Hey Entrepreneur, You're Not Alone.

It doesn’t matter if you’re chasing down your dream of working for yourself in a Bakery, Woodshop, or Art Studio.  It doesn’t matter if you’re the boss of a Roofing Business, Printing Press or Farm. A Writer, a Photographer or Naturopathic Doctor.  A Distributor, Website Designer or Non Profit Champion. If you’re the person responsible for the birthing of a business and this business is your bread and butter, you are in a very large boat with a heap-ton of other people.

The thing is, there’s a bit of an illusion on this vessel.  The illusion is: That You’re On Your Own.

Allow me to extend a type of welcome, regardless of where you are; whether you’re just passing by in the night or considering climbing aboard or you’ve been riding these waves for endless days or you’re just about to bail out or you already have, welcome to the world of Entrepreneurship!  I’d like to speak directly to the individuals who are working on their own. You, the one who is doing it all by your yourself. Alone. May I sit down with you for a minute?

As with any word in the English language, “entrepreneur” is open to extended interpretations and perspectives and listings of types.  There is debate over what an entrepreneur is and isn’t, and there is praise  The thing is, the general impression (or illusion) of an entrepreneur is of someone who is working alone and that’s probably because most entrepreneurs do start out on their own and there is also a required degree of outside-the-box, independent, thinking.

Being alone is fine.  As an introvert, alone time is actually a necessity for me.

Feeling alone is different, and it isn’t fine.  It sucks. I know because I’ve been under the illusion of it.  I’ve also spoken with a lot of other entrepreneurs who have felt the weight of isolation.  There’s doubt, insecurity and fear that threaten to hold you down and thwart your progress. The moment doubt creeps into your system, and doubt is gonna creep into your system, your perspective changes and everything you knew you could do starts to fall away.  

It might start after a week or a day of no one returning your calls, emails that are never returned, answers that rhyme with snow.  A little chill travels your spine and you start doubting what you’re doing, maybe even the value of yourself. Your feelings may be the first clue, hint or alarm of a downward spiral - a closing in of the shadows of illusion that you are on your own, isolated in an attempt to progress with nobody noticing and nobody caring.

So what do you do?

Pay attention.  Witness your feelings.  Acknowledge your feelings without allowing yourself to identify directly with them.  You feel like nobody cares? That’s a valid feeling. It doesn’t mean that nobody cares.  Chances are, it means you need to reach out to your support system and connect. You feel incompetent?  That feeling is just a message, it’s not a truth. The message may be that you have an opportunity to learn more about an aspect of your business that you weren’t aware of before - that’s great - now you have the awareness to pursue learning it or connecting with someone who is already knowledgeable on it.

If isolation is a battle you’re fighting, I’m here to tell you you’re not alone.  Every-single-one-of-us in this gigantic ship has felt that feeling, continues to feel that feeling from time to time.  It’s the illusion. The illusion is not meant to trick you though, it’s meant to challenge you. It’s asking you: Who is your support network?  Have you reached out to them lately? How is your diet? Are you juggling the balance of nutrition, rest and work? Where is your joy? Are you keeping your passion as the light that leads the way?

Your perspective is what is going to make or break you.  More than any skill, knowledge or talent, the mindset you choose wear (and sometimes you will have to fight for it) is your success.  

I would suggest selecting one that has a good dose of humour, where you can tell your closest people “I have No Idea What I’m Doing!!” and you can all laugh about it.   Try not to take yourself too seriously. Connect with people who want to see you succeed. Share with others who can benefit from your knowledge, and allow yourself to tune into your feelings.  Living life fully means experiencing emotional messiness and our emotions are the compass to our path.

I just wanted to say that.  Sometimes we know things, but we need to hear them again or we need to read them again or we need to say them again.

Heather Hurst