You know the saying “it takes a village”? So not only raising a child takes a village, but also becoming an entrepreneur/business owner is not a one-man show. Actually, when I think of it, there is a lot of similarity in having a baby and starting a business Lol. It can be amazing and exciting but also terrifying and super stressful. So how do we deal with that?
Let’s start with the beginning:
Research shows that healthy and supportive relationships can reduce stress and improve our overall health and sense of well-being. If we are talking about perusing your professional goals, these support networks can make all the difference between being a want-epreneur and an entrepreneur.
Whether you’re entrepreneur/blogger or any business owner (or on your way of becoming one) you know how hard it is and especially how lonely and stressful it can get. Not only you have to do all the work and make difficult decisions on a daily (no, hourly) basis you need to do it all by yourself. You also doubt yourself on an hourly basis so you really don’t need any other doubters around you.
Studies have demonstrated that social isolation and loneliness are associated with a greater risk of poor mental health as well as other health problems. But you don’t have to do it on your own. Go ahead and create a team of friends, advisers, partners or any other people in your life that will help you achieve your goals.
I totally get the feeling of being fiercely independent and want to prove you can do everything on your own but think of Olympic athletes or even models… They all have a team of coaches, experts, and other specialists around them as they achieve their goals or take the money shot.
Whether it’s somebody watching your back or offering you a shoulder to lean on or whatever body part you feel needs the most support at that time, developing a support network will be the best thing you do for yourself and for your business. Just like Naomi Campbell, You need to create a glam team, just for our soul.
When it comes to social support look no further than the closest people to you. Reach out to family and friends you have a good relationship with and share your goals with them. If they don’t understand or try to talk you out of it – first, try to understand if their critic is legit (and your idea sucks) or if they just don’t get it… They are not there to teach you how to do things – this circle of people is best for providing you with encouragement, cheering you on and listening when you need to talk.
Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher | Oprah Winfrey
Let them know what kind of support you expect from them. Also, keep them in the loop so they can keep up and feel a part of your new adventure (and help keep you accountable when you need to).
Remember! It’s not the quantity it’s the quality. It doesn’t mean you need a whole cheerleading squad behind you, on the contrary. Find a handful of close people you can trust and strengthen these relationships even further.
“Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.” | Joubert Botha
Some people around you will judge you and will try to discourage you – not because they don’t love you or aren’t good friends- they just don’t understand your dreams. And that’s OK. By the way, it doesn’t always mean that they don’t believe in you… They’re most likely just projecting their own realities or insecurities onto you. No need to delete them from your contacts just try to avoid ‘talking shop’ around them…If you need help with other things to talk about try these 250 Conversation Starters.
As you start your journey you might feel fear, stress, frustration etc. These feeling will most likely be accompanied by an irrational sense of isolation – that feeling that you’re all alone, you’re the only person suffering or making mistakes and no one else understands, Which only makes everything so much worse.
So that warm and fuzzy feeling of someone that gets you, truly gets you, because they are going through the same thing, is the absolute best.
Try to find like-minded people and people that are going through the same journey as you. Build a network with other people who share your passion, but also look for people from outside your usual sphere who can help you gain a different perspective. The connections you’ll make can really help you with perspective and relief the sense of loneliness. Search for online groups in your line of work – in this day and age, they are a massive resource of support and, although virtual, community.
Bonus part: people that walk the same path as you (personal or professional) are a great source of knowledge as well as support. They might be a step further than you and can teach you a thing or two.
Some people feel like getting professional help means you either failed or you’re just a failure. Why otherwise would you need help?? (Not!). I personally think it’s exactly the opposite – the humility that is involved in seeking help (personal or professional) just proves how strong you are. Furthermore, ALL the most successful people out there have a professional mentor and usually also some kind of personal support (Therapist, coacher or Yoda – seriously whatever works for you…). Did you know that Steve Jobs mentored Mark Zuckerberg for many years? What makes you better Zucky?
If it feeds your inner light, it’s not an indulgence it’s a necessity
As a beginner in the business world, you most likely don’t have a lot of money (or at all) and don’t think it’s worth spending it on personal development because “you just can handle it”. Having a strong support system and strong mental health is the cornerstone to succeeding.
You just need to find the right mentor for you, someone to look up to. One who can provide advice and guidance and equally important who can share their experience with you.
A lot of the time, we rely on others for validation or motivation to go on and pursue our dreams… but at the end of the day no matter how great your partner is, or how loving your family is the closest person to yourself is YOU. When we look (deep) inside ourself we can find the love, support, and confidence we need to push forward (yeah… sometimes it’s just deep deep inside).
Hard. I know… Self-doubt is a strong rival. I recommend practicing self-care (try these 45 Simple Self-Care Practices) because you just can’t pure from an empty cup. But most of all I recommend practicing Self-Compassion.
Ok, stay with me- this is a BIG one… Total life changer for me and many people I know… Self-compassion means being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or beating ourselves with self-criticism. It’s like giving yourself a big hug… and it’s not as obvious as it sounds.
I really can not recommend this enough. Check out this wonderful video by Dr. Kristin Neff, the queen of self-compassion.
In conclusion, you don’t have to go through anything on your own. Take the time and the effort to build around yourself the best support network possible in order to be the best you possible. And please do me a personal favor: next time a family member or a friend comes to you and shares his new venture with you – listen (!) and try to be supportive. Trust me, they already know all the reasons ‘why not’ and they are their worst critic – try to be on the other side of things.
How do you manage when facing difficulties or going throw a major life change? Do you turn to other for support? Would love to hear and learn in the comments how did you build your perfect support network!
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[…] it alone won’t do your mental health any favors either, which is why it’s important to build a support network of friends, family, or like-minded peers who can lift each other […]