Life of an Entrepreneur: Dealing with the downers and staying motivated

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photo from @bossbabe.inc

by Abby Bly | Follow me on Insta ūüíē https://www.instagram.com/abby_bly/¬†

Over the last few years I’ve heard dozens of stories of young entrepreneurs who didn’t fit in at school, dropped out, and now run highly successful businesses. No matter how much I felt like these success stories resonated with me, dropping out of college didn’t feel right for me. I’ve really valued my education, and I feel like it has taught me things I never would have known about running a business.¬†

However, I still feel like the “typical” classroom setting has never been a place where I fit in. I remember as a kid my mom would tell me the same old story after every parent-teacher conference: that I spent too much time daydreaming during class. I would be completely lying if I said that still wasn’t the case as a senior in college all these years later.

Don’t get me wrong- I get good grades and participate in my classes, but what sets me apart from my peers is certainly my time spent “daydreaming”.

They Just Don’t Get It

Have you ever been frustrated while talking about your plans or ideas with friends and family? Let’s be honest, it sucks when you’re talking about a business plan, blog, or project¬†that lights you up only to get an “eh” response.¬†

What’s worse is when you go to those same people seeking advice or support and they hit you with the “realist” approach. As much as your friends and family might love you, if they don’t have the same entrepreneurial mindset, their responses are likely going to disappoint.

IMG_6221To fix this dilemma? You have to protect your dreams and goals, and the best way to do this is to keep them to yourself. Of course, if you do have those few people that you trust, feel free to brainstorm with them. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that nobody will be as truly excited about your dreams than you!¬†

 

Avoiding Unwanted Input

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I went through a period of time where I would ask others for their opinion on almost every piece of content I uploaded. The best way to avoid unwanted input is to stop asking for it! Seems pretty¬†simple, right? But for many entrepreneurs starting out, asking for other’s opinions and input is often perceived as a means for getting feedback. Feedback is surely important, especially when it’s coming from people who are already doing what you want to do, or directly from your customer base. But from a friend or peer who doesn’t really understand what you’re doing? Not so much.

It’s important to write your own plans, do your own research, and most importantly, experiment. You’re going to have to start believing in your work if you want to make this happen, so just go for it. Post the picture, promotion, website, blog post etc. and see what kind of response you get from your customers. If it doesn’t do as well as you’d hoped, you now have proof of what you should do more or less of, and what changes to make. If you spend all of your time asking others what they think of your work, you’re placing your potential in their hands, not yours.¬†

If You Believe in Yourself, Others Will Too

89dd2d0b20dfd68b0eb73516f6c53633Many creators, including myself, get discouraged especially when it comes to likes, followers, and website traffic. The number one way to make people take you seriously? Confidence. For example, when I started my blog page, I didn’t tell anyone about it. I didn’t ask for opinions. I kept that energy for myself, and the response I got when my first post went up was incredible! Had I second guessed myself or asked for others input, my content might have been more filtered and less genuine. Moral of the story is, when you show off your work with confidence, people are more likely to respect it.¬†

Another great example of this comes from Cara Alwill Leyba, a favorite author of mine. In her book, Like She Owns the Place: Give Yourself the Gift of Confidence and Ignite Your Inner Magic,¬†she tells the story of when she first quit her full-time job to pursue her personal business full-time. After quitting her job, old coworkers, friends, and peers complimented her on how good she looked, asking what kind of foundation she was wearing and if she had lost weight. As Cara explains, during this time she had actually gained a few pounds, and wasn’t wearing much makeup at all.

I love this story because it proves that beauty and acceptance isn’t a matter of outward appearance. People will perceive you as beautiful simply because of your confident glow, and we should all be wearing that look!

Staying Motivated 

It’s okay to get discouraged or have a bad day- you can’t ignore your emotions. You might have days when you feel totally uninspired. But in the words of Elbert Hubbard, “There is no failure except in no longer trying.”

When I’m feeling uninspired, I try to accept it. Take a bubble bath, watch a good show, and indulge in what makes you happiest. By stressing and forcing yourself to create when you’re not feeling like yourself, you’ll only produce uninspired work. Take some time to listen to your intuition, and you’ll come back feeling more inspired than ever.

To get the creative juices flowing again, invest some time into your creative side. Read, watch, and listen to other creators who inspire you. Do some journaling, meditating, and brainstorming. Whatever gets you excited, do it! 

As an entrepreneur, it can be hard finding others in your immediate circle to relate to and collaborate with. I would LOVE for us all to be able to connect on here, so please leave a comment with links your business, where you’re from, and how you’re staying inspired!

Have an awesome weekend! 

-xo, Abby

Follow Me on Instagram: abby_bly