Today I just wanted to have a real talk with you all about my biggest struggles as an entrepreneur. And not just an entrepreneur, which is a big challenge on it’s own, but a solopreneur hustling all by myself.
I have always been on this journey alone. I never really had anyone in my life who got it – no one really understood how I planned to make money online or why I was so passionate about it. And that showed… even though my friends and family would try to put on a supportive face. It got to the point where I just stopped sharing. When I had a new idea, I kept it to myself. When I started a project, I only worked on it when I was alone and hid the page whenever someone walked by my computer screen. It was NOT the fun, inspiring experience that I wanted it to be.
I have SO much respect for people who have to go on this journey alone. If you have a partner, things are a little easier. You have someone to motivate you, someone who shares your dream, someone who understands your passions and your challenges. This sense of community is the BIGGEST advantage in starting a business. When you’re trying to build something solo, though, you’re missing all of those key things that can help you succeed – like someone to keep you on track, someone who really understands what you’re doing and why. All of these things help you to persevere.
Perseverance is the KEY thing that I think makes or breaks an entrepreneur. It’s not smarts or schooling or money. It’s being able to keep pushing and growing. And no person is an island. No person can do everything for themselves. This is why we get trainers, therapists, etc. Because sometimes we just need someone to help us do the heavy lifting. And that is why the solopreneur life can be SO DAMN HARD.
But it CAN be done. There are thousands and thousands of examples. And the reward? Knowing that you built something all on your own and the amazing growing experience you’ll have along the way.
So let’s talk about it. Here are my biggest struggles as an entrepreneur – then AND now – and how I work to push past them.
I HATE self-doubt. Really, who doesn’t? But as much as I think it sucks, it effects me in nearly every element of my business and life. And I think it’s something that I’ll always struggle with – as will a lot of you.
This hurts me in so many ways. It means that I spend WAY too long writing blog posts because I’m criticizing every little detail of what I’ve written. I’m always struggling to get new content out because I feel like I need to be adding something revolutionary every time I write. I’m hesitant to share ideas because of how I think people will react. I often feel not good enough, not smart enough, not something enough to be as successful as I want to be.
But this is just not true. It’s just lies our minds create and it’s completely useless. And even though I know that I’ll probably never escape this, I think it’s a battle worth fighting. Confidence helps me be better in my business. It helps me to get more done, to trust what I do, to feel like I have value to provide and to provide it more easily because I believe in it. I 100% believe that confidence changes lives. So self-doubt is something we need to fight against with full force!
Pro tip: Getting ready in the morning and feeling good – doing the things that make me feel confident and happy – before I get to work helps SO MUCH. Just feeling good about myself physically helps translate that good feeling to everything else I do. So I’ll get up, throw on a pair of my favorite ripped jeans, do my hair, add a touch of makeup. Once I’m feeling confident, I’m motivated to do the things I need to do and to believe that I can do them.
I’ve talked about this before and I will talk about it again – because the struggle is real. This is one of the not-so-glamorous sides of entrepreneur ship that many people just don’t talk about. But guess what? I know that almost all of your favorite bloggers, Instagram influencers, and YouTubers can feel REALLY lonely, especially when they were just starting out.
How many times have we needed to talk out a big idea or a big decision? How many times do you call up a friend during a fight with your boyfriend or sister, asking what you should do and explaining your side for reassurance? It kind of ties into that self-doubt idea – we like to have someone to bounce ideas off of, to affirm our decisions, and to give advice.
But for me, and I know some of you too, that wasn’t an option. I didn’t have people who understood what I was doing and that I could turn to. I have awesome friends and family who were willing to listen but they didn’t really get it. I had to make all the big decisions on my own with no one to tell me if I was doing the right thing. And that felt LONELY.
BUT it has it’s up sides. I learned to rely on myself and to trust my decisions. I also had to find community in other places – through Facebook groups, through my coach, and just by reaching out to other women. It took a lot of confidence and I had to put myself out there but it is worth it.
Pro tip: There are so many Facebook groups, forums, and communities you can join to make you feel a little less alone. Take our group, which you can find here (and you should DEFINITELY join for support from kick ass girl bosses). You can always ask questions, get feedback, and just have some real-talk with young women who are going through the same things. Find your own tribe of women who GET IT and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. These girls are struggling with the same things as you!
Motivation is one of the toughest. On those bad days, it can be so hard to sit down in front of the computer and bang out a blog post. And most of the time it’s not one thing that’s making it hard to work – it’s both nothing and everything. It’s just opening the computer screen and staring and being unable to bring yourself to get started.
This happens to EVERYONE so don’t beat yourself up. You just have to find the ways that you personally can get ready to work. We’re all motivated by different things. For me, I get motivated by thinking about the life that I could have. If I work really hard on my business, I could make that extra money to take an amazing trip this year. Or to buy that bag I’ve ben drooling over. Having a vision journal really helps for a quick pick-me-up. You might be motivated by the same thing – or not. You need to try different strategies and nail down a few that you can turn to to give yourself a boost!
Pro tip: Check out this post – the 10 strategies I use to get motivated RIGHT away. These are pretty effective! I even have a list of all of the podcasts, YouTubers, and other places I find the MOST inspiration – you can find it in the Girl Biz Library. Check it out here!
I need to be better at doing the things I want to do but that seem overwhelming. When you have a boss or even a team, you have to get things done. There are people waiting on you and counting on you to do your share. But when you’re a solopreneur, it can be easy to just shove certain things to the side. There’s no one to ask where that blog post is or when you’ll run that advertisement. There’s no one to demand you finish that promotion or come up with a new idea to get subscribers. It’s a blessing and a curse. I have the freedom to make my own decisions but, when I’m juggling a lot of tasks plus life on the side, it’s easy to ignore my own deadlines.
How many times do we say we’ll do this by Friday or that by next week? And then something else comes up, and it gets delayed again and again. I want to be better at holding myself accountable for those tasks and those deadlines that I have a hard time getting to. Can I get a show of hands for everyone else who needs to do this too? I bet it’s basically everyone!
Pro tip: Get an accountability partner! This can be anyone – they don’t even have to understand your business, they just have to be willing to be on you about the things you want to get done. I will send one of my sisters a text about something I NEED to do. Something along the lines of: “I need this free resource created by Friday. DO NOT LET ME SLACK.” They know the drill – I’ll get text reminders, calls, or they’ll ask me for progress updates. Sometimes even photos to prove I’ve done what I said I would. And they do it because they know it’s what I need and, though it can be annoying, I love them for it. It helps keep me on track to know that someone expects me to get something done.
Fearful inaction is a BIG one for me. It’s probably the thing that I struggle with the most – even to this day. If I feel like something is too much for me to handle or involves too many decisions to make, I simply end up doing nothing.
This often happens because overwhelm. When there are so many things on your plate, it’s too easy to just do nothing at all. You don’t know where to start and it feels like you’ll never get there. Sometimes it even happens just out of fear – what if I work so hard on this but I don’t succeed? What if no one cares about this? What if this is really bad? And you end up taking no action.
But here’s the harsh reality – if you do nothing, you DEFINITELY won’t get where you want to be. It’s better to do something and have a chance then to do nothing and have no chance at all. And we’re often harder on ourselves than we need to be – the odds are not stacked against us as we might think they are. We just have a tendency to make these problems way bigger in our heads. So think about that the next time you catch yourself in a state of fearful inaction. If you do nothing, you’ll certainly get nowhere.
Pro tip: Start with something very small. Take the first few steps towards the goal. Once those are out of the way, take a few more steps. If we take out some of the overwhelm and pressure, it’s much easier to get things done. Think about nothing but the small task at hand and then the next one and the next one until you get where you need to be!
Sound anything like you?
Well GOOD because it means you’re in the right spot. Suffering from these doesn’t mean that you CAN’T or WON’T succeed. It just means that you need a plan to get past it. And I’ve been there – some days I’m still right there with you.
And at the end of the day, I think all of these tie back in to community. It’s about having people who support you, believe in you, and are there for you to talk through ideas, challenges, and successes. I cannot stress enough the importance of not going it alone. I did for a long time but I never noticed the same results as I did when I finally had a coach – someone at my back supporting me and helping me through it.
Now I coach and these are the biggest struggles that we all face – me, my clients, my friends. It’s universal. So trust me, you’re not alone and you can still create that dream business. But you want someone at your back, helping you through. If you’re interesting in coaching with me, fill out the questionnaire below and we can see if we’re a good fit. I would love to help you through these struggles and help you grow the business that will change your life 💕