September marks my one year anniversary since creating Monica Writes and starting out on my own. Since opening, my focus has shifted, my goals have changed, and my horizons has gotten BIGGER. Much BIGGER. I am now on a completely different path than what I was on when I first started.
Like all entrepreneurs, we all make common mistakes like charging too little, offering every kind of service we can underneath God’s bright sun to get clients, desperately networking, and not having a niche. But even these mistakes could not have prepared me for the lessons I learned while being in business to myself.
The first part is where I’m going to talk about lessons I have learned and in the second part, discuss how I am overcoming these lessons. I want to encourage you not to lose hope, but when you hit these same milestones or brick walls, you’ll know how to overcome them.
Being an Entrepreneur means you’re facing a whole new nest of demons. I had to force myself to have good vibes and keep a high energy level, especially if I had a crappy day or week. That’s so hard for me because I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve. But I couldn’t; I had to make sure that my emotions reflected passion, excitement, and radiant just that.
I was talking to another entrepreneur recently and she said, “You have to face every demon on your own.” Isn’t that the truth! When you’re an entrepreneur, every demon that you can think of comes your way and you have to deal with it on your own. I have spent nights crying and depressed because of the demons I was facing. It’s not fun!
Being an Entrepreneur may feel lonesome. I have felt many feelings of being alone; many of the entrepreneurs I know are 45-90 minutes away from me, living in bigger cities, whereas I have felt stuck in Cheyenne, alone and struggling.
Being an Entrepreneur means you’re a one man show. When I started out, I never knew how much I would be doing EVERYTHING and how time consuming it is. I was running around, doing a whole bunch of things that were a waste of time. It’s hard to prioritize and have clear objectives every day. This is something I’m not taking a hold of.
Being an Entrepreneur means you have to face the nay-sayers. These are the “poopy-pants” that are out there, discouraging you and your amazing service you provide. I have had my fair share telling me that I charged too much, or that my services are not as valuable as I thought they were. This is not only discouraging, but it lowers your confidence in yourself and your work.
As you can imagine, I can go on and on, but I’m going to stop here and begin to talk about ways I have overcame this or am in the process of overcoming it.
How do I handle the Personal Development course I am on? Sometimes not very well. I have cried, I have thrown tantrums, and I have almost given up. But because this dream is bigger than anything I can ever imagine and my heart burns with it, I cannot and I won’t. My vision for my life cannot be hindered by anything. I may face road blocks or mountains, but I carry on, despite all of this.
I also know that if I want to get to where God wants me to be, I have to take care of myself. I have to ensure my relationship with my God is strong and that I have to take care of my heart as well. This is tough, but I acknowledge that God wants to break bondages within me to be a powerful force for Him.
Another way I handle this is by surrounding myself with people who not only understand, but can say to me, “Monica, I’ve been there. I have struggled the same way you have struggle. I had to work on myself, I had to overcome A,B, and C to get to where I am today. You will make it too.” You know how relieving it is to see someone you look up to and see them as “having it all together” to say that to you?!
Here is my encouragement as well as challenge to you THIS week: If you know of a person who is doing GREAT things, then ask them to meet you for coffee and talk to them one on one. Ask them the deep questions, the struggles they had to overcome. I guarantee they will have no problem sharing their story with you.
How do I deal with the loneliness? I’m learning now that I have permission to call another entrepreneur to vent my frustrations or to gain encouragement through a tough process. For some reason, this can be hard for me to do.
So pick up the phone and call someone who has invited you to call them! I have a whole handful of people I know I can call and talk to. They have invited me to do so; take them up on this and if that means scheduling to talk to them via phone or going to get coffee (or tea) together, then do it. You never know the nuggets of wisdom they may share with you. Or the connections they may have who might be just who you have been looking for.
How do you handle the one-man show business? Honestly, this can be tough for me. But here are some realities that I have come to a conclusion to:
- People have said I need to be on multiple platforms, to share my business. While I understand the concept and benefits of being on multiple social media sites, I have finally came to the conclusion that it’s OK to be on 2 or 3 social media platforms. I do not have to be on 10. I am okay with this and when other people tell me otherwise, I have to remember that my time is precious and I cannot be spending it hours and hours every day because I won’t get any real work done.
- I am learning that I have to carefully pick and choose what I do and what I spend my money on. I should have always done this, but I have not.
- I am starting to prioritize my day and realize what’s most important. Emails can suck me dry and I had to learn that they can wait. Respond to my clients first, but everyone else can wait. If I need to get an assignment done, then that comes #1 on my to-do list.
How do you face the nay-sayers? Although not easy, I have to remind myself that what I offer is an investment, not an expense. I am worth my pay because I know how much energy I put into my writing as well as the editing process that goes into it. I am not cheap and I’m more than okay with that.
My coach explained it to me this way: If you had to have brain surgery, would you pay the doctor who charged $50 or the doctor who charged $50,000? Personally, I would go with the doctor who charged $50,000. Why? That number tells me right there that he has experience, he is an expert in his arena, and that he has the education behind him to say that he’s worth that much. The $50 doctor sounds like he’s buying his instruments off the black market and he might leave a screw in my head. No thank you!
Do you see where I am going with this? I am worth the amount of money I charge because of my experience, my expertise, and my education. I’m an investment and I’m more than happy to say that to anyone.
My ending thoughts. Being an entrepreneur is tough, but I love the people I have met, the doors it has opened for me, and the dreams that has gotten bigger and bigger in each passing month. It’s scary as hell to go out and do your dream, but it’s so worth it, even on the nights I am crying in bed. I see a vision for myself and I know it’s just going to get bigger, bolder, and scarier.
I have so much more to learn. I know that my experience will only deepen and that I will continue to stretch. Continue to grow and stretch my friends and NEVER EVER GIVE UP! If you would like to talk or go out for coffee, send me a message and we’ll schedule a date as I would love to encourage you and talk with you more.