No one said it would be easy. Sure, being an entrepreneur is awesome, but there’s a reason why the journey is often compared to a rollercoaster. There are the great times, and the times that are… well… not so great.
But even when it feels like everything is sh*!, you have to be able to carry on. Resilience is one of the most important skills you need to be able to successfully run your own business and get through the tough times.
Next time a deal falls through, a client complains, an employee quits, or you don’t get the funding you desperately needed, here’s what you should remember:
You’ve got support
Even if you don’t know any other entrepreneurs, turn to your support system for comforting words. Everyone can sympathise with difficult times at work.
- Maybe your mom had a tough time a horrible boss when she was in her 30s, and can offer some practical advice.
- You might have a friend who got rejected from her dream job last month, and can offer some commiserations.
Reach out to the people in your life and let them know how you’re feeling. No one has to go through this alone, and it’s important to let out your emotions from time to time. Being able to get things off your chest means you’ll be able to concentrate better on your business, and you might even find yourself able to come up with a creative solution.
Learn from the experiences of others
One of the great joys of the internet is the ability to connect with likeminded people around the world.
- Join an online community for entrepreneurs to get advice from people who have walked the same path before. Alfavrouwen is a Belgian online community that I set up with fellow entrepreneur Jessica de Block, and there are plenty of others out there if you don’t speak Dutch.
- Get active in online community message boards and Facebook groups. You can ask for help with specific challenges you’re experiencing in your business, and you’ll also be able to help others who are struggling, too.
It’s not easy for anyone
Name the most famous entrepreneurs that come to mind, and you can be assured they’ve had their fair share of challenges. Oprah, Tina Fey, JK Rowling… We’ve heard the stories thousands of times. Rejection after rejection, these women kept persevering, and finally broke through to enjoy the success they’re famous for today.
When things are really tough, remember that it’s part of the journey, and it’s something that binds anyone who’s ever attempted to start a business or work for themselves.
Hardship makes us more creative
It might not feel like it at the time, but being in a tricky situation where your company is at stake can actually help you to become more creative. Being forced to come up with an idea to save your business might actually help you see creative situations you otherwise would have missed.
Keep an open mind, leave all ideas on the table, and trust that you’ll be able to come up with a workable solution.
Difficult times make us appreciate the good times
Not necessarily something you want to hear at the time, but true nevertheless. Difficult times in your business (as well as personal life) make you appreciate the times when things are going well.
If everything was perfect all the time, you’d start to get bored. So take a deep breath, and remember that things may suck now, but you’ll emerge the other side stronger, more resilient, and quite possibly with a better business.