I'm so excited for a brand new blog series coming to you every other Monday geared towards business owners and those who have a dream of someday owning their own business. I decided to do this series because I realized there's a great need in the community for support, and realness. There are several things I wish people would have said to me, encouraged me on, warned me about, etc. that I'd like to share with each of you as we continue into this blog series.
This week's Motivation Monday is focused on keeping it real. This week's theme is Letting Go of the Fantasy.
When I first thought about going into business, I had this vision of me galloping through the fields, camera in hand, photographing happy couples and smiling babies. Ok, maybe not really THAT extreme, but I did envision the "good" parts of my business. Doing only what I love! Focusing only on what I wanted to focus on. But the reality was, it wouldn't be anything like that.
The hardest part of all of it was learning to let go of the fantasy. I thought by running my own business, it meant I could take a day off whenever I wanted without any consequence. I thought it meant more time for my kiddos and husband. I thought it meant playing with my two little ones all day and catching up on work in the evening while they were preparing for bed. I thought it meant lots of lunch meetings and girl time with my besties! I thought it meant by being my own boss, I was opening up a WHOLE new freedom.
While there was some truth to what I was expecting, I had to let go of the fantasy because I was letting the "realness" tarnish the dream. In reality, I was spending hours upon hours building my business, marketing, networking, running contests to get my name out there, scheduling, editing sessions, corresponding with clients, submitting to publishers to gain exposure, market watching to make sure I'm in line with the competition, attending workshops and learning events, soaking up and reading every "Running a Business for Dummies" book I saw (ok, maybe not this one but I did read quite a few books!). My fantasy was focused only on the result AFTER the hard work was in place. Not the reality of what would actually happen and what WAS happening.
I'm not telling you this to deter you away from chasing your dreams, but you have to be real with yourself and honest with yourself. You have to go into this knowing your capabilities. Know what your strengths are as well as your weaknesses. You have to be ready for battle because the dream doesn't come easy. There are many days when I thought I was going to have to walk away, but I didn't because I knew and still know there's a greater reward in the end rather than just giving up and calling it quits.
So whether you're thinking of opening a business or you already have and you feel like you're sinking, there's several steps you can take to reorganize your thoughts and prioritize your schedule.
The first: Make sure you know your "WHY". Why do you do this? Why do you want to run your own business? Why do you feel so passionately about it? Without a why, you have no motivation to keep pushing forward when times get rough. Know your why and remind yourself of your why every single day.
Second: Get ahead of the game. Like our Pastor at Destination Church says, winning the battle doesn't come from the actual fight - it comes from the preparations for the fight. So, are you going to just step into your business without researching or are you going to take the precautionary steps and prepare your business, prepare your mind and prepare your process? It's worth it. Do your homework, do your research and give it your all.
Third: Know your limits. Know where your breaking point is. Know when you need a vacation and when you need to push yourself harder. If you're a procrastinator, find something that will motivate you and stay on it. Only YOU know your capabilities and only YOU can determine how to use them!
Last: Let go of your fear of failing. If you fall behind or fail, so what! Get up, try again and this time, give it even more than you did last time!!!
Don't get so accustomed to your nest that you never learn to fly.