If you are a business owner, you are working for yourself, being your own boss, and having unlimited flexibility! Sounds familiar? Often, this is the perception of business ownership. Many people dream of leaving their 9-5’s to start something that is all theirs, and it can be amazing. Hard parts of business ownership are often overlooked or not talked about openly. Since many of us are in the same situation, let’s discuss the struggles and take the shame out of some issues that can affect our CEO mindsets!
Balancing Passion with Reality
We all started our businesses because we have something valuable to offer the market. Initially, you are driven to get your business up and running and serve all the clients. Ideally, as you grow, your time commitment will become more manageable as your business stabilizes. Many business owners find themselves stretched thin because they want to help everyone. Your heart is in one place, wanting to assist anyone who needs your products or services while the needs of your business pull you in a different direction. When you only have 24 hours a day, it can feel impossible to meet the needs of everyone, and the reality is you can’t do it all.
So, how do you balance your passion for serving with the reality of your time and resource limitations? Here are a few of our suggestions:
- Make sure you are working with your ideal client. It is only possible to serve the people who need your services, so align with the clients who can pay your fees and value what you offer.
- Theme your days and weeks and batch your work. Whether it is content creation, client calls, or networking, try to schedule similar tasks together to protect your schedule and avoid context switching.
- Schedule downtime. As a business owner, it can be easy to blow through the weekends and never take vacations because you need to work! Taking time away from your business can feel like taking money out of your pocket but it will actually make you a better and more productive CEO. Schedule time away and stick to the plan.
Perception of Loved Ones
Since the perception of running your own business is that you have all the flexibility in the world, friends and family often do not understand that you have less time than if you had a regular job. When you work for someone else, it is easier to clock out and go home. When you are the head of the business, and your clients and employees rely on your results and a paycheck, it is much harder to turn it off at 5 PM.
It feels very demoralizing when you work hard and your family does not understand, like, or even respect your efforts. Keep in mind that unless you have run your own business, it can be impossible to fully understand the reality of your day-to-day life. Give them a little grace, and keep communicating. Their thoughts and feelings might be coming from a place of missing your company. If you prioritize your business over your personal life 100% of the time, scheduling downtime to enjoy with loved ones will go a long way to helping them understand.
Judgment from Others
Have you ever hopped on Instagram or LinkedIn and seen posts from other business owners and felt terrible? Or thought “I am not doing any of those fantastic things, I must be failing”. You are not alone! Having your own business is putting something out into the world that is all you, and the worry about judgment and comparison is genuine! From what your business offers to your decisions, there is always the fear that someone has opinions. So, how do you manage the fear of judgment?
- Even if you are directly competing with another business, no one can be you! You can offer the same service, but you will have your spin.
- Do not compare your tough days to other people’s social media presence. Think of social as a highlight reel. Very few people show their hard days.
- Remember that people are thinking of you far less than you imagine. They are busy with their own lives, challenges, and thoughts.
The Isolation of Business Ownership
Having your own business is exciting, but it can be incredibly lonely. In the beginning, you are likely on your own, bootstrapping your way. As you add team members, you have people around you, but there is still some separation in camaraderie as the boss. The further you get in your business journey, the fewer people there are on the same path. If you find yourself feeling lonely or isolated, here are a few solutions:
- Join a mastermind group for business owners at the same level of business. Not only will this help you reach your business goals, but you can connect with others who are walking the same path.
- Find a biz bestie! We have established that friends and family might not understand your work life, but a biz bestie definitely will!
- Create your group! Put something together if you know people who would benefit from a networking group, business book club, or a monthly dinner!
Honest Discussions about Money
Finally, and sometimes one of the hardest parts of business ownership, is the lack of conversation around money. Most people want to avoid discussing finances, whether they are doing well or struggling. While we understand that no one wants to shout their income from the rooftops, there is value in having open discussions about financial challenges and solutions. Being able to talk through issues with revenue and finances is the difference between finding solutions and closing your doors.
If you need someone in your business circle to talk to about your business’s financial challenges, 4 Corners CFO can be your sounding board. We provide a judgment-free zone to express anxieties, brainstorm solutions and create a plan for the future. If you would like to learn more, get in touch!
Having your own business is one of the biggest adventures you can take in your professional life, and we celebrate your bravery! We also acknowledge that there are as many lows as highs, and it is normal to feel like some days are harder than others. Keep going! The world needs what you are offering!
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