One of the things I like to do as a full-time business owner is mentor other business owners who are starting a business. Normally, this looks like coaching or consulting, but I’ve gotten in the habit of taking at least one person a year under my wing as a way of paying it forward.
That being said, I was recently speaking with my current mentee about starting her own freelance business. They just quit their job and are starting to put all the pieces together. During a day-long coaching session, we got into a conversation about the emotional rollercoaster that comes with starting a business.
I’m going to be real with you, dear reader. The first two years of your business may be an emotional mess. They sure were for me. Luckily, I’ve come out the other side of it already so I can share some insights on how to deal with the emotions that come with starting a business.
Find something that grounds you.
The first thing you need to know about dealing with the emotions that come with starting a business is to find something that grounds you. That is to say, find some activities that help calm you down. For me, this looked like exercise and meditation. I was meditating a lot during the first couple of years.
Find a support system (or five).
A support system is paramount when you’re starting a business.
Part of what I’ve noticed is people start a business and then having their relationships change as a result. Unfortunately, not everyone has friends and family that are supportive of their choices. If that the case for you, you’ll have to look elsewhere for a support system.
In my case, although my friends and family were super supportive, I still found it beneficial to get support from other business owners. You know, people who got what I was trying to do or had already been there.
Here are just some of the ways I created a support system for myself as I was starting a business:
- Hired a coach.
- Created a mastermind group with other business owners that met once a week.
- Joined a professional organization of local female business owners and participated in their more intimate events. For example, I would attend the small monthly roundtable with the CEO of the organization.
- Started attending conferences in my niche and making friends.
- Participated in Facebook groups and made friends.
As you can see, I built support into my life in different ways. Fast forward a couple of years and I know much of my success has to do with this. Had I not built in support as I was starting a business, I don’t know where I’d be.
Keep your eye on your values.
The last thing that helped me deal with the emotions that come with starting a business was reminding myself of my values.
You see, I didn’t start a business because I thought there was money in it or wanted to tell people I owned a business. I started a business because I wanted freedom.
Freedom is one of my most important values, but the reality is I had to temporarily give it up as I was starting a business. However, since I knew what I was working toward, it was easier to make the sacrifices and go through the motions. Now I have more freedom than I’ve ever had in the past.