Stepping into entrepreneurship can be one of the most thrilling experiences in a person’s life. You have a great idea and all the pieces and parts have come together for you to bring it to fruition. After a while, if you find that your goals are not progressing the way you want, the money isn’t rolling in, and the sacrifices keep piling up, the feeling of the grind starts to take over the passion. The tricky thing about business is they grow at their own pace and in ways that you may not be able to predict. There’s many a story about a hairdresser who became an inventor, a researcher who became a speaker and then an author, a computer programmer who built a tech company and is now focusing on blasting us into space. Our society today celebrates the people that “Hustle Harder”, “Use Stress as Fuel”, and “Grind”, leading to guilt for the person that wants to take a weekend off or go away on vacation instead of building their business. This focused “funnel vision” can actually be more harmful than helpful in different ways. Could taking a step back be a step up for you and your business?
Take a look at 3 reasons why you should take a step back from your business.
1 ) You make clearer business decisions.
The worst business decision is one made from scarcity. Entering a deal from “I need to/have to/ should do this.” versus “I’m excited to do this.” will have vastly different outcomes. If your business isn’t making the money that you hoped, this can lead to making bad decisions. Plenty of entrepreneurs supplement their income with a full time or part time gig. Elizabeth Gilbert speaks about it in her book “Big Magic” that she didn’t decide let go of her job until she had two big successes. This gives you more freedom to make more objective growth. When choosing your next move check to see if this feels like the natural next step, if it feels like flow. If it’s loaded with judgements, or the feeling of pushing, tugging or shoving, it might not be the best move for you at this time.
2) You create more options for yourself.
When you have your “business blinders” on it’s easy to miss great opportunities because you weren’t able to see it. There are multiple things you can do that are in alignment with your business that allows it to grow, or more importantly, allows you to grow as a person. If you have an engaging personality, speaking might be your next step. If you love building out systems, creating a online course might be your jam. Write out what you really enjoy and incorporate it into your business, creating your personal brand, or building an adjacent side hustle.
3) You reduce burn out.
“The only way you fail is if you quit.” According to the Harvard Business Review, “ Some evidence suggests that entrepreneurs are more at risk of burnout because they tend to be extremely passionate about work and more socially isolated, have limited safety nets, and operate in high uncertainty.” Entrepreneurs have to create healthy boundaries with their business so that exhaustion or stress related health issues don’t drive them to eventually quit all together. A great technique to use to help “justify” your need for balance is writing out the vision of what you want working to feel like. If you start practicing that now, then it’s easier to make personal and professional decisions that create that outcome. Sir Richard Branson wrote in his book "The Virgin Way: Everything I Know About Leadership." "Fun is one of the most important — and underrated — ingredients in any successful venture. If you're not having fun, then it's probably time to call it quits and try something else." You didn’t start your own business to feel as embattled as you felt working for someone else, be mindful of not creating that.
Businesses are like children, they are continuously growing and changing. It’s commonly said that it takes at least 5 years for a business to turn a profit so don’t fall into the comparison trap. Whether it’s watching Shark Tank or scrolling through social media, understand there’s no such thing as an overnight success and giving your business the chance to grow organically is one of the best ways to build a strong, long lasting legacy. Sacrificing to build a strong business can be working long hours, trusting new people, giving up time with friends and family, or even supporting yourself through new ways. As long as you stay in love with your business, it will succeed.