Scroll through Instagram and you’ll find 1,000 “motivational” entrepreneurial mantras that are completely useless. Seriously, if I never have to hear the word “hustle” again, I’ll live a very happy life. How is that even helpful? We wouldn’t be entrepreneurs if we didn’t know we needed to hustle. Most of us have the complete opposite problem of not being able to slow down, ever.
Inevitably, just like in any other aspect of your life, there are going to be periods where you’re immensely frustrated or disillusioned with running your business. But the flip side is that it’s often when we’re in a slump that we get really motivated to make meaningful changes.
If you’re feeling a bit dejected and down when it comes to your business, here are a few tips to turn things around:
- You don’t have to do everything. Just because someone else (who probably has a team) is doing 3 webinars a week, emailing a newsletter daily, creating opt-ins like crazy, etc. doesn’t mean that’s your path. Figure out what is realistic for you and your business, and create a plan that works for you. You’ll avoid burnout, and you’ll have so much more impact when you start doing less, but doing it better.
- RELAX! Cliché? Yes… but it’s time to get outside. Step away for at least the weekend, longer if you can manage it. A little sunshiney vitamin D can really lift your mood. Taking that little bit of time away will definitely help you to be more productive and efficient when you get back to work. Sometimes I feel my brain moving in 80 million different directions and the right one is just outside, on a short walk.
When you get back to work, make sure you’re incorporating some structured social time (whether that’s on Facebook, virtual coffee dates, or hopefully in person!!). Even if you’re an introvert, it can get pretty stifling working from home, alone, all day, every day. Sometimes even calling to check in with clients can give you a quick boost and help you feel connected.
- Step outside the comfortable. Sometimes when we feel like we’re not going anywhere, we’re the ones holding ourselves back. Maybe there are things you haven’t tried yet that you’ve been subconsciously ruling out because you think you’re not capable or that you don’t have the resources. Or maybe you really have tried everything you can think of, and it’s time to look for opportunities outside of your industry. Go to the outskirts. For example, if your wedding photography is in down season, reach out to corporate offices and help lawyers update their headshots. (Seriously, go on LinkedIn, you’d practically be doing charity work—their headshots are terrible!).
- If you feel like people are asking you stupid questions… First, create a FAQ page. That should save you the energy of having respond to the same silly emails over and over. Second, remember that what they’re asking is a big deal for them, even if it isn’t for you. Think of the questions you had when you were a baby business. There were times you probably felt lost. Maybe you even realized your questions were stupid and were embarrassed about it, but you needed someone to guide you through the process anyway. Respond accordingly. If it’s always the same kinds of questions, you can also create a generic draft email response and personalize it to help save you time.
- Remember why you started this journey in the first place. You could be at a corporate job, having to report to someone else or having to work fixed hours in an office. You’re here because at some point you chose to be. When was the moment you decided to start your business, and what was driving you? Whenever I start thinking, “ugh, I really don’t want to do this!” I remind myself of my why, and that there is a sense of freedom that comes with this. Yes, there are things about my business that are not so enjoyable, but it’s so worth it to me when I think of all the reasons I wanted to be in this position.
Have you been feeling a little down on yourself (and your business) lately? What helps you get yourself out of the funk?