The struggle is real when you decide to jump on the entrepreneurship train. It’s a bumpy ride and your destination may be further away than you expected, but boy do those bumps teach invaluable lessons.
When I began this journey I was very naive about how long success would take. It’s shocking, really, because naive is far from how I see myself. I actually think I am pretty savvy, and I always want as many details as possible before I move on anything. But, for reasons that are honestly worthy of their own blog post, I just expected this entrepreneurial journey to take off in a different way.
One thing that slowed my success as an entrepreneur has been my personal life. Before you jump to conclusions, let me explain. We all have personal lives (and issues) and if we allow them to get in the way of our professional success, they always will. There is no doubt about that. So the issue wasn’t really my personal life, but rather my inability to manage it well and my failure to see what that management would mean to my success as an entrepreneur.
Many of us make the mistake of trying to separate our business lives from our personal lives, but that doesn’t work. There can be no separation. One flows into the other, and one inevitably impacts the other. If you fail to recognize that, your attempts to keep things separate will leave you feeling feeling drained and defeated.
Although only you can be the expert when it comes to how your personal life is affecting your business, I want to share a few things I have learned along the way. I firmly believe that if you can get things right in all these areas, success in your business will surely follow–in ways you never imagine.
Health and wellness.
Are you planning on being a millionaire with hypertension, arthritis, high cholesterol and an unaddressed sleeping disorder? Good luck with that. And even if you did achieve success while completely neglecting your health (which few people do), you would probably end up unhappy with very little energy or time to enjoy any of your wealth and success. When you are working late hours and doing everything you can to build your business, it’s easy to take your health for granted. And I’ll admit, you may be able to do that for a bit with little consequence, especially if you are young, but your ability to manage that lifestyle won’t last. At some point your body will start sending signals that it needs you to step up and play your role. Ignore those signals and not only will you suffer, but your business will certainly suffer with you.
Fear and anxiety.
Fear is a beast, and it can often lead to feelings of anxiety. A few months ago, I found myself dealing with anxiety levels that were higher than usual. I had a lot on my plate and keeping all the balls up in the air was getting hard. What did I do? I had to take a step back from my business. I didn’t stop working on it, but I did have to slow down so I could get my fears and anxiety in check. I have no regrets about that. If you suffer from anxiety, or if you find fear taking residence in your home, don’t ignore it. Without the skills and tools to manage these feelings in a healthy way, you will find yourself spiraling down a dangerous road and it will impact your ability to make wise business decisions and do so with confidence. Whether you need medication, therapy, Jesus or all three, get the help you deserve and need. Every aspect of your life will be better off for it.
You know that beef you have with your siblings? Or how about that tension with your mom that’s been around for years? Do you insist these family issues won’t ever get in the way of your business? You are wrong. Your family can serve as a source of love and support, but they can also be a major source of stress and discouragement. The energy they add to your life, and the drama you face daily because of them can be major distractions. Unfortunately, what distracts your heart and spirit can also distract your business. The energy you carry after a huge fight with your mom is potentially the very same energy you carry into your next important meeting. You can’t fix your family, and they won’t become who you want or need them to be. What you can do, however, is make peace with who they are, accept the role they play in your life, establish boundaries, and prepare to kick ass as an entrepreneur. It’s not about cutting your family off, but you have to manage your relationships in a healthy way.
I recently read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, and that book has been a game changer for me. A few days ago, I donate about six bags of clothing to Goodwill. And most of it was nice stuff that I kept holding on to even though they didn’t fit anymore. They no longer played a role in my life, but I just couldn’t move on. When you hold on to physical and emotional clutter, it gives you less mental space for creativity. It also drains your time and energy, and the less time and energy you have, the more your business suffers. I am knee deep in this decluttering process and I hope you join me. The peace and clarity that comes from getting rid of what you truly don’t need gives you the freedom and creativity to take your life and your business to another level.
Intimate relationships and friendships.
Just like your family, the people you decide to form friendships with or be intimate with have a tremendous impact on your ability to move through the world with the energy that will attract success. If you are surround by people who are negative and don’t believe in you and your dreams, reaching those dreams becomes more challenging. You don’t need people to share your vision, but you do need to surround yourself with people who support you and the journey you are on. Spend your time with a bunch of negative losers and you will surely end up being one of them. And, frankly, I don’t know too many successful entrepreneurs who are negative losers. Do you?