You can’t sleep, your mind is racing, your body’s cortisol levels are off the charts. You’re staring at the drop dead date for your business and you’re still not making enough money…
“I just ran the numbers in my business and I can see the edge of the cliff. I’m totally freaking out because the money runs out at the end of the month. I need to pay rent, I need to pay for health insurance.”
Ack!!! I can hear the panic in your voice, the shallow breathing, the fear. You’ve been struggling to get your business off the ground and you are so. close. SO. CLOSE. But you’re at that hairy edge where you’re not making enough money and you’ve got real life bills staring you in the face.
You’ve been doing all the things you’re supposed to do – taking great action to build your business and you’ve been developing relationships with your customers. Your heart is burning, full of passion, and you’ve been working so hard to make your dream a reality.
But now the moment you’ve been seeing on the distant horizon is coming towards you at mach speeds. It’s do or die time, but it’s hard to think, it’s hard to keep your focus, it’s hard to take productive action when the fear of falling off that cliff is so huge and overwhelming.
SO WHAT THE HECK DO YOU DO NEXT?
First, breathe. It is absolutely appropriate to feel the way you’re feeling. This situation stinks and it feels like you’ve screwed up when you haven’t. There is a massive mix of emotions coming and throwing you around like a ship on a stormy sea. Recognize where you are. This is a moment in time – and – this moment will pass and the sea will calm again. Many, many entrepreneurs have been right here, feeling like their dreams are coming to an end. But this doesn’t have to be the end of the road. There is a ton of potential wisdom, power and character-building in this moment, if you choose to keep going.
Now let’s get your head above water so you can get back into your creative, problem-solving brain.
#1 Get Practical – This moment is your come-to-Jesus moment. This is where you shine a light in all the dark corners and lay all the facts on the table. What are your money numbers? What do you have now? What are your expenses, what money do you foresee coming in in the near future? This is usually scary as you get started, but, weirdly, you’ll find that it gets less scary the more you understand what the reality of the situation is. It becomes clear exactly what you do and don’t need to do to get through it and to start to correct course. Ask yourself: What do you know is real and true about your current situation? What does this mean for you? You may start to have ideas pop up from here about how you can help your situation. Take those ideas and implement as practically and effectively as possible. Focus like there’s nothing else more important in the world right now. (Because, really, there isn’t. )
#2 Get Help – Talk through this situation with someone you trust – BE CAREFUL WHO YOU TALK TO! Choose another entrepreneur – a coach, a mentor, a peer. Someone who has fought this battle and gets what it means to fight for a dream, someone who will see and support your vision. They’ll have invaluable perspective and insights and can help you lay a path forward and help lift your spirits and lift your gaze from that cliff’s edge and help you see possibilities for making this thing work. I help my clients do this and I can help you too. (You can book a 15 min discovery call HERE and we can talk through it together.)
#3 Get Positive – Do a funny dance, watch funny animal videos (give yourself a 5 minute limit max), listen to and speak positive affirmations, find examples of amazing humans to inspire you. Again, it’s totally ok and appropriate to feel like you’re freaking out, but don’t stay in the downward mental and energetic spiral – it does not serve you. There ARE solutions – you are smart, you are resourceful – relaxing your brain and force-feeding it positive thoughts will help you move into that productive, creative, problem-solving space.
You can do this. Ask for help, own the reality of your situation and don’t let the false f.e.a.r. (false evidence appearing real) overshadow the amazing human being you are and stop you from bringing your gifts to the world.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood/ who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming/ but who does actually strive to do the deeds/ who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Teddy Roosevelt