Photo by Luca Campioni on Unsplash
Nine Reasons to Keep Going, Even When You Want to Quit.
Ask any entrepreneur and they’ll tell you there was a time — or many times — they wanted to quit.
Being an entrepreneur is a bumpy ride.
It’s steep. The path is windy. Sometimes you’re riding in the dark without a headlamp, trusting that you’re not going to crash. Sometimes you’re so exhausted you feel like you don’t even have one more turn of the crank in you.
And then you dig deep and you discover that you are stronger than you thought you were. You’ve reached a new level and the views are amazing. You can exhale. Stop and catch your breath. Look around and see how far you’ve come.
And then there’s the next mountain pass. It starts to rain. You get a flat tire. You change your tire. You keep riding, and you’re again stunned by the ragged beauty of the landscape you’re in.
I didn’t become an entrepreneur for the money. I did it for the freedom.
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Why did the bicycle want to quit? Because it was two tired.
Nine Lessons About Speed, Balance And Freedom
1.Tuck Into Your Why and Keep Going. When you start on the entrepreneurial path, you will want to quit a gazillion times because it feels so hard. You’ll get winded. You’ll need to take breaks. Hydrate. And then you’ll remember why you are doing this.
2. Use Your Gears. Bikes have gears for a reason. Some are suited to riding uphill. Some are good for slogging through mud. Some are best for coasting. You, too, have a range of gears. If you pedal all out all the time, you’ll burn out and get resentful. I.e., don’t work 24/7 and if you’re hitting your head against a wall trying to figure something out, maybe you need to change your environment so you shift your perspective. Move your laptop to another room in the house. Or go to a new coffee shop, or a fnacy hotel, or ditch the computer altogether and go for a walk in the park. You’ll be amazed at how quickly the answers pour in when you shift your mental gears and give your mind a break.
3. Invest in Training Wheels. There’s a reason that great athletes, superstar musicians and movie stars excel like they do. They get coached. They are disciplined. They practice every single day and they are committed to being the best versions of themselves possible. They don’t quit when it gets hard. They lean into the support that’s there for them and they learn. They make subtle tweaks to their performance. They visualize their success and see themselves doing the thing they haven’t done yet. Watch these New York Times of videos of Olympic athletes visualizing their wins. Training your mind is key to achieving the success you dream of.
4. Plan to Fall. You’re bound to fall at some point so just expect that it’s part of the ride. Falling is how we learn. Falling teaches us to find our balance. It invites us to discover our resilience. It jolts us out of our complacence and when we get back in the saddle and keep going, that builds confidence. None of us would have learned to walk had we not fallen a bunch of times. We wouldn’t be reading this right now if we hadn’t stumbled over words long ago when we were learning to read. Falling teaches you so much about how to maintain your speed and balance and forward momentum. We usually fall when we take our eyes off the road ahead and get distracted by looking around. When you fall, it’s a shock. And then you dust yourself off and get back on the bike. You keep going because you know there’s more to this adventure awaiting you and one little scrape is not going to derail you.
5. Balance. If you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur, you’re going to have to master balance in a whole bunch of areas. How do you balance your time? How do you balance your emotional state? How do you balance your books? How do you balance your giving to others and giving to yourself? How do you balance your mindset and your skillset? This is a lifelong journey that requires skill, finesse and commitment to yourself and your vision.
Being an entrepreneur is a wild ride! Learn how to stay balanced while doing your thing.
6. Repetition Is Key. The repetitive motion of pedalling a bicycle creates a rhythm that you fall into without even trying. It builds muscle memory in your body. You no longer have to think about how to ride a bike. You used to fall off all the time where you were first learning, and now you no longer do. The same is true for your business. Cultivate habits that you regularly and consistently repeat so that what once felt hard begins to feel normal. Consistency creates ease, and when there’s ease there’s less resistance to overcome. Less resistance means more momentum and momentum creates ease. See the cycle? Train yourself to be consistent so that ease becomes your new normal. Do not let yourself off the hook. Even when it’s hard. It’s just one little piece of the trail that’s steep. And then it’s easy again.
7. Ride the Cycle Of Life. Nature has cycles of growing and resting. Every day has cycles of darkness and light. You, too, will discover that you have your own cycles of content creation and taking time off. When is your most productive work time? Start tracking when your energy is highest and you are most focussed, and build your schedule around your own rhythms. One of the most rewarding things about being a solopreneur is that nobody tells you when to work but you. You make your own schedule and get it done when you want to get it done. You don’t have to ask permission to go on vacation. When your business is rolling out according to your natural rhythm, there’s so much less resistance.
8. Keep Your Chain Clean. Years ago, I found myself sitting at the feet of a guru in India. I had gone to his house to meet him, and I expected to be standing way in the back because when I arrived the room was overflowing. People were perched on windowsills and on the arms of the couches. Every space on the floor was covered. The man who greeted me at the door said, “We have been waiting for you,” and he took my hand and led me to the very front of the room and motioned for me to sit down right at the guru’s feet.
I was sweating. It was well over 90 degrees that morning in Mumbai, and I was literally in the hot seat. I took my seat and bowed.
The guru asked, “What is your understanding?” I stared blankly. He wasn’t sweating at all and his eyes were clear and kind. He took a sip of tea and repeated the question. “What is your understanding?” I shook my head.
“We are all interconnected,” he explained. “It’s like we all part of a giant cosmic bicycle chain. What happens over here affects this part of the chain over here.” He grabbed an imaginary bicycle chain in his hands and began circling it in the air to illustrate the metaphor. “Everything we do has an effect on each other.” The chain spun in his hands. “You pull me and I pull you. You see?”
“Who sees all beings in his own self, and in his own self all beings, loses all fear.” ~Upanishads
9. It’s Not About How Fast You Get There. No one said you have to get anywhere at any particular time except you. You can choose to ride fast or slow, go all out or coast a while. Some days call for high gear and cranking. Other days you’d rather downshift and not ride so hard. The most successful entrepreneurs I know do all the above. They take consistent, deliberate daily actions that move them along the path. They bring it with everything they’ve go, even when they are tired and want to quit, and they also take time off. They stop and enjoy the view. Success is yours if you stay focussed on your own path and don’t get distracted with what others are doing. This is your ride. Go where your heart takes you.
Being an entrepreneur is challenging and it’s rewarding. It’s challenging because you’re your own boss. No one’s going to yell at you except you. No one’s going to say, “Great job!” except you. No one’s going to be watching what time you punch in or if you took the day off except you. When you’re making your own path, you’re 100% in charge of your path.
That’s the challenge, and that’s also the reward. Know why you chose this path. If you decide you don’t like this path, pick a new path that you do like. Shift your mental gears. Invest in some training wheels that help you feel more secure and stable as you’re learning to master speed, balance and momentum. Take the curves. You might fall, but over time with practice, you learn to take the curves without falling and then it even more fun.
Create some daily habits that give you confidence and inner strength. You’ll need it. Take your time, plan your route, and enjoy the ride.
If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary. ~Jim Rohn
Want some help mastering speed, balance, and focus in your business?
Try these proven Brain Hacks for success.