Do you remember when you started out?

All that excitement and then those big drops of confidence, interspersed with giddy laughter and moments of calm? It really was (is) a rollercoaster of feelings, moods, events and realisations. As you sort one thing out another pops up in front of you – a never ending stream of things vying for your attention.

Let me share

I just wanted to share with you my memories and to perhaps assure you it is all normal – if any new business owner does not relate to the following things – they’re just not human!

1. Overwhelm

That feeling that takes over, makes you freeze and just want to go back to bed or put your head in the sand. It comes in a wave so big you’re not sure if you will ever escape it. But if you can distract yourself, accomplish some small task, make a list, speak to someone; it can be overcome. Even if for just a short while – but once you do it once you can do it again; and for longer. An accountability buddy is useful for this – or a business coach if available – or a mentor. Someone with an understanding of what you are going through, someone who can guide you to another level, allow you to focus on one small area to dispel that feeling. It can be done – but not so sure it can be eliminated completely. Would we be happy if it was?

2. Bright shiny objects

The next new thing is pinging in your inbox, a colleague has just bought the latest planner, a book has come out swearing to answer all your questions on this or that. There will always be someone or something to distract you from your goals. I certainly found it very difficult to ignore – did I say found as in the past tense? I still find it difficult; always so worried about missing out on the ‘thing’ that works. I’ve attended ‘too many to count’ webinars, had numerous ‘free consultations’ and been to lots of ‘free seminars/workshops’. None have given me the answer to my questions. Yes, a nugget here, a titbit there but no resounding plan/path or way to do something that works. There is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution; you really must do the best you can or pay for someone else to do it. We are learning every day. Don’t be afraid not to follow that link, not to purchase, not to sign up – or like me you’ll have a desktop full of pdfs with the ‘answer’ that don’t even get read!

3. Be everything to everyone

Yes, everyone could do with your thing or service. Tweak it here for them and there for someone else. Very time consuming, draining and you end up chasing everyone. I have found that being specific works for lots of things. Name the person you want to connect with – get an intro, identify your target market as a sector or job title – get those introductions, write for a certain person with a certain need/lifestyle – attract those people. Scary for lots of people to niche but it works. Doesn’t mean you turn others away or others do not seek you out but gives you a clear focus and keeps your message clear – so much easier for you!

4. Lots to buy, little money to buy

Bit like Bright shiny objects above – there is always lots to buy and at the early part of your journey you may be being selective because there is a lack of customers therefore funds, or you want your ‘pot’ to last. Usually what happens you take the ‘risk’ or ’punt’ (whichever you like) and it is not the be all to your business and you feel cheated! Hard pill to take but then again, we must learn from our mistakes! If you feel it was a mistake or just a step on the road to success?

5. Self-doubt

The single biggest area that can stop our dreams in a heartbeat. Those mind monkeys, self-talk and imaginary devils on our shoulders will destroy all our dreams if you let them. The subject of mindfulness has grown rapidly over the past years – to counteract these destroyers.

Such a biggie – all the rage in every ‘job’, activity, mission and life – is to be mindful of what you say, think and how you behave! It has certainly been proven how powerful the mind is and you can talk yourself out of something (sometimes a little too easily) so you most certainly can talk yourself into something! The Positive Mental Attitude is key to your own success; being able to discard those thoughts of self-doubt and plough on forward. There are always external doubters (family, friends, colleagues) and to listen or try to dissuade others can be draining, hard work and not worth the time and effort. As they say; ‘what others think about you is no business of yours’. Practicing mantras or gratitude daily can fuel your motivation and keep you positive; a true way forward (if you don’t think it’s too woo woo!).

6. Slow down, focus and plan

70 miles an hour can sometimes feel the ‘norm’. So much to do, so little time and those hours are zapped too quickly from us. So, to slow down, focus and plan seems counter-productive. Using the same 24 hours in a day to get more done seems unlikely – but can be done. Planning, being active and focused doing one thing and doing it well; is the key. Jumping from one task to another, interruptions by the ping of email, a friend popping in for a coffee Is not a good way to get things done. Have you found that you start so well and then three days have gone by and the planning book has been neglected – it’s empty – what did you do with those days? What did you accomplish? I’ve even tried to get up early to do the planning – well, I planned to! (I’m not a morning person).

7. Free advice is available – just ask

Yes, it is! People generally want to help others succeed. Don’t be afraid to ask others – they’ve more than likely been there and will gladly share their experience and possibly even a solution. If not, I’m sure they could introduce you to someone who can help. We are grateful when we are asked to help and only want to give great advice – sharing knowledge is the number one way of getting noticed, recommended and supported. So, don’t be afraid – ask that question, ask for help. The time will come when you are asked questions – that warm, fuzzy feeling cannot be ignored!

There’s seven and I’m sure you can add some more – feel free to do so in the comments.

Employing staff is a whole new ball game with its own set of rules. Working with a VA is an option that a great many business people are turning to. Check out my book on How to Hire a Virtual Assistant. Available on Amazon by clicking here

Connect with Michelle on other platforms too: Learn how you can work with Virtual Hand; how your business can grow and how you can communicate better with your audience.