Both starting and running a business can be hard. Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt stuck, lonely, or lost in the process? I know I raised my hand!
Entrepreneurship is a roller coaster, with many benefits and ‘high’ moments; but also, with many ‘lows’ and ‘slowly getting back up’ moments. Don’t worry though, you are not alone and there are hacks to get out of the rut and on with the growth.
I’m a true believer in starting with the root cause, so let’s begin by exploring some things that may drag us down in the first place and recognize any that may apply to you:
- Poor habits and behaviors. Entrepreneurship is very flexible, or is it? I’ve come to realize that I actually worked less with my executive position nine-to-five job than with my startup. As an entrepreneur, there is no such thing as clocking out, so discipline is key. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, setting up goals, organizing your ideas, etc. you will not last in this game.
- Sunk Cost Fallacy. Have you ever continued to do something merely because you had already spent money or time in it even if it’s not working? Economists refer to as this Sunk Cost Fallacy and define it as a continuation of an endeavor as a result of previously invested resources. And let’s be honest, we do this with relationships too! Shoutout to the ex-boyfriend to stayed with because you had already invested so much in him, am I right?!
- Pipe Dreaming and Wishful Thinking. It is great to envision, dream big, and ‘attract’ what you desire, but this isn’t going to work by merely laying down all day imagining great outcomes. The universe rewards activity and you have to take action in order to achieve those dreams. So, what do you need to do to accomplish your dreams?
- The Know-It-All. If you think that because you’ve been in marketing for 15 years you know everything or that going to one conference last year was enough, think again! Just like last year’s iPhone is a dinosaur, so is your last-year brain in this technology age! This journey is about continuous improvement and incremental growth. The most successful people are those who are always learning new things and connecting with new people.
- The I-Can-Do-It-All. Similar to the misconception of the “I know it all,” we find those that think that they can do it all alone. There are two different reasons we sometimes fall for this trap. The first one is having bad past experiences with people, partners, or contractors and adopting the attitude that ‘moving forward I won’t work with anyone’ or ‘I’m better off doing it myself.’ This is a lie! We all need a tribe and we all need a community to thrive. Second, we have those who think that they can do it all because it’ll be cheaper or because they are a jack-of-all-trades. Well, let me tell you, I don’t care how talented you are, the day still only has 24 hours.
Okay, so these are the most common struggles I’ve noticed or even fallen for myself. Now, I want to share 7 things that have worked for me, not just from practicing them in my life but also from studying other successful people. These 7 things helped me get out of my ruts and become more successful, more productive, and happier overall.
Create a morning routine
This is part of #adulting and #entrepreneurship101, create a morning routine that works for you. Having a morning routine can help you increase productivity and keep you sane! You can read more about it on my article “Starting Your Day On The Right Foot: 7 Steps To A Successful Morning Routine” and you can also check out my morning routine guide “14 Days To Pure Bliss” if you want to get serious and start your own step-by-step routine!
Before you start checking emails and doing things arbitrarily, make sure to get organized. Just like we have our yearly, monthly, and weekly plans, our workday needs a plan too. Decide what are the three most important things you need to accomplish today. Notice I said three! Having an endless list of tasks is actually counter-productive. If you happen to finish the top three tasks before your day is over, then add the next most important thing! Check out my article “Starting Your Day On The Right Track: 9 Steps To A Productive Work Day!”
Adjust, Iterate, or Pivot as necessary
This one is simple, just do what you gotta do but don’t get stuck! If you need to make changes, if you need to change the direction of your business, or simply make some twists, then do it! Did you spend money on a software that isn’t working at all and it’s taking up too much time without results? Well, yes, I know you spent money on it, and in the future, you can be more diligent when purchasing things, but move on. Do what you need to do. Stop doing whatever isn’t working now in hopes that you’ll get different results in the future.
Have a clear vision and set S.M.A.R.T. goals
Your Uber driver can’t get you to your destination if you don’t tell him what it is. Likewise, your business won’t get anywhere if you don’t know where you want to go. Have a clear vision, you can always adjust the tactics and even strategy, but you need to know what the end goal is and why! Also, please make sure to have objectives and yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals to achieve those. Trust me, life gets a lot easier when you have a clear plan. It won’t be perfect and sometimes you’ll get curb balls, but ultimately if you know where you are going, you can always use detours. You cannot wish yourself into success, you have to work for it and have a plan of action! PS: If you are wondering what S.M.A.R.T. goals are, it doesn’t mean intellectual goals. It’s a widely known acronym for setting goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Always keep learning
Invest in books, listen to podcasts, read articles relating to your business, and stay on top of trends. Understand your analytics and the implications they have for your business. What do people come to you for? Which social media posts do your followers love? How can you grow your email list? Props to you for reading this article, you’re well on your way to growth.
Say your goal was to hit $150K in net profit the first year, well once you accomplish it, set a bigger goal for next year PLUS another unrelated goal. So now you don’t just set a profit goal but also to become an expert in your industry for example. Then, you can continue on those goals and add writing a book or take a few months off to travel or have kids. Always keep expanding the depth but also the breadth of your work and life. This will keep things exciting and will help prevent any ruts! And remember, it isn’t just about money or business. Many of my goals include travel, family, personal growth, and even self-care habits.
Don’t do it alone
Humans are simply social creatures, period. There was a time in my life when I had been so burned that I started thinking I could do it alone or that I didn’t need anyone. Sure, there are many things we can do without others. However, generally speaking, life is way better with a team, a tribe, a community. So for your business; build a team, outsource some work, hire a coach, etc. It will help you stay sane! Time is money, so if you think you can work 20 hours alone to save some dough, you gotta rethink that. When you get others to help, your mind is more free to think high-level and work ON your business instead of always IN your business. Also, even if you have your besties and work team, make sure you are always meeting new people and making new connections. I love to invest in live events and conferences for this very reason! It is so important to surround yourself with like-minded people and also build relationships that understand and encourage your lifestyle. And don’t get me started on strategic partnerships, that will have to be another article in itself. Just make sure you have a strong community behind you and that you are giving back as much as you are taking, reciprocal relationships of any sort are the best relationships!
Contributing Author, Jessie Medina
A playful creative and curious intellectual, Jessie Medina likes to defy stereotypes and shatter glass ceilings. She climbed the corporate ladder in her 20’s working as a digital marketing and PR executive. She is now the founder & CEO of a global female empowerment community for Latinas @femlatinas and feminine branding agency @femgency. She is also a crisis communication and workplace equality consultant, speaker, business strategist, and podcast host. Jessie loves traveling, dancing, and cooking at home! She enjoys the beach and doing anything creative. Jessie is an avid advocate for female empowerment and helps women design their dream life.
Keep up with Jessie on her personal Instagram as well @jessiemedinaofficial.