Are you ready for my startup confession?
The past few weeks had been going really well. I made some amazing new connections, held a successful Meetup for a community of like-minded people, and received glowing feedback and praise from the Focus Sessions I’d held for Future 40 participants.
After fearing that asphyxia would come at this uncharted altitude, I could finally see the peak of the mountain. I felt really positive about my message and about the genuine interest people were taking in me and my business. I basked in the glory of that moment and felt such pride and accomplishment. And then I cried.
I just want it to work!
How could I, in less than 24 hours, go from feeling so amazing to feeling so low? Why did I start focusing on all of the things that weren’t working instead of remaining proud of those that were?
The main culprit was…ME! I let myself become overwhelmed by all the other things that I could be doing. I then presented these alternative options to my supportive and loving husband and I screamed out, “I just want it to work”. Not realising that what I really needed was some reassurance, he offered up some more suggestions which just made me feel that I was doing something wrong.
The next morning I cleared my diary with a plan to put things right and start on those other things, but I was too deflated to try anything else.
here’s how to push past the funk
I often remind my clients that during the startup journey there will be highs and lows, yet sometimes I forget this myself. The negative thoughts will eventually pass, but here are three things that worked for me.
1. I received support from someone who’s been in my shoes. I was fortunate that I had a session scheduled in with my coach for later in the day. She has no agenda. I’m not emotionally attached to her like I am with friends and family, so I don’t search for hidden meaning in her words or interpret them as criticism. Having that hour to offload my fears and anxieties was cathartic and I felt so much better afterwards.
2. I took a few moments to remember the successes by thinking of this metaphor: starting your business is like having a vast plot of soil in front of you. You plant the seeds in the soil, you water those seed regularly, and eventually you start to see tiny seedlings popping their head up amongst the soil. Sometimes it’s easy to concentrate on all the soil that surrounds those seedlings – the places where you haven’t yet seen success – but if you neglect those little seedlings, they’ll never develop into robust and hearty plants. Those are your successes. Nourish them!
3. I asked if anything could have been done differently to change the outcome. I looked back on the few things that I wasn’t happy about and thought objectively about them. I realised that I actually did everything I could have done and that calmed me down. No longer was I saying “that was wrong”; instead I said “some things just take time”. There may be occasions where I could have used a different approach and these can be treated as a learning opportunity to grow and develop. If it’s not right the first time, I can make tweaks until it is.
over to you
Does my startup confession sound familiar? I really want to hear from you. What are you thinking, what are you feeling – right now? How do you get rid of the mind chatter?