Over the past month, I’ve been battling a lot of what Steven Pressfield calls ‘Resistance.’ Writing this very post feels like trying to type my way through heavy sand.
A month ago, I began the long list of tasks that come with the decision to start my own business. No boss to boss me, no orders to follow, no set way of doing things. I am my own boss, after a year of being a daily student of self-discipline. In many ways, 2013 and 2014 have been my training ground for sole-entrepreneurism.
However, you never know what it feels like to run your own small business until you actually do it. In just the last week, I have dedicated 10 hours days to it, and there is still so much to be done between now and April 1st – the day I get the keys to my new practice space. By mid-April, I will be taking in my first paying clients for makeup applications, facials, body treatments and more, with the mission to bring out the natural glow in every client who walks through my doors.
In every decision I make, from what product lines to use for my services to the hours of operation, I am up against ‘Resistance.’ That voice that tells me I’m crazy to even try, I’m not going to succeed, and I should give up. It tells me to stop whenever I run into a snag, no matter how slight. When I try to negotiate deals with sales reps over the phone and don’t get the discount I want, there ‘Resistance’ is telling me I’m a shitty negotiator. When I hear the small business account guy at Wells Fargo tell me “90 percent of small businesses fail,” ‘Resistance’ laughs, mocking me.
Call it what you want – fear, self-doubt, being practical – but I’ve identified this resistance as something else. I think it’s an absence of love.
Yesterday, my mom called to see how business planning was going. Perhaps sensing how overwhelmed I was, she quickly switched topics. She shared a story about the time my brother was in Catholic school and the nuns forced everyone to take dance lessons. My brother begged my mom to get him out of it, and he was mortified when parents came to his class to watch their kids perform some of the dances. Seeing my brother dance that first time, my mom remembers him shuffling around chaotically with two left feet. When he finished and sheepishly walked up to my mom, she told him he was the best dancer there. He gave her an incredulous look, but she just smiled back with unwavering confidence. A couple weeks later, she came back to watch the class perform a new dance, and she couldn’t believe how much better he was. Now he really was one of the best dancers in the class. A little encouragement went a long way.
Hearing this story made me realize that I am not doing myself any favors by telling myself that I can’t. And if I had a child, I would only want to build them up. Where has the love been in my approach to having this child – my very first business? Why haven’t I been telling myself that I’m the best esthetician for this opportunity? How much more creative and effective will I be if I lead with love and compassion, instead of insult?
Whenever we embark on something new, we make mistakes. We may over schedule ourselves, or pick the wrong products, or take more time that we hoped to build a solid client base. But that fear of making mistakes is what keeps some of us from ever making progress. By believing that I suck at running my own business before I even get started, I sabotage myself.
What if, instead of questioning ourselves 10 times a day, we lead with this belief: “I am the best person for this opportunity. I am exactly where I should be”?
A friend posted this quote to Instagram this morning:
I think the most important thing, and the key ingredient for a woman, is to act like you belong there and believe that you belong there.
I couldn’t agree more.
And hey, you, I just want you to know. You are the best, most insightful, talented reader I’ve ever had visit my blog. You belong here.
With courage, love, and intensity,
Photo credit: @brenebrown, Twitter account