If you have never been there the feeling of despair and desperation is difficult to describe. You have rolled the dice, made a decision and found the courage to start your own business. Your dream has been big enough to cause you to take the plunge. You have stepped away from a secure income to do that one thing that you feel you must do; that you feel is going to define you; to start your own business doing the thing you love doing and that you have a talent and passion for.
You have big dreams, not necessarily of fortunes but of significance, of impact, of changing the world in some way. You set off with your hopes and your dreams and your skills and start your business. Then sooner or later the dream starts to turn into a nightmare. You find you need to employ people. One turns into two and the numbers start increasing, maybe only slowly, but before you know it you are spending less and less time doing what you love and more and more time doing what you hate, sorting people and logistics and paperwork and red tape and then the customers that were so much a part of your brightness of future turn into pains in the backside. You have taxes to pay, suppliers to keep happy, schedules and deadlines to keep. Before you know it all the joy has gone and is replaced by drudgery.
The upward spiral of the new beginning turns into a downward spiral of frustration as people and customers do what they do and you feel let down by them. Someone doesn’t turn in, someone doesn’t pay. You start to take it personally and maybe it’s now that you start to fall out of love with the business you have created and begin to resent it. You feel trapped. You can’t take a day off, let alone a holiday. Everyone wants a piece of you and you have little left to give. Then the downward spiral begins to gather pace. Your resilience is getting less and with each passing day the energy required to get through is more and more but your energy reserves are less and less. This hopeless feeling of being trapped is relentless.
I became a business coach fourteen years ago to help people to not get into this position. I saw it again over the last couple of weeks with several different businesses and it still breaks my heart. It isn’t right that having put everything on the line a business owner should feel trapped between a job he has come to hate and the shame of losing it all; business, reputation, self-worth, everything.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. We get stuck because we haven’t got the knowledge or the skills or sometimes the courage to do what we need to do to not get stuck in the first place. As one of my coaches always says “we don’t know what we don’t know and it’s what we don’t know that costs us”. Too often not knowing costs us dear. Sometimes not knowing costs us everything. Don’t let that be you.
Book a free coaching consultation with Ian Kinnery today!