It’s been over 4 years since we started our business journey. That’s the longest rollercoaster ride I’ve ever been on.
I love it most days – when a client makes you want to dance on the spot or throw your head back and just laugh in the moment. Other days I want to ignore the Inbox or yell at the line of code that won’t behave on a website after the 30th tweak.
Hanging on to the rollercoaster is hard and challenging but also the most rewarding thing you can do. If you feel the same, we’re here to say you’re not alone.
Here’s 5 Tips for helping you ride the rollercoaster that is small business.
1. Build Your Support Crew
Surrounding yourself with people who build you up is essential.
It’s like having someone’s hand to hold (or crush) as you drop over the edge of the rollercoaster, making some of those leaps or problems feel less scary and manageable.
Having a team of people around you helps with sparking new ideas, keeps you accountable and can also ease the pressure of feeling like the weight is entirely on your shoulders.
2. Find the Positive in Every Negative
While it’s easy to throw frustrated or angry energy around in crappy situations, it’s important to stop and reframe the problem or issue.
Asking questions like “What can I learn from this?” or “How can I do this differently?” can spark the positive mindset you need to see a situation from the outside and learn from the experience, rather than despise it.
For example, there might be a reason you lost a client you didn’t feel right about in your gut. Instead of focussing on the loss of work or money, you could think about the time that’s now open for a better opportunity.
3. Keep a Business Gratitude Journal
Like a personal gratitude journal, keeping a record of everything you’re thankful for with your business can make a huge difference in how you feel.
Whether you’re writing in the journal or reading past entries, it can help reduce your stress levels and boost your self esteem!
At the start of our business we started a business gratitude journal together. This meant writing down 3 things each day that was either something we’d learnt, a compliment from a client or finishing a huge project or goal.
This was essential in helping pull us out of the dips when we were both feeling down and to remind ourselves of the difference we were making with both our business and within ourselves.
4. Take a Break
Sometimes when you’re feeling in the pits, the best thing you can do is walk away. I’m not talking about quitting either!
Just creating space for yourself away from your business and getting outside to spend even just 10 minutes for yourself. Having that time can be the difference between still shouting at a screen and getting that AHA! moment you needed while you were stopping to smell the roses.
If you can’t leave your work, try turning off your screen or stopping and allowing yourself to just sit and observe your surroundings for 5 minutes while your thoughts flow.
One of our favourite ways to create space is to get up and make a tea. There’s nothing more relaxing than mindfully pondering life while waiting for the kettle to boil!
5. Celebrate the Wins!
Are you better than you were yesterday, a week or a year ago?
Celebrate those steps, those changes and all that you have learnt along the way.
Tell people you did a good job, or got a new client, or had a breakthrough with a project – these wins big and small should all be celebrated! This boosts your confidence, reminds you of what you have achieved, and drives you forward to be better and do better.
We hope these tips help you like they’ve helped us in the past. Just know that we’re all on the same ride – some of us have our hands thrown in the air while others are hanging on for dear life. It just depends what part of the track we’re on.
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SARAH & LAURA DESIGN
Launched in 2016, Sarah & Laura Design empowers small business through powerful visual stories.
With a background in graphic and web design, Sarah & Laura have over 20 years of combined industry experience.