If you work for yourself, you’re probably very much familiar with what I like to call an everlasting rollercoaster of highs and lows. Something that’s much easier pushed aside and not talked about. It’s easy to talk about how awesome it is to work for yourself and pour out heart into things we are passionate about. But here’s the thing, E-V-E-R-Y entrepreneur out there has good and bad days. We are all riding the same insane rollercoaster of entrepreneurship. And sometimes you’ll find yourself in one of those low times.
And the truth is, it’s hard to admit on bad days and forgotten on the good days, and if you’re like many small businesses out there, you work for yourself with no co-workers to confide in, so we push it aside. We ignore it. No one mentions it because no one wants to feel like they are the only ones on this crazy ride.
You roll with the highs and the lows. On the good days you’re waiting for the ball to drop, and on the bad days, you’re just keeping your head down hustling hard enough for another good day.
Pair this with the simple fact that entrepreneurs and small business owners don’t ever truly get to “take off from work,” and it’s easy to see why this can become exhausting. Even for those of us who are lucky enough and have hard enough to work for ourselves, doing something we love.
If you find yourself in this low place of entrepreneurship, feeling uninspired to create, in a slump, aren’t booking enough clients, not pulling in enough sales, not crushing goals, or simply feel like your spinning your wheels in a mud pit…remember that this will pass! It might not feel like it at the moment, but it will, just like the other times it’s happened before (seriously, ask yourself if this is the first time this has happened. You might realize, this is not the first time you find yourself here feeling down in the dumps). These times, they come, and they go. Always remember that.
Instead of sitting there quietly down about things not going your way, push yourself to go create. Create without a reason. I know for myself, allowing myself to get lost in creating something new, makes time go by faster and it fills my days with something positive. If things don’t go my way, I might as well spend my time doing something I enjoy. At least then I get to look back on my overall day and feel good about it.
And lastly, remember where you started. Compare it to what you consider your “current low.” If you’re like me, and so many other entrepreneurs out there, you might have some serious humble beginnings when you first started this journey of following your dreams. Keep in mind that the low you have today was at one point an incredible victory. It’s easy to forget how far we’ve come when really we should take the time to put things into perspective.
When business is slow, it’s the perfect time to;
The first thing I like to do is refocus, take a closer look at my business, and determine if I’m on the right path. As we work, we grow, and it’s easy for our business and goals to evolve.
Sometimes this means we could end up changing course into a direction that doesn’t quite feel right or isn’t getting us closer to our goals. When this happens, it’s a good idea to stop, and take a closer look, and make any necessary adjustments to get us directed towards our bigger goals.
Keep in mind that its ok for your goals will change as time passes. Refocusing is the perfect way to realigning ourselves with our business goals.
INVEST IN YOURSELF
When time is slow, it’s the best time to take the time to invest in yourself by taking some new online classes or courses to further your knowledge. During the busy season, these things typically get pushed aside. Remember, investing in yourself will only help you get further in the long run.
ANALYZE WHAT HAS WORKED WELL FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Look back on your business history and figure out when business was doing great, and then take a closer look at what you were during this time. Maybe you were more active in certain aspects of your business and can spend more time doing these things again.
I know for me, sending newsletters consistently often meant that business would be doing great. But the busier I got, the less focus I was putting on this one aspect that was doing so great, and in turn, business would slow down.
Make sure to know what should be a top priority for your business, and spend enough time doing them. If business is slow, spend more time on what has already proven to work great in the past.
CREATE SOMETHING NEW
It’s easy to fall into a steady rhythm with work, and sometimes that holds us from creating something new. When business is slow, I look at it like it’s the perfect opportunity to pour myself into creating something entirely new for my customers and clients. It’s not typical for me to have a lot of free time so when I get a natural break, i love to spend my time creating.
Again, it’s easy to forget the importance of innovating and creating during our busy season, but it’s one of the most crucial aspects of a creative business.
Get out there and create!
TAKE A BREAK AND RECHARGE
When was the last time you took a break? Real time off, unplugged, disconnected from the business world? If you’re anything like me… it has been a while. Somehow entrepreneurs find ways to fill their off time with work-related things, and this can easily lead to feeling burnet out and exhausted.
Allow yourself a good break to recharge. I promise it will be good for your health and your business.
Most importantly, enjoy the ride, embrace the highs and the lows and always know there are hundreds of creatives going through the same thing! Most importantly realize that the time you have is precious. Spend it wisely doing something you lose.
If you find yourself on the verge of tossing in the towel, please go read my personal letter to anyone thinking about quitting: