When you start out on your entrepreneurial quest, you’ll soon learn that you also have to be your own biggest cheerleader. Being a business owner can be tough. You’re not only the boss, you’re the CEO, founder, idea-creator, and dream-pursuer.
You’ve got to keep the fires burning even when your friends and family have lost their initial enthusiasm they had when you first told them of your new business venture.
Give Yourself Credit
The road ahead is likely going to be filled with more failures than successes, especially at the start. You’re going to learn the hard way if this is your first entrepreneurial enterprise. It certainly can be difficult running your own company.
You’ve made the leap to being your own boss and shut the door on the typical 9-to-5 grind for a paycheck. Now you’re trying to build something, and that takes a lot of courage.
Your friends and family probably (hopefully) encouraged you to take that first step after seeing the light in your eyes and the smile on your face when you told them about your vision. And if they didn’t, shame on them!
However, after a while, that light in your eyes may have dimmed as you figured out a few of the pitfalls, such as there aren’t enough hours in the day. You may be feeling like you’ve got a long road ahead of you.
Your initial support system seems to fade along with your enthusiasm. Sadly, this is when you need their push the most and they’ve all but jumped ship. Here’s how to keep your spark and be your own cheerleader.
List Your Accomplishments
If you’re feeling alone or down in the dumps with your new adventure, stop what your doing and make a list of your accomplishments. Get a blank sheet of paper and divide it into three columns. The first column is for things you’ve accomplished this week. The second column is for things you’ve accomplished this month. The last column is for accomplishments this year.
Fill up those columns with big and little triumphs. Did you respond to all your emails this week? Take a lunch break? Practice self-care? Land a new client? Hit a sales goal? It doesn’t matter the size of the accomplishment. What matters is that you finished it. You hit a target and it deserves to be acknowledged.
Celebrate Your Achievements
Now that you’ve got your list going, it’s time to celebrate. Your family and friends aren’t going to throw you a party for every little triumph; mostly because they probably don’t even understand what you’re doing or what it takes to keep pushing forward as an entrepreneur.
However, don’t let their lack of encouragement allow you to feel insecure. Don’t take it personally if they don’t shower you with enthusiasm and applause.
When you go wear a new outfit that makes you feel fantastic, you want to wear it more often if people take notice. You can’t let that be your business model. Wear that outfit, strut your stuff and be your own audience. It’s okay to feel good about your achievements, and even better when you celebrate them.
Develop a Personal Manifesto
What is it that keeps you going? What phrase or quote reminds you why you started this journey in the first place? You might need to reflect on your reason, passion or initial concept which brought you to where you are now. Develop a personal manifesto that speaks to you. Say it to yourself or write it down and pin it up everywhere around you.
Cultivate Professional Relationships
If it isn’t clear yet, it soon will be. Professional relationships are critical for success. First, your family and friends are going to let you down if you’re constantly seeking external validation as a confidence-booster.
The best proactive step you can take is adding like-minded entrepreneur “friends” to your repertoire. You don’t have to spend holidays with these people, but it’s incredibly beneficial to share your failures and successes with those who have already been down the road you’re on.
These are the people who understand how important encouragement and positive reinforcement are in business. They’ve already been there, done that. They are also useful as a sounding board for new ideas and the creative process.
The big lesson here is that you’re going to have to develop tough enough skin to be your own cheerleader. Validation from others can’t be your driving force. If it is, get rid of that mindset or you might as well throw in the towel now. Your new business deserves an owner with tough skin, a go-getter attitude and someone who isn’t going to give up if they aren’t coddled.