The Painful Truth About Running Your Own Business

It’s December; reflection time.
A client recently told me he was inspired by a post I shared on Facebook about my struggles with money this year. This reminded me that sometimes, given the nature of my work, I give the impression that I have everything sorted and under control.
It’s important that you know I don’t have it all sorted. I’m just like you. We’re both just like anyone. I get insecure and do dumb shit too!
2015 has been the single most challenging year of my life so far. This year I was forced to face my darkest demons yet.
Self-development comes with a consequence: you have to face yourself. This year I learned that my fear of abandonment is still there, so deep and complex that I couldn’t see it controlling my decisions.
Earlier in the year I had a $10K month, which I had no hesitation sharing and bragging about.
In the months that followed I experienced a financial downward spiral. I got complacent, backed off getting uncomfortable, and eventually found myself in a money rut.
Worst of all, I had no idea this was happening. I can see it now with hindsight, but at the time I was oblivious until it was “too late”.
Suddenly, I was broke. I panicked, started desperately looking at ways to make more money, and eventually got so flustered that I resorted to getting a part time job.
This is the kind of thing I advise my clients against. If I were to follow my own advice I would have focused on my business through getting uncomfortable and pushing boundaries. But for some reason I didn’t.
So after I got the part time job I started to see myself as a financial failure AND a hypocrite. Then I got mad at myself for not accepting myself, because my perfectionism leads me to think I’m supposed to be The Man all the time. Frankly, I was getting into a psychological mess.
This is how a problem feeds itself – I was adding shame to the original issue, which made it twice as painful. See, I’m just like anyone else!
My solution at the time was to start working EXTRA hard on my business. Did this help? No. I just got more stressed out and eventually started circling around my least favourite thing in the world: BURN OUT. I almost went down that dreadful path again.
I felt like I was trying to grab soap in the bath; the harder I tried, the more I pushed away success. It just seemed like I kept getting shit wrong.
I neglected my social life and health to focus on my business, which reduced my ability to think clearly and focus, and cut me off from support. I started to feel cursed, a helpless victim of circumstances, and that’s when I realised FEAR had taken control of me completely.
I actually felt massive relief in this realisation. At least now I had something I could work with!
Fast-forward to today, and things are MUCH better. I’m back on track with my business, my social and love life is flourishing once more, my health is improving and my mind is playfully ambitious again.
How did I get back on track?
Firstly, I got myself some support. This is the most important thing. I used to believe that I should be totally independent. I now believe that you while I should be able to be to independent, I should ALSO aim to receive the best support available to me, always.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” – African Proverb
I invested in coaching and mentoring. I asked friends for advice and feedback. I allowed my loved ones to care for me. I swallowed my pride and borrowed more money from my wonderful parents.
And I realised something: some petty part of me still believed that getting support is a “failing” (hint: this is fear of abandonment talking). In reality, enlisting support is the most effective way to succeed!
I re-balanced my priorities. I strictly put time aside for socialising, dancing and exercise. I got back on track with my morning routine and mindfulness exercises.
Last, but most importantly, I went deeper with The Truth. I faced my insecurities head on. These went far beyond money.
I saw and eventually accepted that I avoid commitment because I’m afraid of the pain that comes with losing someone deeply important to me. Creating a money-struggle for my business was really just a convenient distraction from allowing connections to go deeper, to the level of inter-dependence.
I was enlightened to understand that I’m obsessed with independence as a way of controlling how much others can affect me. I learned that I need to let go and enjoy the support and love of others, even if it means occasionally getting hurt.
It’s worth it.
Seeking out failure and facing it head-on would have likely made this whole process go a lot quicker. What I’ve learned overall is the importance of failing often, by going for the important stuff without hesitation.
So, in conclusion, yet another year of discovery that was as painful as it was inspiring. As I look forward to a year without the fear of dependence, the possibilities excite me.
My business can grow and have a bigger impact on the world. I can create deeper and more thrilling connections with loved ones. I can share my insecurities to inspire and educate the next generation of Confident Beasts.
Bring it!
Much love
PS I’d love to hear how you fucked up in 2015, reply with your stories; practice shamelessness for yourself 🙂

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