This week’s blog post is written by the wonderful Melissa Fragomeni.
Are we crazy for chasing our dreams? I mean, what were we thinking when we started our own business? Who in their right mind would subject themselves to discomfort, bizarre mental games, and a plethora of unknowns more than once per day?
You are constantly asking yourself, at least multiple times daily, without fail: Is entrepreneurship at all for me? Am I even qualified? All the scary investments and draining bank account horror stories, not to mention the no-end-in-sight view when it comes to decisions that you need to make and haunting criticisms coming from unexpected sources, can make you really think twice about the leap you really want to take.
Imagine entrepreneurship as a real-life amusement park. It will be filled with thrilling rides and terrifying ones that leave you feeling nauseous. It can be unpredictable most of the time, no matter how much mental preparation you have done. Or it can be tame and easy for a short amount of time before you are back on your toes, alert and ready for action.
I have to be honest with you. There will be rides we sometimes don’t want to take. And that is fine. We will often be pushed out of our comfort zones. But there will be moments when the rides are just not for us. Not because we are afraid, but because we know it is not the right fit for us where we are right now.
There will be temptations, those sweet cotton candies and aromatic buttery foods. In the early stages, chasing the shiny objects and doing all the things will burn you out and create heaps of accumulated doubts, fears, and frustration. But, pretty soon, you learn to discern when to say no, and when to get a taste of something. But you never go overboard because you know it will do you more harm than good. You have learned to be smart and know your limits.
Just like amusement park themes, entrepreneurship has its seasons of flow, of ups and downs, of growth, of focus. Depending on what you desire for each season, your business will reflect that. Sometimes you need growth so there is a season of making more connections than usual and penciled-in podcast opportunities. Other seasons you need to let go and focus on your zone of genius, so in order to do that you seek support through VAs and team members. The year-round rides that never close represent moral and loving support you always need, such as family, friends, business besties, and perhaps, coaches. Hold on tight to those.
At the end of the day, it has been a fun ride. But is it worth it all? If you have read this all the way through and felt more excited than nauseous, I’d say are in it for the long haul. Successful business owners have shared the same challenges and come out on top. Sure, it requires a whole lot of faith and some confidence. Even one tiny drop of each is enough, especially because you will eventually learn and grow every step of the way, and you will build up all the good qualities you need to succeed, too. There is no doubt in my mind about that, no matter how silly or unqualified or unprepared you feel. Because truth is, we are all three when we start.
So, yes, to answer the most asked question, entrepreneurship is pretty much worth the roller coaster adventure. Our dreams are worth it. So strap yourself in and let the journey unfold.
I’ve sat down a few times to write this post but never seem to get past a few lines; it is something I really wanted to share with you all though so I kept at it. Ladies, I know how it feels to be struggling to juggle your business with your personal life and I have found the solution.
In the past, I had tried to do it all but over the past 15 years as an entrepreneur, I have developed strategies that I am ready to share with you today. I realised where exhausted business owners were going wrong, they weren’t spending enough time ON their business and were instead stuck IN it. As a result of applying these strategies myself, my business has been super charged and I’ve become a more balanced person, I feel the happiest I’ve ever been.
If you haven’t got the time to read the entire blog post (I know you ladies are busy), you can get your hands on my free guide today and learn right now how to spend more time ON your business, creating a more balanced and profitable life- click below.
I had always wanted to work for myself. I’m very ambitious and wanted more than an ‘average’ life. It came as no surprise to my family that at 18 I bought a sandwich bar. I wasbarely an adult and yet I was already a business owner.
Owning your own business is liberating but parts of the journey are tough. I tried to do everything myself, I didn’t want to let go of control and I was afraid to delegate in case other people got it all wrong but I was burning myself out.
I remember wishing that there was a better way and that I had more time. I lost loads of weight, I wasn’t eating properly, I was stressed, unfocused and bitterly unhappy. My business started to suffer and I felt a complete failure.
A few years later my husband and I decided that we would start a guesthouse. We had an offer accepted and by now, I was also 4 months pregnant. Life went from busy to hopelessly hectic; we were both working, I was pregnant and we had a whole house renovation and a business to build from scratch. The idyllic dream we had of running a guesthouse alongside our growing family, became a nightmare.
This experience may have been hard but looking back it was a gift. I learnt so much along the way and juggling life as a business owner with children was just the beginning. Just like in my last business though, I longed to be able to do more of the things I loved to do in the business but I felt trapped by the mundane.
5 years later, it all became too much and we sold up and I moved into an online eCommerce business. I still had to work crazy hours as I was building my new business from scratch but I was determined to make a success out of it. Business was booming, so much so, I had to move to larger units three times in two years. The lessons I had learnt in previous businesses were paying off but one thing I couldn’t let go of; control!
I worked loads of hours and literally ate, breathed and slept my business. I struggled to let anyone in. It was my baby; my business and I wanted to do it all. Deep down, I knew that in order to grow, I needed help but I found it so hard to hand over.
I had slipped into the familiar routine of working too much IN my business, rather than ON my business, and trying to do it all myself! I was desperately trying to create to that work/life balance but failing miserably.
In the spring of 2016, I had an incredible epiphany when I realised what I was doing wrong; I had been so focused on doing everything in my business that I had forgotten to enjoy the bits I loved doing.
Being an entrepreneur is a unique experience and one that requires a significant amount of self-motivation. Wealth had always been main my motivator and although growth will always be important to me, I suddenly realised that I wasn’t giving myself or my business the real opportunity to expand because I had been constantly close to burn out. Yes, I may have made progress but without the ability to stay motivated, in the face of exhaustion, I had been setting myself up to fail.
I decided to sell the business. It was a scary when I felt hugely out of my comfort zone but also a huge opportunity for reflection after such a hectic 4 years. Once I got over the shock, I felt proud to consider how I had started this business from scratch and built it up to a multiple 6 figure business.
After 15 years as an entrepreneur I had learnt one very important lesson; taking care of myself was paramount to the success of my business and my well-being. If I could go back to my 18-year-old self I would tell her to take a breath but I can’t do that.
So instead, I am focused finally on doing what I love! I have built the entire of my new business around what gives me joy and if there is an aspect of running the business I don’t like I outsource it. Letting go of complete control has given me incredible freedom and enabled me to focus on what I love. This has allowed my business to actually grow and at an even faster rate than before.
After everything I have learnt I am now passionate about helping other women in business in that same position I used to be. I want to support those suffering from that same overwhelm that I remember so well. I want to help these women work ON their business instead of IN it.
This is where the growth is. This is where the happiness is.
A 25 hour day
I know, it’s the dream right?! When you are a fierce female entrepreneur there never seem to be enough hours in the day, the amount of times in the past I have wished for just one more hour! I used to think that if I had this hour, everything would be OK, I would get everything done and the world would be at peace. Of course, I was wrong. Time was never the problem.
Einstein said it himself, it is all relative. The problem wasn’t that I didn’t have enough time but that I wasn’t using it properly. Understanding this was the first step, then came the hardest part; finding the time or organise my time! This pattern was going to repeat forever unless I took action and stopped using time as an excuse. The action I took when I set up my new business is outlined in my free guide and it is written with love, with you in mind, so you can put into practice today what took me years to learn.
The Secret to Doing It All
When you own your own business, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to do it all. This is especially difficult if you are also trying to take care of your family and your home at the same time. Trying to be all things to all people just leaves you with an unavoidable feeling of failure. Trying to do it all myself was a mistake that forced me to rock bottom, on my way back up I discovered the secret to doing it all was actually letting go of the constant need to control and micro-manage everything. You will have areas of your life and business that you are amazing at and you love and in equal measure, there will be things you don’t! Take this opportunity to reflect on what makes you feel alive and reminds you that you are contributing to the world, this what you should be focusing on and in my guide I will tell you what to do with the rest!
Find Balance Today
Women of the world seem to spend their entire life looking for this elusive ‘balance,’ but what does it actually mean? When my life was unbalanced I felt as if I was being pulled in different directions and never seemed to do fulfil any of my many roles properly. An unbalanced life is exhausting, physically and mentally and inevitably leads to burn out. To live a balanced life means that you feel in control, calm, grounded, inspired and motivated. I know what it feels like to be unbalanced, I’ve been there and got the t-shirt but when I set up my new business I knew that to find balance in life you had to create it. I couldn’t leave it to chance or to anyone else. It had to be a conscious decision and involved the implementation of specific strategies, applied with consistency. To be in control I had to take control and you too can do this today.
Want to get results in your business too?
As a result of finding my way in my business, I feel happier, more balanced and I’m enjoying time for me and with my family more than ever. I have more time and less stress- finally after all these years on my own business journey. I want to help other women who are feeling stressed, overwhelmed and close to burnout. If you never have enough hours in your day and try to do it all, take a look at my free guide.