When we think of ‘ego’, we quickly think of being ‘egocentric’, big-headed, arrogant, and basically full of ourselves. But our ego is also the one who tells us we are not good enough, and that we’ll never succeed in what we’re doing. It both lifts us up, and puts us down. Our ego, in short, is a pest. It either feeds on Likes and pats on the back, only to then gallop ahead of us like a price horse thinking we are the best thing since sliced bread…or it chokes on judgement from others, only to then drown in self-pity. How can we deal with such a thing?
This week we had our monthly group coaching call on Zoom with an interesting, very international bunch of female entrepreneurs of no less than five nationalities. I am attracting an adventurous global crowd, and I love it! One of the excellent questions asked was by a woman, originally from Kenya, who recently launched a contemporary clothing brand to promote Africa as a modern continent. How do you best focus your attention when building your business? She wanted to know, as she had lost her mojo lately and didn’t get the results she wanted. As her question is one that many others could have asked, I wanted to share it with you today.
How long have you been putting it off, now, my friend? You know what I’m talking about; launching that programme, starting that business, contacting that big client, making the next move, scaling up. I know, you want to feel ‘ready’. You’ll do it when you’ve got your stuff sorted. When you’ve finished that extra training. When you have a bit more experience. When it gets a bit quieter. Not now, anyway. Now’s not the time. You know what I think? It’s not that you feel that you are not ready, but that you feel that other people think that you are not ready, and you’re going to make a fool of yourself. What do you say…Am I perhaps a little bit right?
Do you know that feeling, when you have a meeting with a potential new client, and you get all flustered and nervous? You really want this client, you need the income, and you’ve just GOT to make that sale. The meeting starts, and you find yourself doing all the talking. Lots of words, trying to convince this person. Explaining all the features, the extras, the benefits. You hear yourself getting a bit desperate. Why are they not saying anything back? So you keep talking. Then you name the price. There is a silence. Uh-oh. Do they think it’s too much? So you tell them you can probably give them a discount. They say they want to have a think. All hope vanishes. You guess that’s a no, then.
Did you watch Pippi Longstocking as a child? I loved watching these series. So fun, free, creative and imaginative. And didn’t we all want to be like Pippi? The brave, spontaneous and strong-willed girl, who had no fear, and lived all by herself with her horse and her monkey. I definitely did not want to be like goodie-two-shoes Annika, the girl next door, who was scared of everything and just wanted to stay in her comfort zone. Did you? Who did you feel was most like yourself? It’s an interesting metaphor, but one that deserves a little attention. What does it say about you? And if you are actually more and Annika than a Pippi, could you still be brave and be your own boss?
Does anyone need a hug right now? It was Monday morning, I sat at my desk while staring at my screen, and I felt utterly deflated. What’s the point? I thought. Who still wants my creative coaching services when the world is on fire? When there is a war on our doorstep? I was probably not the only one feeling like their business suddenly felt completely meaningless in today’s reality. How can you pick yourself up from feeling this low, and keep going? Should you feel guilty if you do? In this post I want to explore some of the things you may be feeling right now, and how to navigate through all of those emotions as an entrepreneur.
“I want to earn at least 5k a month. I want to generate lots of leads. I want to have a solid strategy for my coaching business for the next 12 months. I want to start a membership. And I want to launch another online marketing course.” Those were the goals I put on my intake-form when I started working with my business coach, six months ago. It was the first ever time I hired a 1-to-1 coach, and the biggest investment in my business so far. I felt I needed my money’s worth out of this, and I was ready to start building that coaching empire. Six months later, I ended up with something entirely different.
Morning routines. Do you have ones you swear by? I end up swearing when I try to stick to any of them. I am not disciplined or consistent enough at all to follow rigid regimes. I don’t like to be controlled and being told what to do, no matter if it is a boss – or a morning routine calling the shots. Still, in the entrepreneurial sphere, it is looked at as something we all should be doing in order to become successful. But should we? Do these routines really make a difference?
Sometimes in life, you start a job – or a business – and it is fantastic at the beginning. You are excited, it all is new, there is so much to learn! But then, one day, something starts to niggle. The spark is gone, cracks begin to appear. You hate to admit it, but your work and you are no longer aligned. You have outgrown each other. And unless the job or business grows with you, there will come a point when it all feels out of sync. That’s when we usually enter a time of turmoil and stress. Today I am exploring a topic that most of us will encounter at least a few times in our lives: when to call it quits.
Jess signed up to a 12-week coaching programme with me in September 2021. She is a young graphic designer, based in Bristol, and she had just started her own freelance design studio. And although she already had a steady flow of clients and enquiries, she felt very insecure about the direction of her business. A year before, she had been sacked from her job as designer for a corporate company, and although she was OK about leaving, it had dented her self-confidence. Who was she to just start on her own? What would people think about her? What if she was going to mess up? This is her story.