If you have ever imagined being your own boss, but you’re worried about failure, this blog is for you.
How did I get here to share my hard-won insights with you?
Let’s take a few steps back in time to four years ago. When my husband and I decided to grow our marine business from a side hustle to a full-time family business, we did not know what kind of growing pains we were going to experience and eventually overcome. Nathan had over 15 years of education, experience and a loyal customer following, and that set everything into action.
After about three years of fixing boat engines from our house, we decided to start looking for a commercial space so we could expand. It took countless hours of planning and meetings with business associates, accountants, lawyers to find the right location for our new adventure. We were so optimistic, but also very goal driven: this was our dream, but it also required complete blind faith as we jumped into the unknown.
An opportunity was presented to us to purchase a commercial building in Sidney. Nathan and I both grew up in Sidney, so we naturally sprang into action. We listed our home in Cowichan Bay and moved in with our parents down in Sidney while we waited for our house to sell. We were living out of boxes while we finalized all the paperwork that made us the official owners of our new shop. Every dime we had was now invested in that one basket. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying: don’t put all your eggs in one basket! Well, we did.
At this point you may be thinking that it sounds kind of easy so far… well, all did not go as planned.
Moving two children was not simple. Both of the kids loved being in a new place at first, but after a while it was evident that they were not comfortable, and neither were we. Were we being selfish? Did we make the right move? Are all those eggs in that basket going to survive?
Secretly, I wanted to jump ship as it seemed like all the pieces were not coming together.
Everything felt foreign, like someone put the wrong destination in the GPS. We had a few months to set up our new shop before we officially opened, and none of it was going smoothly. We hit almost every road bump you could imagine. After giving birth to those two children, I can say that these growing pains were the most difficult thing I’ve experienced. I don’t think either one of us could have planned for the ups and downs we were faced with as we dealt with problem after problem just to get our shop up and running.
But this blog post is about overcoming those growing pains. I have talked to many friends and family who have also been courageous enough to take on similar challenges in their lives, and I learned a lot from them as they helped me through our struggle. Now I’m happy to be able to share my take on how to overcome growing pains in business.
1. Run! Just kidding. But seriously, you do have choices to make about your attitude. It’s going to be hard, but you can either meet each challenge with optimism or let them defeat you.
“We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” —Carlos Castaneda
1, for real this time. The first thing that will help you overcome the growing pains of a new business endeavor is a good support network. Find your tribe and lean on these people. No one ever becomes a success alone!
You also can’t just trust everyone you meet in business, so choose the people that have shown you over time that they are in it for the long haul. This is simple: watch their actions. You will know who truly has your back when you pay attention to what they do, not just what they say.
2. Not everyone understands what you’re going through, and some, even people you’re close to, will never get it. Seek out like-minded people in your industry through in-person events or online where you can talk and connect. Doing this made both of us feel so much better as we dealt with trial after trial. It truly was a light bulb moment when we stepped out of our comfort zone and went to a business event where everyone else seemed to get the ups and downs of what were experiencing.
3. Let go of expectations. Let me say that again: let go of expectations. That’s easier said than done, but it’s easier to deal with the defeats when you aren’t expecting everything to go perfectly. Sometimes we just have to go with the flow. People will disappoint you, bills will add up, and the tax man will always take his cut. Find a way to wake up and try again. Every day is a new slate, especially in business.
4. Seek professional advice. We as business owners do not have a easy task, and many of us are still learning as we go! Talking with a business coach can really help you clarify your intentions, set reachable goals and reconnect with yourself. I would highly recommend starting your search in a local directory and find someone who shares your values, and can offer you a new perspective and assistance.
5. Maintain your integrity above all else. This one is close to my heart. I believe that maintaining integrity is the secret to overcoming all pain, because when you have values to fall back on you will always be able to rise above.
Choosing courage over comfort;
Choosing what is right over what is fun, fast or easy and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.
—Brene Brown ,
Finally I would like to end with this:
Would you prefer the known pain of staying where you are and not pursuing your goals, or the unknown pain of growth? For myself, I would choose the pain of growth again and again because it means I am moving forward.
The truth is that we are not here on the planet to just dream up businesses and buy fancy things with the money from that business. We are here in this world to grow and evolve! One step at a time. It won’t be easy. There will be many challenges, but I hope after reading this you find the courage to take a step into your future. Even if you have failed before, you can still succeed. I have failed so many times, and I am still here.