Each year, I meet my anniversary with mixed feelings.
Firstly, I’m always glad, relieved, happy to have made it through another year.
My chief measure of success is not giving up and not having to get a ‘proper job’!
When the Enterprise Agency I was working for closed in 2015, and my world as a Business Advisor and Author collided, I vowed I would never work for someone else again.
“A true entrepreneur doesn’t have a plan B”
Secondly, it’s always a period of reflection for me. Which is both a positive and negative experience.
Invariably, I go through a confidence wobble at this time of year.
That whiny little voice in the back of my skull pipes up with her negative nit-picking – “Ni, Ni, Ni…”
“You cocked that up!”
“Ni, what do you know?”
“Who would want to work with you?”
“Ni, that person over there knows so much more than you, it’s embarrassing. Aren’t you embarassed?”
“You’d have earned more this week if you were on benefits!”
“You? Mentoring other startups at BRAVE? Who are you to give lessons to another business?”
“Ni, you’re bloody lucky to have made it this far.”
“Sooner or later you’ll have to give up this business charade. Everyone knows you’re just a blagger.”
It’s why my webinar on Bloggers Compare Despair was an especially poignant one…
We’re all fallible. No-one is perfect and we all have doubts and fears.
We all have both positive and negative internal monologues, and some days, the Devil shouts the loudest!
Talking about our challenges in our businesses, better still, writing about them in your blogs, is a very cathartic!
Writing is my go-to therapy to get all those “Ni’s” out of my system!
It also shows your vulnerabilities, gives people a glimpse of the authentic you, the human behind the business.
Whenever I go through those bouts of doubt, I like to remind myself of the three lessons I’ve learned over the course of my three years in business.
Here are my three lessons. They are my sword, shield and spear against the “Ni”!
1) Trust in the process
When you publish a blog, someone will read it. Sometimes it feels like shouting into the wind and our voices are being pulled out to sea, but rest assured, someone will always read your words. They may not comment. They may not share, but trust that you have an impact, on some level, to someone.
Keep doing small things every day.
Take small regular steps and you’ll get there. Honestly, have a little faith in yourself, you will get there!
2) Things always take longer than you expect
Content marketing is a long-term game. It’s not a quick fix. It takes time to charge people’s trust batteries. You can’t just zap them with one blog and expect them to be a loyal customer for life.
It’s a slow burn.
It’s not just about the destination, find ways to enjoy the journey.
Take pride in small victories. Find joy in little moments. If the journey gives you pleasure, the destination loses its significance. In fact, the jourey becomes the destination! (Which is very pleasing, because you can always remind youself that you are already there!)
3) It will always be up and down, don’t fret
Accept the things you cannot change or control.
Be comfortable in the knowledge that it may get uncomfortable.
You will have off days. Failures. Days where all you hear is the Devil. Times when you just want to give up. Puke-inducing moments when you make a complete tit of yourself!
That, my friends, it’s a little thing called ‘Life’!
Besdies, if it was all simple and plain sailing, that would be a really boring story, wouldn’t it?
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