We have all been through it in one way or another.
But the thing that I remember most are not the good times when I have celebrated a big win or felt lucky to be 'me' because life is going so well. It's been the things that caused me to rethink what I was doing.
I have hundreds of friends who are entrepreneurs. We mainly share our experiences good and bad because its almost like being in the same church. There is trust because chances are that if you haven't gone through it, you certainly will at some time.
Top Five Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Get Down
1. They doubt themselves.
Something goes wrong and all of a sudden they stop believing. They second guess what they are doing, their businesses and their people. They stop trusting their gut instinct and fall prey to the 'negative vibe'. All of a sudden they are down, they stop sleeping through the night, everything gets on their nerves and they become so tired.
2. We all believe bad luck comes in 3's but when it is 4 or 5, we start thinking it will never stop.
This happened to me recently. People are always saying that things happen in 3's but earlier this year, I was up to number 7 and I really thought I couldn't take anymore. I am resilient, but gosh, I struggled to have enough faith to pick myself up off the floor. It was the hardest 6 weeks of my life. I hid under a rock and hoped that it all would go away. I couldn't bear for there to be a number 8. And when I am talking about the first three, I have to say they were serious. I am talking about people dying, getting cancer, car crashes and more. So, once you have 3 out of the way, as an entrepreneur you change your attitude and start thinking that the worse is behind you. But when it isn't - it's tough.
3. Our employees are not performing as we had hoped.
Things start to go wrong. At first you blame them and when you get a bit more experience, you realise that it is you. Hiring the right person in the first place with the right amount of checks into their backgrounds and previous employment history is paramount. Undergoing a psychological assessment is helpful. Having several interviews rather than just one. Getting them to meet the team they are working with and go out socially for dinner or a drink at a bar isn't a bad idea. Then have a competency test in place. Provide the right training and development of your employees will also safeguard you from bad performing staff members. As a small business, its easier to say these things, but harder to implement. When your employees are not performing, it means your business isn't performing. Something has to give. Right?
4. Clients are not paying their bills.
At 27 years old, a company owed me $200,000 from an advertising bill that I paid on their behalf. Big mistake. They declared their company bankrupt and I had no insurance over bad debts. It came right out of my back pocket. This is an ongoing saga for small businesses. I have tried in the past to pretend its not happening and as long as I have cash flow, I live. The reality is that this is not running a business, its existing. If we want to be good entrepreneurs and take on the world, we have to do more than exist. It has taken me 12 years to get this right. Now, I have the right plan in place to safeguard people that are quite simply not good people. They think that people should work for free for them. Well, now they have another thing coming... but it has been a tough lesson to learn and more than $1 million dollars in total across 3 businesses. Expensive and not my proudest moment.
5. Our personal life influences our professional life.
I hate to admit this one, but I know it is true. Every heart break, every breakup, every argument - effects us in some way. I would be interested in the statistics behind the number of people who are entrepreneurs who are either divorced or have stayed single for a very long time.
I know so many men in their 50's that have never married. I don't want to be like them. It makes me feel sad that they have gone through life without learning how to love, share and appreciate another human being.
Divorce is a biggie! So many people divorce. I am very old fashion in my thoughts and I pray that one day if I am ever to marry, that I work through my problems in marriage like I work through the problems in my business. Business isn't easy and it changes all the time. It needs nurturing and love just like any relationship. It needs compromise and attention just like any relationship.
While some people say that their personal life never affects their business life, they know deep down it does. It gets them down and perhaps they don't make decisions just like they would if they weren't down. Or perhaps, they may communicate better with their staff or with their clients had they been in a different personal situation.
Being an entrepreneur is hard. There are good days and bad days. If you have time, take a look at this list and think about whether or not it relates to you and your life. How can you make changes today for the better? How do you improve your business results by improving your life.
What's more important to you? Your business? Your health? Your relationship? Or all of these things together?
Take time out to smile, smell the roses and appreciate the life that you live, the experiences that you have and the people you love.
Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.
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