I’ll be honest, running a business can feel terrifying and overwhelming. I think back to my early 20’s when I was so eager to delve into the world of entrepreneurship, I saw it all with rose-coloured glasses. I saw the end goal, the success, the achievement, the future lifestyle. I didn’t look at what came in between those two moments. Moments of uncertainty, moments of confusion, moments of panic, moments of discomfort.
However, amidst the chaos and mistakes, I’ve discovered some valuable pearls of wisdom that have arisen from uncomfortable and stressful situations.
Embrace Failure as a Stepping Stone
Uncomfortable situations often arise when we fall short or face a challenging setback. Instead of allowing failure to discourage us, we must consider it as a stepping stone towards success. Our response to failure can either make or break our entrepreneurial spirit. Learn from mistakes, identify areas of improvement, and use them as catalysts for growth.
Not every product we have created, physical or virtual has worked. Sometimes we have put hours of work into something with the hope it will take off but that hasn’t always been the case. I have some of those products on my bookshelf in my office. They are not a reminder of failure, but a trophy of achievement. I created something out of nothing. And even though the public may not see the need for it, it was a stepping stone that taught me new skills that have helped me in projects I’m working on now.
Learn to Adapt in Uncertain Times
Entrepreneurship overflows with uncertainty, and discomfort often accompanies the unknown. However, it is during these challenging times that we develop resilience and adaptability. Embrace the discomfort, embrace the uncertainty, and be willing to change course when necessary. Greatness often arises from the ability to adapt and pivot when faced with unexpected obstacles.
When we launched Wild Grace Associates, one of the big areas I was so excited to help people with was planning events. When COVID hit and events shut down, offering event planning just didn’t seem to be a service that made sense. So, we had to adapt and pivot the direction of our business. Building websites became a new focus, accidentally and now it's our most requested service in our business.
Seek Support and Learn from Others
Navigating the path of entrepreneurship alone can be daunting. Reach out to a mentor, join entrepreneurial communities, and connect with like-minded individuals who are also treading the same path. By seeking support and learning from those who have been through similar experiences, you can gain valuable insights, avoid common pitfalls, and accelerate your entrepreneurial journey.
Over the past few months, I have found myself in several new entrepreneurial circles of 20-30-somethings who have been running businesses for several years like me. It has been a real source of inspiration and encouragement to see that there are others like me.
Emphasise Self-Care and Well-being
Stressful situations can take a toll on our mental and physical health. Amidst the hustle and bustle of running a business, it is crucial to prioritise self-care and well-being. Take breaks, engage in activities that rejuvenate your soul, and surround yourself with positivity. A healthy mind and body enable better decision-making and long-term success.
A couple of years ago, I took up ice skating as a new hobby. I’ve spent the past few years working through the levels to build confidence. What I wasn’t expecting it to become was my stress outlet. When my laptop or phone starts to feel overwhelming, popping down to the ice rink, sticking my skates on and spending an hour practising a new skill has helped me to release some of that stress. You can tell when it's a particularly stressful day when there are the same, deep skate marks in the ice from practising over and over again.
Persistence is Key
“No” is a common word you'll hear as an entrepreneur, whether its from investors, potential customers, or even within your own mind. However, remember that success is rarely achieved overnight. Harness the art of persistence, dust yourself off after every rejection, and keep pushing forward. Often, it is the relentless pursuit of our goals that leads us to eventual triumph.
“No” has become one of my favourite words; to say and to hear. I used to hear it and shiver. It made me uncomfortable and disappointed. I thought it was a sign of rejection. However, now I see the word “No” as a sign of redirection. Stopping me from taking any further steps down the wrong path. I pivot and try going in a different direction.
Uncomfortable and stressful situations are an inherent part of the entrepreneurial journey. Rather than fearing or avoiding them, embrace these moments as opportunities for growth and self-improvement. By acknowledging the lessons hidden within discomfort, we can cultivate resilience, adaptability, and perseverance as we establish our businesses.
Remember, the most valuable pearls of wisdom often come from the most challenging experiences. So, keep pushing forward, and let your entrepreneurial spirit soar!