1. Release your baggage
Running a business is the trip of a lifetime, a journey full of surprises which can be both pleasant and difficult. The enjoyable moments come and go, like a gentle breeze on a hot summer day—we experience them with joy and quickly move on. But unfortunately, the difficult moments linger, and they get stuffed deep inside our minds, hidden where we can’t see them. And then, we end up carrying them with us, an ever-growing load that weighs on our mind and spirit.
The longer you travel, the more baggage you’ll collect.
That failed launch in which you invested so much money and energy. That one time you blew an interview and walked away feeling broken and defeated. The millionth time you had to explain to your loved ones what you do and why your dreams, in fact, matter.
These experiences alone are heavy. But when we pack them up in our suitcases without properly processing our emotions, we begin adding to our load. Then one day, we realize that we can no longer move, because we’re paralyzed by the weight of our fears, insecurities, and desire for control.
Entrepreneurship is a risky business, and often the stakes can be crazy high. The pressure to make enough, to be enough, and to do enough is real, and dealing with that pressure is critical to growing your business, meeting business goals, and maintaining your mental health.
Take Action: Fill in these phrases
I want to invite you to release your old baggage before you dive into 2019 and your New Year business planning. Unpack it all onto a sheet of paper. Then, figure out what you need to do to let it go. Here are a few phrases to get you started:
“I forgive myself for ____.”
“I did not fail with ______. Life was simply pushing me in a better direction.”
“I choose how I respond to ____.”
2. Learn to bend without breaking
Growing up, I was never an active child. However, I was always in awe of the people who were strong and flexible. As I got older, I decided to begin practicing yoga because I wanted to become more in tune with my body. The process wasn’t easy and showing up to the mat every day was a very humbling experience. When you’ve never worked on your flexibility, learning how to bend and stretch can be painful. For me, poses felt uncomfortable. I felt out of place, unsure of my capacity to “get it right”, and reaching my goals felt like an impossible feat.
Have you ever felt that way with your business?
I looked at people who were further along in their journey with awe and aspiration (and if I’m honest, with a little jealousy, too).
But something magical began to happen. I kept on showing up. I built a habit. And I could feel my body start to move with more grace and ease. I was allowing myself that grace in other areas of my life, too, and things began to click and fall into place. The poses that I perceived as impossible at first suddenly felt like a real possibility. I felt my body evolve in ways I didn’t think were possible. Yoga taught me that I could bend without breaking. And this is a lesson I bring into my business strategy every day.
To stay in business, you must learn how to bend without breaking. How to be flexible. How to stretch when it’s uncomfortable. How to create space for things that seem impossible today but that are entirely possible to accomplish with time, consistency and grace.
Take action: Break down your business goals
Let’s do some goal setting. What are three things you want to accomplish that seem impossible today? How can you stretch a little to get closer to those goals? Here’s a tip on how to set goals as a small business: Break down your three goals into a list of monthly tasks to help you reach your objective.
Let’s create room for the things that deserve a place in your life and business! What’s impossible today is entirely possible to accomplish with time, consistency and grace.
3. Embrace your creativity
Forget about algorithms, the latest trends, and industry metrics. If you obsess about those long enough, you’ll start to lose yourself and what sets you apart as a business. Let’s make 2019 the year we rediscover the joy in our work.
Take Action: Incorporate your passions
List 3-5 creative projects or ideas that will help you incorporate your passions, interests, and values into your work. Find what makes you excited to create and do it. Your business can be hard—or it can be a powerful vessel that allows you to create, serve, empower, and make a meaningful impact in your community. It all starts with a decision, and that decision is entirely yours!
Want to learn more about strategic planning for small business? Get our Ultimate Guide to Strategic Planning for Small Business here.
Plus, 4 more posts you might like:
Creating a Business Strategy That Fits You AND Your Goals
Doodle Your Way to New Year Business Planning You Love
Charting the Course for Your Creative Venture’s Impact and Business Strategy
Why You’re Going to Finally Write a Business Plan and Achieve Your Business Goals This Year