Today many entrepreneurs are disenchanted with the very work that used to fill them with excitement. Have you noticed staying upbeat and enthusiastic about your business is harder than it used to be? Remember when your passion for the work you do rivaled the dedication of an Olympian?
Since 2008 blaming the bad economy has been a popular catchall, but is that really it? Is it your business that’s changed or is it you?
Here’s how I went from being in love with my career, broke up, got back together, broke up, and then reinvented what I was doing to fit who I had become over those years. It wasn’t a complete departure, but a slightly different focus. Maybe while reading this you’ll see yourself, and your relationship with your business, in a different light.
In January 2012, after moving back to Cabo San Lucas in the fall of 2011, I closed down my business. I wasn’t sure if it would be temporary or permanent. It came to me in my morning meditation that it was the thing to do. I go with my intuition, so after a brief checking in with myself to see if it was the pneumonia I was dealing with at the time or my higher self talking, I pulled plug.
Six months later I thought I’d update my website with a new look and start working again. After another 6 months, I realized I didn’t have the same energy for it that I had before. I thought maybe I had said everything I had to say and there was nothing new for me to contribute to the conversation. I closed down the merchant account that allowed me to sell product, gave up my database account that kept the email list of my customers and that was that.
Since that day there hasn’t been one ounce of regret about taking that action. Does it seem strange after I put my heart and soul into building my business for a dozen years? Maybe somewhere deep down, I knew I would be back and this was just a temporary break. But for how long? Would I spend my days with my toes in the sand or work on something else?
The outpouring of emails was quite unexpected. Women saying they had thought about doing the same, they had felt the same way, or they wished they could do it themselves. I was honestly shocked to hear this. I thought it was just me who needed a break because my life was calling for more attention.
Did you assume like I did that most small business owners were in love with their business? And if you do want out, do you have options in your life? Or are all your eggs in one basket?
Luckily I had another income stream as I shifted away from my business of providing real world success blueprints for soul based women entrepreneurs. One thing I learned from my earliest mentors was to build multiple streams of income. So it was a simple transition of moving more fully into that vehicle and stepping on the gas.
A couple months later my hosting account housing 5 of my sites including my book site was hacked. My first reaction was, “Isn’t that interesting, I wonder what’s coming next that I needed to clear all this out.” Personally I believe things show up and go away on God’s timetable, not mine.
What happens if your industry goes into a slump or you tire of what you’re currently doing? Have you put yourself in a position where you can move effortlessly into focusing on another income stream? Would you be able to follow a new passion and go without income for a time?
I’m talking to more and more entrepreneurs who are less than thrilled with their current business. Many are looking to re-invent their business or find an alternative. Coincidently, they are at an age where creating an ageless lifestyle after 50 has become more of a priority without their even giving it a name.
What do you think is leading to this state of wanting something new or different or better? Is it the economy? Is it that being a small business owner is just getting too hard? I don’t have all the answers. I’d really like to know what you think.
An interesting thing happened for me. When I looked at what I enjoyed talking about with people on Facebook, with friends and with people I was meeting locally here in Cabo, I realized the missing piece for me had been talking about my passion for health and nutrition as part of an ageless lifestyle. The other elements of creating an ageless lifestyle were already a part of my past business.
New and exciting possibilities show up to expand your perspective when you clear the space. You just have to be open to letting go of the old, sitting in that open space and waiting for what’s going to show up for you. Doing just that has been a blessing for me.
Now I feel refreshed, renewed and exited to incorporate something that had been a personal passion of mine for over 30 years into my new business. The health and wellness segment was the missing piece to re-ignite my passion for being in the business world again. It gave me my voice back and the feeling there was a new message for me to deliver.
Here’s a question for you to ask in your business, “How can I serve my market in a new and more meaningful way?” The answer could be what re-ignites the flame for you and instead of breaking up with your business you fall back in love.