Remember when you first started your business?
The thrill of embarking on something new and untested gives us a rush of excitement like no other.
(Yes, even in those early days of a brand-new business, when everything is uncertain, and it feels like your stomach is permanently teeming with butterflies).
That excitement, together with the passion you felt for your business idea, is what helps to carry you through your first year. Let’s face it: who’s looking any further ahead than that, when there’s so much work to be done?
Then, days turn into months, months turn into years, and slowly the realisation hits you: you’ve got a successful business.
The hard work hasn’t stopped. But instead of that initial rush of passion, you find yourself staring blearily at your laptop in the early hours. Wondering just how you managed to get where you are, and if you’ve got it in you to keep on moving forwards.
We’ve all heard about the seven-year itch in romantic relationships, when everything starts to turn stale, and couples tend to break up. In business it’s more of a five-year itch, since data shows the majority of ventures won’t make it beyond that point.
So, you’re not alone, if you’re feeling dwarfed by everything it takes to keep a business going. But take heart, because there are ways to take on that dreaded five-year entrepreneurial itch…and come out firmly on top.
1. Accentuate the Positive…
…as the famous Bing Crosby song goes!
By now, you’ve learned that it doesn’t take much to turn a good day into a bad one. Chase any negativity well away by remembering all the great things that have happened recently, from a kind customer comment, to appreciation from a colleague.
For an extra boost, try keeping a ‘happiness’ journal, into which you scribble all the things that went well, every day.
(There will always be something, no matter how small it is).
2. Celebrate Business Milestones
Being an entrepreneur is tough. That’s why it’s so important to take time out and celebrate your hard work every once in a while.
When you first started out, did you ever imagine you’d make it to two years? Or three? Four? The fact that you’ve made it this far is seriously incredible, isn’t it?
When you hit that next milestone, don’t be afraid to grab your colleagues (or a like-minded peer group) and pop open the champagne. You deserve it.
3. Pause and Reflect
It’s hard to see the big picture, or take good care of yourself, when you’re constantly fretting over day-to-day detail.
Pressing the ‘Pause’ button for a while, whether you take a long weekend away, or just spend some time at home doing nothing, will help you remember all the amazing reasons why you started your business in the first place…
…so that when you return, you’ll be raring to go all over again.
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