How Does Your Business Make You Feel?

5140786586_7367fb5552_zPhoto by GanMed64

Human beings have an impressive ability to make ourselves feel really bad about things. Whether it’s obligations missed, opportunities lost or goals not-quite-hit, many of us spend huge chunks of time stewing on things when it would be healthier to just let go.

Being a business owner has fantastic benefits… but like all responsibilities it can also have a huge capacity for guilt-making.

Before we go any further, let me ask you to think about how your business makes you feel. Some people might say it fills them with a rush of excitement and independence, others might say their business makes them feel stressed and lacking. Most of us, I suspect, fall somewhere in the middle: we have days when our business makes us want to sing happily from the rooftops and days where we’d be quite contented to crawl under our duvets and hide.

The problem comes, of course, when you’re experiencing far more of the duvet days than the rooftop days. In situations like these, I’d want to ask just why you’re allowing your business to make you feel so bad. After all: you’re the one in charge!

Need to reassert that control? You could start by asking yourself the following three questions.

Question one: why is it making you feel so bad?

In order to move on from an issue like this, you need to get to the root of it. Often the first answer you come up with here won’t be the right one: you’ll need to dig a bit deeper to find the true reason. For example, you may think that your guilt comes from not delivering enough value to your clients, but when you look further into this you could discover that the real issue is related to your own perfectionism or self-esteem and is nothing to do with client satisfaction.

Question two: what can you do about it?

Once you’ve pinpointed what the issue is, being able to do something about it will be much much easier! Perhaps the answer lies in new processes, some additional professional support, cultivating a better work/life balance, or even working towards taking on a whole new kind of client. Whatever the answer is, break the solution down into manageable steps and make a plan. You’ll likely find that just starting to work towards a solution will help you start to feel better, even if progress is slow.

Question three: how do you want to feel?

Getting rid of negative feelings means that you’ll have space for better ones! I find that it can be helpful to actively think about what kind of positive feelings you’d like to experience.  Would you like your business to make you feel important? Valued? Intelligent? Worthy? Organised? Independent? Creative? In control? Your answers to this question could be really helpful in setting goals for your business future.

If you’re allowing your business to make you feel bad more regularly than you’re comfortable with, please know that there is something you can do about it. Just remember: you’re the boss of it, not the other way round!

It’s also worth keeping in mind that you don’t need to struggle in silence. It’s good to talk! You’re always welcome to share your thoughts with me via Twitter, Facebook or email. You could even take advantage of my free initial consultation in order to try and address some of these problems in person.

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