I bet no one mentioned how much guilt comes with being your own boss. No one had ever warned me about it, but as soon as I was officially “in business” the guilt started. That deep gut feeling that you’re supposed to be doing stuff you’re not doing or not doing stuff you are doing. I don’t have kids so I don’t have to add the mum guilt on top of it all, but I know many of my Profit Lovers and clients struggle with the balance. There are endless reasons us ladies find to beat ourselves up…
Can I relieve some of your guilt? Let me give it a go…
Feeling guilty for taking time out of your business
It’s Wednesday morning, and the house is in shambles, you desperately need some groceries, you’re tired and just not feeling your work. You can’t possibly nick off and do a quick clean and shop, can you? Oh, the guilt! You should be working; you should be focused on your business.
My rule of work is “am I being useful and productive right now?” If the answer is no I grab my kitchen timer (yes… I practice what I preach) and I give myself 30 minutes of focus time. If I am still not creating quality (or any) work and my head is elsewhere, I do something else.
Staring at your computer, scrolling through Instagram, getting sucked down the YouTube rabbit hole or opening and closing the same emails over and over again is a poor use of your life.
You’re self-employed now, you don’t need to mindlessly clock hours like someone is watching. I hated that about being employed, the assumption that if you’re at your desk, you’re working. We have all had days where we’re distracted, tired or can’t focus but we sat at work anyway. We wasted hours of our lives on some weird illusion that showing up equalled being useful.
If you’re not feeling in the zone and after considerable effort can’t shift yourself into the zone, then go zone out. Take those life hours and get your cleaning done, run to the grocery store or finish the ironing. You may as well use the time you have to do something useful. Staring at a computer will only further empty your tank and add to your tiredness.
If you’re constantly being distracted or ditching your business you have a more significant issue to tackle, it might be low energy, unclear vision, or simply not knowing what you should be doing to run and grow your business. You don’t need to feel guilty for checking out here and there, but you can’t run a business if you’re checked out more than you’re checked in.
If you’re in Profit Lovers Members Club download the time tracker to get a good view into how productive you are, then revisit the Dream Big, Plan Small Kit if you’re finding yourself more distracted or unmotivated than you should be.
Just because you show up doesn't mean you are being useful
Feeling guilty for not hustling HARD
Hustle, hustle, hustle…. get up at 5 am, drink your green smoothie (and post to Insta), do some yoga (and post to Insta), meditate, journal, work, work, work, eat a salad (don’t forget to post to Insta), work, work, work some more and then tell everyone how hard you hustle. Do ALL thing things, ALL the time.
You don’t have to hustle hard to be successful in business. By its very definition hustle doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. Push roughly? No thanks. Jostle? Heck no. State of great activity? Ermm… no again..
When you focus on what works in your business, and you do only those things you don’t need to hustle your hiney off. How do you know what works? Pay attention! Record your efforts vs your results. That is why the Profit Lovers Plan + Track was created. To make it easy to see what works and what doesn’t so you don’t have to hustle.
It's not the hours you 'show up' it's the result you achieve. More hours don't always equal better results.
Feeling guilty for not using social media marketing
I saw a post in a big Facebook group for women in business. A lady who runs a plumbing business was asking for suggestions on what to post on their Facebook and Instagram accounts. Lots of responses came in with tips and ideas for content. All I could I think is “do you even get business from there?”.
Before you feel like you have to ‘do’ social media figure out if your target market is likely to see you there. Facebook pages don’t get organic reach anymore; the chances of someone heading to Facebook to search out a plumber are kind of slim. Same goes for Instagram. This is a perfect example of figuring out what works and focusing your time and energy there.
Social media might be useless for you; SEO might be a complete game changer. Both are online forms of marketing, and both require time and energy, so choose what drives traffic to your business. Maybe you shouldn’t be wasting time online at all. Perhaps heading out to a business breakfast once a week creates all the leads you need. The only way to know is to pay attention, track the results and shift accordingly.
Social media didn’t exist when I started running businesses. We did just fine. It’s not the only way to market. Choose what works best for your business.
Social Media Marketing is only one option to grow your business, and it won't work for everyone.
Feeling guilty for making mistakes
We all make mistakes. We spend money on marketing that sucks, courses we complete (or even start…), advice we ignore, contractors that are useless, websites that don’t convert, stock that doesn’t sell.
It’s part of being in business, the more you learn, the less likely you are to make mistakes. They still happen though, so instead of trying to avoid the inevitable completely learn how to deal with them.
Don’t waste too much time or energy trying to recoup losses or beating yourself up. Focus on improving next time.
Everyone makes mistakes, don't live in your mistakes for too long
Feeling guilty for not being where you thought you would be
Yes, I know. You thought you would be dominating your industry by now. You thought you would have a huge online following, a flashy office, a massive database of millions, profession videos and ..oh wait… that’s me!
I thought I would be further than I am. Do I care? Sometimes. But mostly, nope. I have a good income, fun, and hugely enjoyable business and plenty of time to reach my goals. I work with amazing people and cool businesses. I call all the shots; I can travel when I want, and I can nap daily. Sure, I am not making millions (yet) but isn’t that part of the fun? The excitement of what could be?
There is a quote I see regularly (like a reminder from the universe) that says “remember the days you wished for exactly what you have now?”.
Oh.. that gets my real deep in my feels
I do remember. I remember a condescending boss who made me feel like a loser despite taking out numerous awards. I remember travelling for days, weeks and even months on end (once I did 11 weeks straight) to build someone else’s business. I remember sitting in traffic for hours, wishing I could work from home. I remember being sick, and my boss shaming me for taking a day off. I recall clients screaming at me for things I had no control over. Not anymore! I feel like a kid saying this, but… “I am the boss of me now!”.
Don't forget to enjoy what you have while you create the vision of what is to come
I am not where I thought I would be I am not where I was.
What about you? Are you ready to let go of the guilt and start enjoying what you created?