Imagine this. It has been raining for so long, but you want to take a walk and meet your friend who lives a house down. The only problem is that you live on a dirt road. There are no sidewalks or paved walking paths to be found.
So, you decide to walk on the dirt road. As you take the first few steps forward the mud is so thick you can feel the suction on your shoes as they are nearly pulled off of your feet. You’re scared of the step you just took and want to turn around, but you realize that you really want to see your friend.
You push on only to slip and go sideways. You catch yourself and learn from your mistake. Pretty soon you’re walking at a good clip, but you don’t see the stick in your way and trip over it, falling down completely.
Managing to get back up, you notice you’re covered in the filth and dirt. The mud is fresh in your mouth; it tastes disgusting. You won’t be able to wash off until later, but you wipe off as much as you can.
You start to wonder when you’ll get to your friend’s house. It didn’t seem this far away before.
You think about giving up completely, but you realize that wouldn’t be wise. You’re already part way there. You’ve chosen to follow through and if you quit now, you’ll feel cheated. Besides, you want to see your friend.
Finally, you see your friend waving from her porch. She runs forward and embraces you.
“I’ve been waiting,” she says.
Revealing Your Power
- Now, what if I told you the mud was every negative thought, naysayer, or comment that was holding you back from your dreams?
- And your friend was success.
- And that you were carrying a super long hose that could’ve been used to wash yourself clean at any time you chose?
Would you believe me?
When I first started out, I’m not sure I would have.
Right out of college I chose to start my own freelance writing business. That was the scariest decision I’ve made to date. It’s hard and frustrating and sometimes completely baffling. It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the doubts and negative thinking that can accompany taking a leap of faith.
But success was calling my name. She beckoned me from her porch, called me to keep coming closer, to keep pursuing her.
It’s easy to get stuck in the mud. To fall victim to the thoughts in our own mind and voices of others who doubt our ability to achieve what we are called to. It’s easy to stumble over an obstacle in our path and let it stop us. But we must forge on.
A lot of people have called me brave for starting my own business. While these things do take courage, I think the bravest people are the ones who start working on their goals and keep working to complete them. It takes grit, determination, and bravery.
I didn’t believe it at first, but I do hold the power. And with these five ways to conquer negativity, you can hold the power, too.
Say No to Negativity When Starting Your Own Business – 5 Easy Tips
1. Not Everyone Will Understand—Don’t Expect them To
There will always be well-intentioned people who will try to change your mind. Who will try to convince you to do something safer or easier.
My advice: don’t let them. Stick to your guns and explain why your dream is important to you. If they don’t come around, they aren’t worth your time.
2. True Haters are Probably Jealous
Ever come across a person who has nothing kind to say about your business venture?
It might be their own insecurities talking. You’re doing something they’ve only dreamed about. Remind yourself that it isn’t you and if you can, distance yourself from the negativity.
3. Find Positive Places and People
Whether it’s friends and family or a group on Facebook, surround yourself with like-minded people who share your goals. It’s much easier to reign over doubt if you have people walking with you. Plus, it’s a great way to network and expand your circle of supporters.
4. Success is Measured in More than One Way
Don’t look at your business purely in terms of profit. While that’s the ultimate goal, there is so much you learn with a start-up. You’re gaining life skills that are invaluable. So, when someone tries to measure your success in monetary terms, know that’s not the only way to look at it.
5. View Mistakes as Lessons
When you start this journey and as you continue to walk on it, there will be times when you mess up. Instead of throwing in the hat and telling yourself you aren’t cut out for this, try to see mistakes as learning experiences. Work through the problem and try not to repeat it. Be as gritty as possible.
A Rocky Road is Well Worth It
It isn’t always easy to follow your dreams. Sometimes they seem impossible. We make excuses: now’s not the right time, I don’t have enough money saved, I’m too old for this, I wouldn’t know where to begin.
But the truth is we can make excuses for days. There will never be a “right” time to start. But if it is something you really want, put on your boots and stick your foot into the mud. It’ll be messy, but there’s a good chance it’ll be worth it.
“Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible” – Claude T. Bissell