I recently spent two days with a bunch of business owners and Rob Bell (Oh and I had Joe Sanok along side me for the ride too!). I found a lot of comfort in being in a room of other people who get it. They get what it is like to build a business, manage projects, speak and create. We are the ones that create our work. It is not handed to us by some higher up the ladder. Nope we are the ladder. Every single rung is just us.
The second day, sitting in the Viper Room having just talked about Spiral Dynamics, Rob asked what everyone wanted to be sure to cover before the days’ end.
The guy next to me at our table looked a little shocked. “Wow! There are a lot of people who are hurting in this room.”
I wasn’t shocked at all.
My heart bubbled and shouted “Yes, Yes, Yes!”
These are things we don’t talk about very openly. Most marketing you see is about building a successful business. It makes sense. Imagine a webinar where we discuss how building a practice is going to bring up all of your insecurities! Yipppeee!!
Yet, we have a collective desire, even though we are on our own in our business, to not feel alone in the process. So let's start here.
You will fail when you pursue your dreams. It is part of the dream actually. It’s what makes the story so magnificent and real and meaningful. You will also have wins. Life is balanced that way.
Much of what I teach comes from my mistakes.
The first product that Miranda and I created didn’t sell. This is how we learned to sell differently and better. We had to fail to figure it out. But imagine if we had just stopped. What if we said – “nevermind, let’s go back to our practices and forget this ever happened”?
I worked my tush off to create that training. The intensity of it landed me in the ER with a paralyzing (literally) migraine. Another mistake of not listening to myself. Which is why we have inserted videos into our bootcamp solely focused on – check yourself before you wreck yourself. Just because we talk about certain tools and tasks doesn’t mean it is something you must do. You need to check that it is the right time and season for you before you push so hard it burns you out.
Now the story of failing feels like this far away dream that I can so easily forget when I enjoy what is working, like our bootcamp. But it was a necessary step in order to see what we needed to do next.
You might have a brilliant idea or implement a strategy that worked for someone else and it will fall flat. Either it was bad timing or it wasn’t for you. The question remains, what do you do when you fall flat?
Hold your vision. There was a part of me that knew I couldn’t make it and be happy in the county. It wasn’t my best self though. So for the past few years I have found out how to create that happiness in a new way.
Recognize the experiment. There are no guarantees that stuff will work. So play around with it. Find your rhythm and how your business fits into it. I’ve changed so much in the past year as I have learned more about what I need.
Give yourself permission. Embrace the oops! It’s going to make for a great story later and will probably be part of what makes you so successful.
Do one foot in front of the other. Instead of rushing and assuming how things should be, just focus on the next step. Hold the vision lightly and just keep moving. I promise – I never thought ZynnyMe was going to be the primary way I would do it. I just responded to the mistakes and I ended up here. When our first product bombed we learned a lot about what to differently the next time.
Share. It’s not all glorious. There are times you might freak out about where the rent is going to come from. You might see a huge flux in your caseload and doubt that the phone will ever ring. You could be pulling late nights to get your website done and your marketing on point. It’s vulnerable but it’s necessary to grow in our businesses and in our lives by sharing our journeys.
We are in the big soup together. The more honest we can be about this process the better.
Building a business is hard work. I have cried a lot and I have danced a lot. I probably would have done the same if I had stayed at my county job. (probably more crying actually) But I know with every struggle and with every success - I am creating a great life and I wouldn't have it any other way.
If you are struggling, reach out to someone. You really aren't alone. And if they look at you like you have 4 heads and tell you to go get a "real" job, they aren't the best person to turn to.
We are here. We get it.
You aren't alone.