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The BIG Blog

The Entrepreneur’s Journey . . . It’s a wild ride . . .

By February 7, 2020February 12th, 2021No Comments

In January I held my BIG Retreat for Solopreneurs and Consultants and one of the words I heard that weekend was angst. Being an entrepreneur comes with a lot of angst. To outside appearances, it may not seem so. To the person working for someone else, collecting a paycheck every two weeks and unhappy in their job, it may look like owning your own business is freedom and success. And it is. But not 100% of the time. Sometimes its elation and sometimes its angst. Nothing you can ever do prepares you for the roller coaster of emotions that come with entrepreneurship.

This retreat was wonderful in so many ways but one of the most powerful parts for those who attended was finding out they aren’t alone on the roller coaster. If you are a consultant or solopreneur, business owner, or even thinking of jumping into this world,  I want you to know you are heard, understood, and acknowledged.

Here are the stages that are normal on your journey to build your business.

Risk-taker – you feel energized. You are the expert in your field and know it. You may have worked for others and you have seen what could have been done better. You know you have the skills and expertise to do this. You are the one to do it so you took that step of faith into the unknown.

Fun and freedom – working 18 hour days aren’t exhausting when you work for yourself. You are creating an empire. Even if you need to throw a fancy scarf on over your pjs for a Zoom call in a pinch – you are loving this!

Where’s my money? The 401k money runs out. The credit card is getting dangerously high. That’s all right because those seeds you’ve been planting will be coming to harvest any time now. You have enough small projects to pay this month’s bills.

Panic. What have I done? I can’t do this.

Validation. That big contract comes in. It even aligns perfectly with your social mission and values. It’s not boring contract work. What a perfect contract!

Recognition. Your client loves you! You’ve changed their life.

Confidence. The compensation is coming in. Your clients don’t think twice about paying you what you are worth.

Imposter Syndrome. You question everything. The pipeline dries up. Someone says they went with someone else. You wonder if your rates are too high. You wonder if your social mission is too limiting. Maybe you should take on all those boring contracts. . . Or maybe you just suck. Maybe you really are an imposter and fooled everyone.

Time to do some marketing. You pulled yourself out of the imposter slump for a hot minute. Now you want to market your services.  But who do you think you are? Posting on social media like a know-it-all. Stop posting.

Angst. Sit on the sidelines wondering if you should just get a job.

Elation as you start getting referrals. People are raving about you and telling others! You think to yourself, “This is what I was meant to do!”

Tax time. Wait! I’m not the expert in taxes or bookkeeping. What have I done?

Growing pains. Hire a marketing person. Hire a bookkeeper. I’m growing so fast! How did this happen?

Repeat the entire cycle.

Realize that you are not self-employed but you are a legit business owner.

Elation as you start believing the truth that you are changing the world, one client at a time. And one day of angst or one month of angst is still far better than trying to be a round peg in a square hole. You are an entrepreneur and there is no going back.

You are not alone.