The hard parts about running a business or launching a startup aren’t just decisions to be made or tasks to be done.
It’s the emotional rollercoaster part. The highs are really high and the lows…well, I don’t even have space to get into how shitty those feel.
I’ve learned that being a great CEO isn’t about having the right tactics, knowing the correct answer all the time, or showing people how smart you are. You can know how to do it all, but if you don’t have a mindset of growth, grittiness, and acceptance, your best-laid plans will be DOA every time.
Before I started my business, I sure didn’t realize how much work on myself I’d need to do alongside working on my business. It didn’t mean I was broken, stupid, or wrong—I just needed to sharpen some skills and acknowledge where I needed more help. Doing that was a lot easier than resisting change just to prove I was already ‘good enough.’
I’m not perfect and I don’t aim to be, but I’ve learned stuff about managing myself that have helped me show up better for my business. Here are a few things I’ve done so that my business grows and I thrive, too.
1. Create order from chaos.
Flying free and not having a system worked for me—until it really, really didn’t. You can’t do it all, every day. I calmed my overwhelm with calendars, analog planners, and SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for repetitive tasks and processes. I introduced tech that really makes a difference (like payment capture, CRMs, and Slack).
2. Have a morning and/or evening ritual.
Rituals unlock hidden power and focus. Some founders have one to open and close the day—I like kicking off my mornings with a blend of meditation, journaling, and review of mantras and perspectives. Others like working out, listening or reading something inspiring, or reflecting on the previous day. Try out a few things until you find your perfect mix.
3. Take responsibility for relationships.
This is one of Peter Drucker’s tenets, so if you’re curious, I recommend Managing Oneself. It helped me get how other people’s different strengths and values impact professional relationships. I now understand that when communication with others goes awry, I have a part in the problem and can learn and grow from it.
4. Set scary goals.
This one is tough for me and a lot of my clients because we’re taught that we’re failures if goals aren’t reached. Our goals should make us a little nervous. I show up much differently to a $120,000 revenue goal than I do a much more comfortable $80k. It forces me to plan bigger programs and events, stay focused as my calendar fills up, and charge what things are worth.
5. Get support outside my business.
When I first started working with my coach, I had so many questions doubts. I didn’t see how I could create a business without losing my mind and I couldn’t believe I was paying so much money to get help doing it. Now I know that walking by faith is part of entrepreneurship and calculated risk-taking is critical. I trusted my coach to guide me and I trusted myself just enough to make it happen. I didn’t need the evidence that I could do it—it wasn’t really there, anyway. That’s a lesson that has paid off year over year.
Want to learn more about Backbone Creative and How to Build a Strong Brand?
Join us on 7/31 for a Branding Breakthrough Masterclass with Backbone Creative (ONLINE)
Branding Breakthrough Workshop | Why your business needs a brave brand and how to get one on a shoestring budget
Your brand is so much more than just a logo or a website
It has the power to connect, convert, and delight your customers and turn them into diehard fans and followers. But what exactly IS ‘branding’ and how does help you grow your business?
The short answer: if you’re trying to figure out why your marketing isn’t leading to sales or users, it’s time to take a closer look at your brand and communications strategy.
Get going with this workshop, where you can get clear on the impact of branding for small businesses and answers to your most pressing questions about your messaging.
Meet our workshop leader!
Jess Joswick is a Brand Business Strategist and the Founder of Backbone Creative, a studio that helps brave entrepreneurs own their title, scale their dreams, and change their industries.
She helps founders who are overwhelmed, overworked, and over their whole business get back their freedom, stability, and profitability so they can create happy, healthy lives for themselves and their teams and run the businesses they were born to lead. Her unique perspective on a brand’s role in business allows her to support founders holistically and make big shifts happen in their businesses and themselves.
This workshop is for new entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and freelancers with flair whose businesses are in crowded industries and need a manageable way to scale, build an audience, and get clients today.