After almost another year gone, praying for a baby and literally minding my business in the meantime, I started feeling stuck in between. Have you ever felt that way?
On one side, I was so excited about growing my business & on the other, I was burnt out trying to juggle-it-all. I knew I needed a change. Now, this may sound a bit coo-coo, but I’ve been secretly asking the universe during my morning routine to point me in a direction. I was literally waiting for a sign to make my next move when I received an email invitation to the conference of creative entrepreneurs in Arizona. I knew that was it!
I don’t think I was ever so excited for a trip in my entire life. Looking out the window during the flight, I told myself I wanted to leave with a fresh perspective and peace in my soul to move on to the next stage in my life and business. And I did!
It’s been refreshing to hear different perspectives from other entrepreneurs and speakers. You should see me sitting there, writing all the notes down – I wanted to share it ALLL with you! You can probably imagine that this blog post would be never-ending if I tried to write everything here, so I decided to start with the top 3 takeaways today. Without further due, let me share with you questions from the conference that gave me a new perspective, and I think you may need to hear it too.
1. What success means to you?
I am first to admit that when I started my business, I didn’t take the time to define success for myself. I saw other small business owners having loads of orders on social media, so I thought that’s what I needed to feel successful. Until I reached the point when I was mailing out tons of orders every single day for two years in a row and didn’t feel quite happy. Somewhere between chasing what I thought success was and working on my business every day, I forgot to think about what exactly would make me feel successful in life.
I realized that what might be the definition of success for those small business owners who want to have a warehouse and employees, is not my definition of success. Success for me means making a bigger impact in this world while having a lifestyle that allows me to spend more time with my family in Europe. I feel silly admitting this, but I am sharing it with you because chances are that you are also putting pressure on yourself, chasing things just because you see others doing it.
I am stepping into the next season of my life, knowing what success means for me. I don’t feel the pressure of adding more shiny opportunities to my list that will just take more time away from me. Just because others are doing it, it doesn’t mean we need to do it too to feel successful.
So, before you add one more thing to your already full to-do list, let me ask: What does success mean to you? Is it a dollar value? Is it having social status and thousands of followers? Is it having tons of sales in your online store? Or is it a freedom to be able to work from home and be close to your kids? If so, how much sales do you really need to make that happen?
More doesn’t always mean more when you know what YOU need to be happy.
2. What is really holding you back?
Are you fully committed to THAT thing that you really want? Like starting your side hustle, starting your TikTok account or growing your small business? Or are you still standing on the sidelines?
If you are anything like me, you had the pleasure of your self-doubt creeping in. You know what I am talking about… that annoying inner voice that is telling you:
- I don’t know if I can do this…
- There are others doing it better than me…
- I am not even that good at it…
- I don’t really know what my next step is…
- What if it won’t work…
- I can’t stand myself on camera…
- I don’t really know what I am doing…
- What if somebody will laugh or call me out?…
Sounds familiar? I have a confession to make – it took me four years to get over myself and finally ditch those silly questions and instead start believing that I am worthy and capable of learning. It wasn’t until then that I finally started seeing success in my small business. It wasn’t one trick after another that worked. It was me committing myself to do something for my business every day, just a tiny bit better than I did the day before. It worked.
You create momentum when you keep showing up, even if you don’t know if it will work. You don’t need to have it all figured out right now. You are allowed to make a mistake and learn as you go. So, when your inner self-doubt shows up next time, answer with action and one tiny improvement at a time, but don’t let it hold you back.
3. Are you still beating yourself up for imaginary expectations?
The big aha moment I had during Jasmine Stars’ speech. She said that many small business owners don’t follow through with their actions when the results don’t come as expected. I have been asking myself this question for a long time. I did not understand why so many small business owners on social media think about giving up because their results don’t meet their expectations yet.
But how do we set those expectations? Think about it for a second. We compare ourselves with strangers on social media and expect to get the same results. But we are not them. We don’t have the same knowledge, experience, time availability, or help; heck, we have no idea how many sleepless nights they went through before they found “success.”
So before you let yourself down for not accomplishing your dream results in that imaginary timeframe you created for yourself, give yourself some grace. Your success will come on your timeline, as long as you keep learning and putting action in.
Other quotes from the conference that stuck in my head & I think may like them too:
- Getting stuck happens, but staying stuck is a choice
- Make your failures celebrations, they are proof that you keep trying
- Only you can do it the way you do it, if you stop trying to be like everyone else and instead look inside and focus on your strengths.
- Your dreams won’t happen to you, will you happen to them?
- To have things others don’t, you need to do things that others won’t
- Why NOT me?
- Your product will not be for everybody, but it will be for somebody. Know who your “somebody” is and do it better for them. More “somebodies” will come.
- To learn how to create better content, you must first be ok with creating posts that no one watches.
I know this was different from a typical small-biz-tips-kind-of-blog I usually write. But this is what I am currently working through – my mindset. I think that mindset can keep us going as much as it can keep us stuck. And sometimes, taking a step back and asking ourselves deeper questions can change not only how our life looks like, but also how it feels like. I truly hope that this blog post will help you to keep moving forward in creating the life you deserve. I am so thankful for you being here. If a specific thought resonated with you, shoot me a DM on my Instagram at @smallbizbabescommunity – I’d love to know.
Until next time,