Staying the Course

I want to talk about the elephant in the room.  It’s a friendly elephant…most of the time.  But sometimes it starts to make those annoying elephant noises, starts stamping its foot down in a ground shaking manner, all the while you just keep on smiling, trying to act like there’s no obnoxious beast behind you garnering for attention.

This elephant’s name is Focus.  Focus is one of the biggest obstacles, as a business owner, that you will have to feed, train and hopefully learn to love. Focus is also one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences of being an entrepreneur.

When it’s just you out in the world, making your way (insert Laverne & Shirley montage here) staying the course, remembering the why and the what that will help you achieve  your goals can very easily falter.  Unlike working in a corporation or with a large team, there might not be the opportunity to question and answer the doubtful thoughts in your head of why you started this crazy venture in the first place.

This is where you need to set up a system for yourself.  Decide before the elephant gets angry how it is that you are going to deal with the days when you just don’t feel like getting out of bed to find more clients, pump yourself up on social media or go out and network.

Like any great entrepreneur will tell you, the end result is just the bonus.  What you need to stay focused on is the process.  Realize that the way to the goal is through the everyday process of getting there.  You need to embrace the mundane in order to reap the reward. Not everyday will be filled with motivation or passion.  These might be the emotions that started you on the path, but they won’t be there every step of the way.  You can’t let the negative emotions cloud your judgement for the long term.

Set up a support system.  Know that when you start feeling stressed by the weight of the journey that some tasks might need to be delegated, in order for you to stay focused on your goal.

Talk about your experiences with other entrepreneurs.  There’s many ways to do this; industry support groups, chamber meetings, etc. Some kind of outlet where like-minded individuals are willing to share their thoughts too.

Write it out.  Think about why you want to do what you’re doing.  What is your motivation? What are your dreams for your future? Write them down.  When your goal becomes unclear, refer back to these thoughts to help guide you back on the path you want.

Now that you realize the elephant isn’t such a nuisance after all, you can return to becoming the amazing, awesome entrepreneur you’ve always dreamed of! (Or join the circus I guess!)

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