Starting out on your journey to becoming an entrepreneur is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. You’re excited because this could mean possible financial freedom. It could mean not wasting 3 hours a day sitting in traffic just to clock in for someone else. It means not having to deal with the coworker that takes 15 smoke breaks throughout the day (we all had one of those). But when you get past the initial excitement and the possibility of working from anywhere in the world, you start to think about the actual work. Not the services you intend to provide, but the work behind the scenes. I think we’ve all had the “oh shit” moment after realizing that we actually would have to put in more effort than usual. Dealing with all of this is enough to make anyone overwhelmed. Taking things one step at a time and remembering to take a deep breath before you try to tackle any task can be helpful. Here are a few ways to protect your mental while navigating your journey to being an entrepreneur.
- Getting rid of toxic clients
I think we’ve all been in a situation where we’ve had to deal with a toxic client. We mentally put ourselves in this position where we try to decide if the money is worth us dealing with the toxicity we may be experiencing. It should be a no-brainer BUT, depending on the situation, some people may feel like they have no choice but to endure the toxic behavior for the sake of being able to pay their bills for the next few months. I’m here to tell you it isn’t! Never stay in a contract or any working relationship just because you need the money. I can tell you from experience that it’s absolutely not worth the trouble or the headache. If you wake up dreading the moment you have to communicate with your client, it’s time to go. Trust me, it will suck for a minute but you’ll be happier in the end.
- Stop comparing yourself to everyone
This is definitely easier said than done but, please don’t compare yourself to other entrepreneurs. I know when you’re starting out, you need some kind of inspiration to go off of but don’t let that inspiration turn into an obsession. If you’re too busy watching someone else, how are you supposed to progress and move forward? It’s like running a race and looking over to your left to watch your competition. You’re too busy watching them and you end up running into something or running off course. Definitely pay attention to your market and the trends going on, but also focus on your own lane. Or make your own lane for that matter. Be the first to do something different so there is no comparison. Focusing on someone else will have your mind plagued with unnecessary doubts. The last thing you need is to be depressed or fighting with imposter syndrome because somebody on Instagram is where you want to be and you still haven’t made it in the two weeks you’ve been in business. Stop the comparison and focus on yourself!
I briefly touched on this in my “Self-care and Working from Home” blog. It is so important to set your boundaries and not bend them for anything. Setting boundaries with your clients, boundaries with business partners and even boundaries for yourself is needed. It’s easy to become an entrepreneur and think that you HAVE to work all day everyday and not stop until you’re some kind of millionaire. That sounds cool but it’s really not feasible. You need a boundary on when you start and stop work. You need to let your clients know when you’re off the clock. You may even have to put boundaries in place for friends when they want you to attend an event, but you have that day blocked for marketing your business. Having these boundaries can protect your mental health more than you know. Having that time to yourself or just to work on your business is needed and shouldn’t warrant any guilt.
- Give yourself permission to take a break
I struggle with feeling like I deserve a break and I know other entrepreneurs and small business owners can relate. If you feel like your business isn’t exactly where it needs to be then why would you need a break right? We almost start to justify overworking ourselves just because we’re not as successful as we would like to be right now. You need a break every once in a while because if you’re burnt out it will start to show in the quality of your work and possibly in your relationships with your clients and customers. You can’t pour from an empty glass people! Giving yourself permission to take it easy and regroup can make all the difference in your progress and how you approach your business.
Being an entrepreneur will always be stressful at some point in time. You have to remember that this isn’t an easy path to navigate and there will be plenty of ups and downs. Maintaining your mental health is an important part to staying positive so that you’re able to pour that positivity into your business and everything you do!