time well and it can all go wrong...
So, how do you navigate the highs and the lows?
How do you stay emotionally hardy and resilient?
How do you maintain the strength of character to weather the storms?
Because here’s the thing lovely. Your ability to stay strong during these tough times is what will DEFINE you as a successful entrepreneur.
That character trait is the predominant difference between highly successful business owners and those that sink under the weight of responsibility.
Here are my top 3 techniques to help you hold on tight and deal with the entrepreneurial rollercoaster ride.
Use Cognitive Simulation.
I love this one and it’s my go-to technique. Now I just want to preface this by saying that I a not a “the glass is half empty” sort of person. I don’t always go to the worst-case scenario...but I have found that cognitive simulation enables me to prepare for any scenario. So what is it all about?
It means rehearsing scenarios in your mind in order to prepare for them and to prepare contingency plans. If you do this properly, then no turn of events will come as a total surprise to you, and you’ll have a plan in place to deal with that scenario if it comes to play.
Develop mental toughness
This is a key feature of military training. Developing mental toughness for me is two-fold. Firstly I practice mindfulness daily. I personally use the Calm app and it has been amazing, but there are many apps available that do the same thing. And the benefits of practicing mindfulness extend well beyond building mental toughness alone. It is a game-changer in many areas, such as decreasing anxiety levels and increasing overall wellbeing. Secondly, I try to step out of my comfort zone on a regular basis. This is a lot more difficult than practicing mindfulness because it is uncomfortable...but so beneficial. The more I push myself out of my comfort zone, the more growth I see. And changes are made outside of the comfort zone.
Take up Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
CBT is a practice that teaches you to distance yourself from stressful thoughts, by changing the way you think about them.
This is transformative when it comes to dealing with challenging and difficult situations, especially when combined with meditation, which teaches you to keep a focused mind.
Give it a try. Follow these tips and see how effective they are in supporting you on your journey around the toddler’s crayon drawing :)
Have a great week ahead.
And just remember, that when you are experiencing the lows of the entrepreneur journey, a high is just around the corner.