When you’re starting a new business, sometimes things aren’t going to go the way you planned. Or, actually, they aren’t going to go your way at all.
Some see these as red flags and reasons to throw your hands up and give in, but I, perhaps the eternal optimist, see these as reasons… to have a giant glass of wine. In all seriousness, this week has already been a tough one for several reasons, with a few setbacks and even more personal stress. However, when starting a new business, it’s important to remember that these things happen! They don’t always go as planned and they most certainly aren’t always easy. That’s why you’re an entrepreneur. If you wanted easy, you’d be sitting behind a desk at an established company, taking in benefits and regular paychecks, and saving up for retirement. Which, by the way, is entirely an appropriate way to live your life.
But there are two people in this world: the ones that throw their hands up at risk and walk away when something goes wrong, and the ones that cry a bit, then get right down to business to make things right. I like to count myself as one of the latter people: I’ll get a good cry out for about a minute, then it’s right to business, problem solving and creating solutions.
It’s times like these that I go through a little exercise:
- Make a list of your dream job: if you’re lucky, it’ll resemble very closely the job you’re currently doing. That means you should keep going.
- Make a list of all the things that didn’t go wrong (from as small as “I’m having a great hair day” to “At least the place didn’t burn to the ground”). It reminds you to put things in perspective.
- Create a checklist of solutions. Dream up ideal situations, even ones you can’t afford, as well as desperate situations. Somewhere in between, usually, you find your solutions.
- Call your mentors/parents/friends, and see what they would do or suggest, and who they might know.
- Research, research, research both on-line and at your local library.
- When all else fails, ask for help. Sometimes you have to put your pride on the shelf and admit that you need help, whether that be financial, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Asking for help is not a weakness, but a strength.
- Know when to throw in the towel. This is the most difficult (for me especially). But there comes a time where you need to weigh the things you want in life against the way things that are currently happening in your life. Sometimes a project really does need to end for you, or you need to become a different part of it. Sometimes one too many nights eating Ramen and worrying about how you’re going to pay your bills means you need to try something else from a while. Dreams do come with a pause button, by the way. As long as it’s not a full stop.
- Look at pictures of adorable animals before you decide anything rash.