"The bit no-one talks about is the emotional side of running your own business" - Steph Douglas, Don't Buy Her Flowers. A quote from a talk I attended at Stylist Live last Friday - three successful female business owners, on stage talking about how to start a business in an industry that ostensibly you know nothing about.
All three, very impressive women, all three, disarmingly, well, female. Maybe it was the audience (at least 99% women), maybe it was the event (a fashion and lifestyle event), it was probably the brief (make your story accessible) but they were unashamedly and wonderfully open about what it means to be a woman in business.
Sometimes, 10 minutes into this kind of thing, my heart starts to sink.... all-women events have a tendency to descend into men bashing, 'women as victims of the patriarchy' type scenarios if they're not managed properly and that's not my bag. I did brilliantly well in a very male dominated industry for years - in my book, the men who put women down are demonstrating nothing except for their own insecurities. I used being a woman as my point of difference, I stood out, and I made it work for me. In the end I left because of an entirely different values misalignment!
Anyway, back to my point. the great thing about this talk, except for the incredible business advice was that each and every one of these women was successful because they saw, or experienced, the barriers to setting up their businesses but they went for it anyway. What they were also really clear about though is that the one thing that there isn't a huge amount of support out there for is the emotional side of running a business. Maybe it's precisely because they're women that they felt they could bring this to the table. I certainly don't think men are immune to feeling emotions about their businesses but I've rarely heard that aired in public.
The rollercoaster of emotions you can feel in a day, let alone a week in business is huge. The highs of making sales, getting great feedback, seeing clients succeed, holding your product in your hands for the first time. Countered by the lows of chasing invoices, losing pitches, product issues and hires not living up to expectations. All things encountered by employees as well as entrepreneurs but never with that same link to your very heart and soul. Because that's what it is. When you make something your life's work, everything feels life or death!
So what can you do? When the buck stops with you, there's no one to escalate to or get support from. Your friends and family are sympathetic but will never really understand. Your team look to you for support and guidance, you can't be the one that's losing control! This is where a business coach or mentor can really help. Working with you to understand and accept the emotions you're feeling and helping you to, not only, manage them but also channel them to drive your success. Helping you to make sense of everything that's happening and understand exactly how you feel about it and why can move you forward exponentially. Not only that but choose a good coach and they can support you to develop leadership skills, longer term plans and business acuity beyond your current scope.
If you're feeling the effects of the emotional rollercoaster that comes with being a small business owner, get in touch and book your 30 minute discovery call here: