The Ups and Downs Of Solopreneurship

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Sometimes, I’m convinced that I can take over the world.

Other times, I’m not even sure I can help a single person.

Once in a while, I wonder how long I can really do this for. Is it sustainable? Will I consistently make a good income, forever? Will I get bored, and want to drop it all?

But then other times, I’m so sure of myself. So sure that what I’m doing is right. That it’s perfect.

Some days, I’m so psyched about my work that I forget to eat, to get dressed, and leave the house. Hours and days fly by as I work and I barely notice, I’m so engulfed in what I’m doing.

Other times, I feel like I’d rather make a pillow fort and hole up in it all day, hiding from everything for a little while.

These are the ups and downs of running your own online business. It’s par for the course, and I’d bet you money that you can’t find a single solopreneur who hasn’t experienced these ups and downs. I challenge you to find even one who hasn’t had days where they wonder what on earth they have gotten themselves into, where they feel they simply can’t do it, where they are terrified of being called out as a fake, a fraud.

When you’re putting yourself out there to the world, it’s really fucking scary. It’s vulnerable to be creating something you care about. It’s terrifying to be going against the norm and doing things your way. And let’s face it, there is no guarantee that it is all going to work out, and the unknown is what breaks a lot of people.

So how on earth are you supposed to get anywhere with this rollercoaster ride of head trash going on?

 

 

The only answer I really have is that you have to believe in what you are doing enough to hear all the drama in your head, and keep going anyway.

 

Feeling like no one wants what you have to offer? Feel bad about yourself for a minute, then move on and start testing out your ideas.

Not sure if you can actually go through with it (whatever it is)? Great. Sit with that feeling during a yoga class, then go home and do it anyway.

These feelings happen to everyone, and the difference between the people who quit and the ones who keep at it is their recovery time after listening to the gremlins. The more you keep moving forward, the more resilient you become, the quicker you are able to dig yourself out of your pillow fort and get back to work.

Running your own show isn’t easy, and knowing that everyone feels like this at one time or another is comforting, right? Sharing your struggles and getting support from other people who “get it” (not like your dad, who still thinks you should get a real job) will be a huge help along the way.

If you don’t have anyone in your real-life life that understands what you’re going through, hop on over to the Uncaged Lifers Facebook group and hop in on the discussions. Having these big dreams of starting your own business, working from anywhere, and leading your version of an Uncaged life doesn’t have to feel so isolating.

What has been responsible for your biggest ups and downs as you navigate this whole solopreneur thing? Share your story in the comments below!

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Read 7 Comments & Leave Yours

  1. Umgawa

    Hi Becca–
    I really dug this post! But I would go even further to say that if you are never experiencing those frustrations that keep you pillowed, then your life has stagnated, and you need to seriously consider some change. Why? Because these negative experiences are provided to force growth. Without them its like death.
    Ten years ago, when I migrated from the US to Mexico, I was enjoying the scenery while driving, ’till I hit the bumps, so common here. This became the metaphor for my memoir, “The Bumpy Road”, which took me 13 years to write, then 5 years to edit. The book postulates that culture clash, in its broadest sense, like hitting those bumps, is a wake-up call for reflection on lifestyle. Pay attention! Maybe you need to travel and experience something different. Don’t get caught in comfortable stagnation!

  2. KarenTaggart

    Umgawa “Don’t get caught in comfortable stagnation”.  Ooh! I like that description.
    And Becca, I liked when you said “the unknown is what breaks a lot of people”.  So true.  Fear. Fear. Fear.
    The combo of the 2 is a great reality check.  If you let fear of the unknown stop you, you will remain stuck in comfortable stagnation.  Ouch.

  3. serabishop

    This is fantastic! It’s amazing what our minds try to spew at us. I’ve been meditating since I was 19, and have learned tools to deal with these gremlins of the mind – and I’m so grateful for that. Not only do thoughts become things, but we’re also completely in charge if whether or not we listen to these old tapes playing back. We’re taught that because we think something, it must be true. This couldn’t be further from the truth – and I LOVE that you’ve captured this! Love love love it, Becca!

  4. kate_marolt

    Great post, and great reminder that it’s okay to have these moments… in fact it’d be weird not to. Keeping in mind that it’s about the recovery time and getting back to it! :) Thank you!

  5. DianeDrinker

    Great stuff, Becca! SO true and applicable to many areas of life. Thank you for reminding us that we are human. Ultimately, we thrive both personally and professionally when we practice balance. Although it may seem like our engrossed 3 day roll is most productive, it is not sustainable and can lead to burn out (then we crash and build our forts). Despite the demands of running a biz, it’s when we pace ourselves and provide everyday time and care for ourselves, that we can genuinely help others. In so doing, we will then be able to not only sustain our biz, but we will sustain our spirit. And, isn’t this what it’s all about? :)

  6. julieedmonson

    Holy. Hell. I just stumbled across your site from a comment you left on Marie Forleo’s site — and I’m so glad I did. Every single word you wrote is as if I wrote it myself. I’m so glad I’m not the only one. :) Keep doing what you’re doing — and get used to me sticking around. :D

  7. Ahh, thank you for sharing this. It’s impossible not to have those “what am I even doing?!” moments- my entire morning today, in fact! I agree with your answer. Just have to be mindful of the “mental junk-mail” , let it drift through, and keep on moving.