So you’ve walked away from your corporate job that paid a nice salary, had a few perks, and above all felt ‘safe’ all so you can build a business and a lifestyle that works for you and your family… AMAZING, right?
Well you thought it was!! So why are people looking at you like you have lost the plot? ‘You’ve done what?’ ‘why would you want to do that to yourself?’ they ask, followed by comments of ‘you’re brave’ and ‘I think you are nuts’.
So how do you react to the people around you when they are less than understanding when you excitedly tell them about your plans for mass (domination)??
Do you quickly change the conversation and hide your excitement, or do you spend time and energy trying to justify your decision in the hope of persuading them that you have not actually lost the plot? Trust me when I say this, their reaction says more about them then it does about you.
But I can guess that you will feel out of your depth and lonely, like you are the only one going through this, but I promise you I for one know exactly what you are going through, I have been there! There were two particular comments directed at me, when I first publicised my intentions to start Serenity Loves with family and friends that I have never forgot. ‘You are being selfish, think about the impact that will have on the children’ and ‘why can you not just be happy with what you have and concentrate on being a mum’. To say I was shocked and saddened was an understatement. I am 100% sure my husband did not have the same response when we set up his business just three years previously.
I will admit now, other people’s reactions and opinions very nearly stopped me dead in my tracks. Within seconds of receiving their criticisms I doubted every minute I had worked to get to that point. I doubted my competence to turn my idea into a reality, I doubted my ability to juggle this new challenge I was so passionate about along with being a mother to two under three’s. I questioned everything I stood for and everything I believed. I swayed from thinking was I really being selfish? Would it affect my kids? To why did they not understand why I wanted to do this and that it was my kids that I was doing it for??
It took me a couple of days to get over their comments and reactions but not before some real deep thinking. I mean I really had to dig deep to figure out my why.
*Why did I believe with every inch of me that Serenity Loves would be a success?
*Why did I believe that I could start, run and grow a brand new business with no prior experience in the industry?
*Why did I crave the need to be my own boss and control my own diary?
*Why did I want/need to be financially independent?
*Why did I want to be a positive inspiration to my two daughters and show them that anything men can do women could do also?
*Why could I not bear to miss out on any the precious moments with my children?
*Why did I believe owning my own business would help towards feel a sense of fulfilment?
It is not something that I had ever had to do previously but it was all the clarity I needed to refocus my energy and encourage me to continue the journey I had already put so much of myself into.
Whatever your why, work it out, acknowledge it and document it, it truly is the one tool I go back to regularly especially when I am feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It will give you clarity and refocus like little else, trust me.
Your ‘why’ and the questions you use to figure it out is so personal to you and will be different from one person to the next so try not to compare it to others.
And one other tip, acknowledge that you will probably not going to ‘cure’ the doubters, the people who are sitting in their own comfort zone, happy in their own bubble. Their doubt may be genuine concern or even a little bit of un-subconscious envy, however, the lesson to be learnt here is simple; Surround yourself with like-minded people that understand your passion and vision, sadly this probably won’t be the people closest to you, but in fact other business owners and industry peers that are not emotionally attached to you. New friendships will flourish when you meet new people who are on similar journeys to you, and you will probably feel that this is the first time that people ‘get’ you and your mission.
Now, I am not saying cut off existing friends and family (jeez, I don’t want my name on divorce papers ‘well Jo told me too!!’) but what I am saying is as much as possible, surround yourself with people who inspire you, support you and will help keep you focused and accountable of your goals, they are worth their weight in gold.
When things get tough (and trust me, they get tough) remember this, sit back with your favourite condiment and allow yourself some time to think back to your why. Call or meet up with your biggest inspiration, your mentor, the person that keeps you the most accountable and work through your next hurdle together. (bring in the social group or mentoring?)
Follow through with the courage that saw you first start your journey and for those doubters who may cause you to wobble, remember this
If I had listened and succumbed to the doubters I wouldn’t have two successful and profitable businesses. I wouldn’t be able to watch my girls school plays, sports days or attend their fates. I wouldn’t be able to comfortably provide everything they need as well as some of what they want (extra-curricular activities, EVERYDAY) and most importantly, I would not be able to live my life on my terms, and how I want to.
Believe me, you can too!!
So what are you waiting for? Roll up your sleeves, work out and document your Why and join me to make your business the success you want!!
Love Jo x