Being an entrepreneur is wonderful feeling. You are finally accomplishing your dream and you are working hard to make a profit and make your business a success. It brings joy to your spirit and it makes you feel alive. But what about those less exciting emotions – loneliness, insecurity, rejection, writes MOSIDI K SERETLO
These have a way of making you doubt your own abilities. Why don’t people talk about these?
I remember the first day of my starting my business. I was on my laptop in my office eagerly waiting to get my first set of clients. They didn’t come. It took me about 3 to 4 months to get my first clients. During those first few months, my initial feelings of excitement had started to turn into feelings of doubt and I began to second guess myself. Questions like ‘what happens if I don’t get clients?’ and ‘what do I do if they don’t like what I’m offering?’ kept popping into my head.
When I finally secured my first client, I had to put together a proposal based on the client brief. This was my first time as a supplier. I had always been the client before and now I had to do my very first proposal. I had no idea how to put the proposal together. I was used to doing memos for boards and tons of presentations so the pressure was on. I was nervous and determined to impress and to top it off, the client was someone I had previous worked with in corporate and they were taking a chance on me.
I ended up doing 10 – 15 iterations of the proposal before I was happy. I really struggled with the pricing and I was a complete nervous wreck after pressing send. I kept thinking ‘what did I do?’. I was completely insecure and I had no one to turn to. My struggle was my own and I remember wishing for someone to help me through this, someone who could’ve coached me and taken me through the steps of writing a good proposal and taught me how to price my services.
The point I’m trying to make is that while being an entrepreneur can be daunting and often lonely, you don’t have to do it alone. There are many people who have done this before so don’t be afraid to find them and ask them for help. I’ve learnt this lesson and it’s why I’ve chosen to be a coach and mentor small businesses in my area of expertise.
So who do you call when you’re feeling down and need someone to just listen to you? How do you maintain a positive attitude and STAY positive amidst the storms of business? Why should you keep going when there’s literally no revenue or income being generated? Here’s a few pointers that have helped me:
Surround yourself with people who are positive and who motivate you to keep going
Find people who understand the journey you are on and empathise
Maintain a steady positive attitude and accept that you will have ‘down’ moments. Be sure to have a few mechanisms in place to help you lift your mood and get back on track
Stay on course! Don’t give up…. especially when you know you have a brilliant idea
Take a break for couple of hours and do something other than your business – listen to inspirational music, spend time with family, do some exercise etc.
Get some advise from experts
Most importantly, remember you are human and we all go through these moments but how we deal with them is the difference between success and failure
Seretlo is a founder of business consulting company called Mosidi K Seretlo Consulting where she focuses on small business. This article appeared on her blog