Stuck in a Rut?
Do you ever feel like like it’s all just pointless? Sometimes you hustle and hustle for what feels like very little or no return. Running a business is never going to be all great all the time – there are peaks and troughs just like any other career. But the difference is, when it’s your own business you have to be your own cheerleader. If you’re feeling low or get stuck in a rut there is nobody else to pick up the slack, or to pat you on the back or to motivate you to keep going – it’s all on you. Then that pressure can be overwhelming and cause you to feel even lower and it’s a vicious cycle.
It isn’t helped by the fact that being an entrepreneur can be extremely lonely. Friends and family don’t really understand what you’re going through, there is a lot that is resting just on your shoulders and you can’t lean across the desk and bitch to Shelly about how much you hate your boss. I mean… you could, but if she agrees you should probably fire her.
I’ve been in a fair few of these self-propelling slumps in my time in business, so thought I’d share with you some of the things that have helped me to get out of a rut.
Shake Things Up
I am the worst for pigeon-holing myself into doing something a certain way just because ‘that’s how we do it‘. But sometimes a fresh perspective or a new approach is exactly what you need to tackle a problem. Even if you think your processes are perfect, take a step back and try to imagine up different ways you could do what you do. Maybe you’ll discover a better way to do things, or you’ll get a boost from realising that your way is the best way and you’re actually a genius, go you!
Step Away For a While
How do you get out of a rut? You walk out! When the shit hits the fan, taking a break seems incredibly counter-intuitive, but it could be the best thing you can do for your business (and for you). In my post ‘6 Steps to Improving Your Business by Looking after YOU‘ I talk about how important it is to look after the engine of your business (you) and how investing in your own mental health and wellbeing will actually do wonders for your business. Then you can come back with fresh eyes and be ready to tackle the work.
Stalk Your Idols
We all have idols and people we look up to in our industry. Take a bit of time to catch up on what they have been up to, do some reading about their journey. Read a book, listen to a podcast, hear the stories of the people who have walked your path before. Right now when I need a shot of inspiration I’m loving Rachel Hollis and her book – Girl, Wash Your Face. You might not feel like you’re in the mood to hear of other people’s success while you are feeling so low, but believe me you’ll feel better for it. Stalking the people you admire will light a fire under your belly and motivate you to get back on the horse. Soon they’ll be stalking you on their down days!
Don’t Be a Hermit
Speak to people! As I said, being an entrepreneur can be lonely AF. Nobody really gets it, but sometimes that can be a blessing. Chat to people who have no idea about your industry, speak to friends who are clueless about business. Communicating with people who have a totally different frame of mind from us can be quite refreshing and often put your own thoughts and issues in a different light. Also speak to people who DO get it. Other business owners, other hustlers, people who feel your struggle – because you’ll realise pretty quickly that you are absolutely not alone and everyone goes through the exact same stuff.
Get some Motivational Tunes On
It might sound daft, but when I really don’t feel like doing anything, a shot of epic music is often exactly what I need. Even if I really don’t feel like it, I’ll put on some of my absolute favourite tunes and I can’t help but feel a little lighter. I have a playlist called ‘motivation’ for exactly this purpose. Fill it with only the songs that really light a spark inside of you, the ones that you can’t resist getting up and dancing around your living room to. Right now I’m loving ‘High Hopes’ by Panic! At the Disco – I genuinely feel so inspired to get working every time I hear it!
Answer Your Own Questions
Questioning yourself and asking ‘Why am I doing this?’ is a standard part of every entrepreneurial journey, if you didn’t go through this I’d be worried. But when it all gets too much and you feel like it’s all for nothing – answer that question. Remind yourself why you started this in the first place. Remember what your motivations are, write them down (it helps, trust me). Imagine where you want the business to go and what that would look like. Before long your brain will naturally go from daydreaming to planning and your creative juices will be flowing.
How do you get out of a rut?
Have I missed something out? If you have any ideas or suggestions for getting out of a rut, please let me know! I’d love to hear what works for you.
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