This for anyone who is running an online business that’s centered around you and your personal brand, such as a coaching or service based business.
Maybe you’ve been feeling frustrated or doubtful about whether things are working.
Maybe you’re just tired and drained. Or maybe you’re just feeling really, really crap these days.
Yet, you know you’re “supposed” to still keep showing up.
And that usually means continuing to post on social media, such as doing video content for Instagram stories or being consistent on any other platform that you’re on.
Before we dive in, I want to preface this conversation by acknowledging that whatever you’re going through – whether it’s directly related to your business, or there’s something happening in your personal life that’s causing you stress, or maybe you’re navigating mental health issues or just going through a tough time – your circumstances and your feelings are valid.
It’s always valid.
There will be moments when I discuss reframing your perspective to keep moving forward, but there will also be moments when I talk about taking a break.
It is entirely up to you how you want to run your business and show up in your personal life, and you know what you need most at any given time.
So, take everything I mention in this post with an open mind and a grain of salt, and use your own judgment to determine what you believe is the best next step for you.
Sound good? Awesome.
I want to share my thoughts on two common scenarios that often leave coaches and entrepreneurs feeling drained, tired, unmotivated, discouraged, and overall not feeling good about their business.
The first scenario is when you’re having thoughts about your business itself.
The second scenario is when you’re going through a tough time in another part of your life, and that is affecting your business.
These are the two scenarios that I want to expand upon today.
Let’s start with discussing having thoughts about your business.
What does this mean?
For me, it means when you’re having thoughts such as “Am I doing this right?”
“What else should I be doing?”
“What more can I do?”
“Why isn’t anything working?”
“When will I get my first client?”
“When will I get my next client?”
“Why is everyone else hitting 5k and 10k months, and I’ve already been doing this for 6 months and still barely seeing any results?”
“I’m so behind.”
“I want to give up. This isn’t worth it anymore…” and so on.
Generally speaking, I find that whenever we feel a certain way about our business, it’s usually because we’re frustrated with the lack of results or with things not going the way we want them to.
Oftentimes, I find that when people are tired and don’t want to show up for their business or on social media, for example, it’s because they’re tired of not seeing the results they want and, as a result, don’t want to take any action.
Common feelings in this situation are frustration, discouragement, and self-doubt.
If you find yourself in this boat, I would like to offer a few perspectives, questions, or action items that might be helpful for you to consider.
First, let me share a personal story that relates to the first scenario.
In September 2020, I attempted to launch a group program with a two or two-and-a-half-week period between cart open and cart close.
Unfortunately, it was a total flop.
And guess what? For the next three months – September, October, and November – I didn’t sign on any new clients.
It was a three-month drought for my business, which had never happened before.
Of course, other variables were at play, like my transition into my new role as a full-time PhD student, but those aren’t as relevant to the message I’m trying to share here.
I cannot recall exactly when this happened during that three-month period, but I think it was towards the end of my two-week September launch when I honestly sat down and asked myself some tough questions.
I wondered how I would rate myself in terms of taking responsibility for my own actions.
Was I choosing to blame external factors for my lack of progress or success, or was I someone who always takes responsibility for my actions and outcomes, whether I like or dislike them?
This was a wake-up call for me.
You see, your audience is always watching and can tell when you’re feeling discouraged.
They know when you’ve shifted from wanting to provide value to being desperate for clients.
They know when you’re not showing up.
During my silent drought period between September and November 2020, my audience was observing whether or not I was still showing up, even if they were just passively watching my content.
So I had to ask myself, how can I look back and feel proud that I didn’t give up on my business, even when I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted?
That’s when I started to realize that I had nothing to lose, even if I wasn’t hitting my goals.
However, if I started to lose faith and stopped showing up, stopped giving value, and stopped showing up in my best energy, that’s what people would see.
For me, this realization meant that I wanted my audience to associate positive characteristics with me, even if I didn’t sign a certain number of clients.
This is when I decided to be committed no matter what and be known for my persistence and my ability to show up simply because I wanted to give value.
From that point on, I committed to showing up every single day, even during the silent drought period from September to November 2020, when I didn’t sign any new clients.
And guess what? In December 2020, I had a 10k month, followed by another 10k month in January 2021.
Ever since then, I have consistently earned at least 7k or 8k per month.
One takeaway from this is that your launch is not just for the current moment, but for all future launches as well.
Each time you show up, you are contributing to your future sales and clients.
Keep showing up for your own self-development and building your confidence and commitment.
Even if you don’t hit your goals, if you’re growing as a person and an entrepreneur, that’s what really matters.
Sometimes it just takes time for people to say yes, but it’s easy to quit.
So with that being said, I invite you to shift your mindset from feeling anxious about signing your next client to feeling committed and excited about creating content that provides value.
That’s the energy I want us to operate from.
When we’re solely focused on our goals and what we want our business to do for us, such as acquiring clients or reaching a certain income level, it can change the way we show up and feel about our business.
And here’s the question I want to offer: What’s the rush to get your next client? Why does it matter so much? Is it because you want to help someone? If that’s the case, why not offer value for free through your content?
We need to shift our focus from being anxious about signing clients to being committed and excited about creating content that provides value.
It’s important to remember that we can already help people with our free content, so let’s not get too hung up on signing paid clients.
This might ruffle some feathers, but I find that for many people, the reason why they’re really anxious about getting a client is because they want to have something to show others.
Maybe it’s family or friends who are saying “You said you’re starting this business but where’s the profit?” or maybe you’re worried what people online will think if you don’t act like you’re working with “real “ clients.
The thing is, if your primary concern is getting clients, I would really question why you’re in the coaching industry in the first place.
If money is a genuine concern, wouldn’t it make more sense to get another job which guarantees you a source of income instead? Does it really make sense to start a business where there’s literally no guarantees?
You see, if you want to start a coaching business, then I’m assuming it’s because you genuinely want to help people.
And here’s what I’ve realized after being in business since 2019: the best coaches are the ones who truly operate from a place of service.
They keep showing up even when there are no direct messages (DMs) about their programs and no new applications for their coaching.
They keep showing up simply because they believe so much in the message they want to share, and they know their content is valuable, so they keep showing up even when it’s silent.
Over time, this value that they’re putting out compounds.
Eventually, they become known as some of the best coaches in the industry.
People can sense that energy where you’re feeling anxious about where your next clients will come from.
They may not want to work with someone who is stressed about signing their next client.
That’s why it’s important to stay committed and show up consistently even when you’re feeling tired, discouraged, or frustrated.
However, commitment does NOT necessarily mean hustling and grinding.
There’s a nuanced difference.
Building a business should NOT feel like a second full-time job.
For me, staying committed and consistent means being dedicated to my message and providing value to my audience, while also taking care of myself and my well-being.
But ultimately, I want to encourage you to remember that feeling bad about yourself or your business, or your situation doesn’t help anyone.
Not showing up doesn’t help anyone either.
When you start to break promises to yourself, like not posting on Instagram stories or not making an offer when you told yourself you would, you’re creating evidence that suggests you can’t do this.
You’re fabricating your own evidence that you simply aren’t meant to be a coach or entrepreneur.
It’s easy to start blaming and shaming yourself when you break these little promises to yourself and your business.
Right now, I want you to consider this question: how have you been an accountable CEO for your own business?
You are the CEO of your business, so have you been delivering on the commitments you made to yourself and your business?
Get honest with yourself about your reasons for doing or not doing certain things.
Then, think about who you need to be and what you need to do in order to achieve the outcomes you desire.
Feeling bad or failing to follow through on your commitments is essentially a form of self-sabotage for your business.
When you are growing and aiming to achieve something new, you are creating new norms that can be uncomfortable.
Building a business involves dealing with many unfamiliar internal and external experiences.
However, if you can process these uncomfortable feelings, you can achieve anything.
Coaches often say that it is your ego that tries to keep you safe, and this makes sense.
Certain parts of your brain, located at the back, are biologically wired to protect you.
As someone who has taken several neuroscience courses back in university, I should know this.
On a practical level, I invite you to create the simplest plan of action possible and commit to it for at least 1-2 months.
Focus on doing the bare minimum but doing it really well.
This is what I do in my own business and what I help my clients do as well.
Making a full-time income on part-time hours means you can simply do the basics and still make a significant impact and income.
By doing the basics well, you can free up more time for other things that matter in your life.
As the CEO of your own business, there are no job descriptions or guidelines you must follow.
There is no higher up telling you what you should do or pushing you to do more.
So, I invite you to do less, but with intention and strategy.
This also means that you need to keep yourself accountable even more than ever in your business.
Take full responsibility for your business results, whether they are good or not so good. Your business’s current state is due to your actions, not because of a mentor, program, or course you invested in.
Don’t shift responsibility to someone else.
It’s not anyone else’s fault that you’re not where you want to be right now.
Show up as a leader in your business and hold yourself accountable.
For anyone going through a rough time in other areas of their life, whether it’s personal or work-related, I can definitely relate, especially as of late.
The pandemic started in March 2020, and since February of that year, I haven’t been able to see my boyfriend, who lives in Singapore while I’m in Hong Kong.
At first, I thought the pandemic wouldn’t last that long, so I was able to stay optimistic and show up for other areas of my life.
But now, as of July 19, 2021, I still haven’t seen my boyfriend.
We’ve been in a long-distance relationship for our entire 4-year relationship, and not being able to see him for 1.5 years has recently taken an emotional toll on me.
When one area of your life starts to take a toll, it can definitely affect how you show up and feel about everything else.
So trust me when I say that showing up for my business and PhD has been harder than ever during May and June, especially after finishing my first year of PhD coursework.
All of a sudden, I had more time to think and feel, and I started to ruminate and feel all sorts of emotions for the following months.
Interestingly, even though May, June, and halfway through July have been challenging, my business is still very stable.
I’m consistently making a minimum of 7 or 8k months, and June was almost a 10k month.
First, I want to encourage you to reflect on what you do to distract yourself from your thoughts and feelings.
It’s important to confront uncomfortable emotions and take action to navigate through life situations that may be interfering with your ability to show up for your business.
If you don’t confront your own emotions and thoughts, it’s difficult to make decisions with a clear perspective.
Suppressing your thoughts or feelings may seem logical or practical, but from my personal experience, it often leads to outcomes that don’t feel good in the long run.
Here’s the thing.
The more I personally avoid processing my emotions, the harder it gets for me to show up for my commitments or to get things done.
That’s why I spend a lot of time on a daily or weekly basis to just let myself process internally or with the support of a coach, who really challenges my thoughts, or with my partner, who…
Uhh, he just listens to me cry and processes my emotions. Haha.
But seriously. The reason why I’m able to show up so consistently for my business is because I take out so much time on a daily or weekly basis to self coach.
To get coached. To process my emotions. To feel. To cry. To grieve. To dream. To visualize.
Without that, I wouldn’t be able to show up the next day as my best self for other areas of my life. I really mean this.
That being said, I also acknowledge that many people are not used to the idea of processing their emotions.
Growing up, many people have been led to believe that showing their emotions is a sign of weakness or that it’s something they shouldn’t burden others with.
I think there are a lot of cultural elements at play here, but I want to offer something: if you aren’t currently happy with the results or the way you feel, then consider trying something else.
As I always say, there is always another way.
If you don’t like the outcomes in your business, life, career, health, or anything else, there is always another way of doing things and thinking about things.
For some, perhaps identifying ways to process and face their emotions could be what they need right now.
That said, I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to offer tips on this as I’m personally not a trained mental health professional, and I think this is very personal to each individual.
But I simply want to open up that box and encourage you to explore a new alternative if you think that’s something to consider.
Now, on a related note, I also know that some of you may be worried that “If my life is a hot mess, how can I even be a coach and help others?”
Well, here’s the thing: for myself, for example, no one says you can’t take a moment to collect yourself, show up 100% for your client on the coaching call, coach them hard, and then go back to processing your emotions and dealing with life after the call.
If anything, that shows that you’re someone who is capable of navigating the multiple commitments you have and the multiple hats that you wear.
You can show up for your business or for your clients or any other responsibility, and you can also show up for yourself by taking care of yourself – all of that is important and necessary.
Feeling like a hot mess is not a problem, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Sure, maybe it’s hard to separate your emotions sometimes, but you can still show up as your audience or clients need you to, no matter what you’re feeling or whatever is happening in life.
You can still grow your business even when your life feels like a mess.
Of course, I am not encouraging anyone to dwell on their negative emotions or feel like a victim of their situation.
Yes, life can be hard and unfair, but you still have the power to choose how to show up for your responsibilities and remain professional to your clients.
You always have a choice.
That’s why I encourage everyone to take the time to process their emotions and identify coping strategies that work best for them.
The main message I want to convey is that even if you feel like the past week was terrible, you can decide to create a new reality for yourself.
Your past does not define what you can create tomorrow.
Remember that nothing in your past has to define you today or tomorrow.
This also means that just because you had a day of self-doubt, frustration, or overwhelm regarding your business, it doesn’t say anything about you as an entrepreneur or about the future of your business.
It doesn’t take away from the transformations you can offer your clients, nor does it detract from the unique perspectives and experiences you already hold.
You can still offer incredible value to your clients or audience even when things are tough in other parts of your life.
Although I just talked about how you can still succeed even when you feel like a mess, I want to emphasize an important message to wrap up our conversation.
It’s important to distinguish between not showing up due to fear or limiting beliefs versus not showing up because it could harm your physical, mental, or emotional well-being.
It’s essential to remember that feeling like you have to show up is something you created in your mind.
No one says you have to show up, especially if it comes at the expense of your well-being.
However, there is a big difference between not showing up because of self-doubt, fear, or other self-imposed limiting beliefs versus not showing up because you genuinely need time to recover and heal.
So for anyone who’s feeling tired, crappy, frustrated, overwhelmed, or just any other feeling that’s making you NOT want to show up for your business, I would encourage you to get honest with what’s really happening right now.
Do you feel like you don’t want to show up because of some variation of a limiting belief, or is it because other things are really affecting your wellbeing?
It’s important to get clear on that first before deciding what to do next. As we always say, there’s no right or wrong.
Just be honest with yourself and make decisions based on that energy.
Always make sure you like your reasons for making a certain decision.
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