I think one big misconception about running a business is that the process of building it is really tough but that once it’s running smoothly and making money, everything is super and you’re happy all the time.
This isn’t even a little bit true.
Happiness in business is actually a conscious decision. A decision made even when things aren’t going as planned in your business.
The process of building my business was exhausting, full of fear, and constant concern. But I was happy. I was thrilled to be doing something I cared so much about. I made the decision to be happy even though I was worried about making money, failure, and disappointing others.
Then once the business was consistently profitable, I again made a decision to be happy because, though it seemed like this was the time to be happy by default, the reality is that “success” is a constant goal. There’s always more to accomplish and there’s pressure to not only continue the success you’ve found but increase it!
And it’s important to consciously decide to feel the happiness and excitement of what you’re doing in the moment.
Otherwise, you’re always thinking about how great things will be when . . . (fill in the blank).
Here are some things to do to help you stay positive and happy, during both the good times and the challenging times of running a business.
- Make “making business friends” a priority. Connecting with others who are building businesses is so powerful for staying positive, motivated, and goal-oriented.
- Say yes! We’re all really busy with family, running our business, and day-to-day life. This can mean defaulting to the “nope, can’t do that” response to both business and personal opportunities. Try not to do this. Sometimes just saying “yes!” can lead to some amazing experiences.
- But, you also don’t want to be afraid to say “no.” When you don’t feel like the opportunity is right for you at that moment in time. The trick here is to take a little time to think about these opportunities when they present themselves rather than allowing yourself to auto-respond within minutes.
- Find the good in the bad- kind of a basic one here. Even the stuff that sucks the most has some sort of silver lining. Find it. Focus on it. And make that a habit as quickly as possible.
- Keep educating yourself- don’t be a dinosaur. Keep on top of learning new things in your business. Like, here’s a free class you can watch to learn how to sell more on your website!
- Support others. Making an effort to help others is one of the most fulfilling things you can do and brings a very distinct form of happiness to our lives. Find little ways or focus on one big way- whatever!- but find ways to encourage and support others through your work.
- Don’t focus only on the money. I know this is a tough one because we have responsibilities and livelihoods and people are counting on us. But do whatever you have to do (a side gig, maybe) so that you don’t wake up every single day worried about the money. I continued to consult with fashion businesses on the side until StartUp FASHION was consistently profitable on its own. This helped to remove some of the pressure and really allowed me to be happy and enjoy the ride.
I know it doesn’t always seem easy, but finding ways to be happy during this journey is so important for building successful and thriving businesses.
Lots of love and encouragement,