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  • Writer's pictureKayla Droog Consulting

What to do when your business is a struggle

If only owning a small business could be all smooth sailing, right?


I have had many times where running and growing my business felt really hard. I’ve had to push myself to keep going and to do things I didn’t want to do.


I’ve had times where I have considered walking away. (Although when I think about what going back to my former career would be like, that usually stops me!)If your business feels like a struggle right now, that’s totally okay. There is nothing wrong with you or your business.


Here are some strategies you can try to make things a little easier:




Trust your business intuition


If you are feeling like your business is really hard right now. If you feel like you are really struggling. If the reality of business is hitting you a little too much, here are some things that you can do about it. 


The first thing is to trust your intuition. This took me a while. 


When I was first starting out in my business I said yes to pretty much everything, because I was worried about making people happy and not having enough money or clients. I said yes to things that I knew were not right for me and were not right for my business because I needed to make money. 


There are going to be times where we have to do things we don’t want to so we can make money. But we should be reaching a point in our businesses where we no longer have to do that. So when you reach the point where money is less of an issue in your business, that's when you really do need to start saying no to things that you know are not right. 


If you are talking to a potential client that you know is not a good fit or you can tell is not the right personality for you and what you have to offer. Maybe someone that you know might be more work than they're worth, or just someone looking for services that you do not want to offer, these are things that you need to start getting more comfortable with saying no to. 


And really trust yourself. I have found in my business that the more I trust my instincts, the more I say no to the things I know aren't right, and say yes to the things that feel right even if they feel scary, the more I lean into the things that I really want to be doing and trust my instincts about the direction that I want to go, the better my business gets. So the more that I trust my gut, the more that I trust the process, the better my business is getting and the better things have worked out. 


I know that it is a privilege to have gotten to this point where I can turn people away when I know that they're not a good fit, because I don't have to say yes to every client in order to pay my bills every month. But it has also taken me a lot of work to get to the point where I trust my instincts enough to say no. 




You need a business community!


The second thing that really helps when business is getting hard - and I know I say this in so many posts, but I repeat it because it is crucial! - you need a community. 


As a business owner, you need at least one person who is also an entrepreneur that you can talk to. Because you need someone in your life who truly gets what you're going through. 


When I was first starting out, I found some of these people in Facebook groups, on social media, at networking events, and just by keeping my eyes and ears open and connecting with people where I could. Which was a challenge for me as an introvert! But if I can do it, you can do it. 


So pay attention. Maybe you are in some sort of online program or membership, and maybe there's someone in there that you connect with. Or maybe there is a local networking group that you can go to. Or maybe there's a Facebook group that you are already in where you can find somebody. 


But connect with someone in person or online that you can talk to about the reality of being in business. Someone you can talk to when you need advice or you need to bounce ideas off of someone. Someone you can talk to when things get hard and you just need someone who truly understands. Or somebody that you can talk to when things go well and you need someone to celebrate with. Because, again, they are truly going to get why it's an exciting thing in a way that non business owners may not understand. 


Finding the right community of other business owners has made the biggest difference in my life and my business. Without that I would truly not be where I am today. 


Find the right mentor


The next thing that can really help you get ahead in your business, get where you want to go, keep you going when things get tough, is to have a mentor. 


Now, you really need the right mentor. It's kind of like finding a therapist - you need someone who has the right vibe and the right skills for you. 


If you don’t align with a lot of sales tactics and more masculine business energy, that is not the mentor for you,, If you are not into manifestation, that is not the mentor for you. You need to find someone who is going to be the right fit for you. 


You also need to find someone who knows about your type of business, the things that you want to do, and the direction that you want to go. You may, over the course of your business, need multiple mentors. You may need different mentors at different times to help you do different things, and that's okay. 


All you need at any given time is someone who is further down the road in the direction you want to go who can help you get there. You may at some point pass them or reach the point where they have nothing more that they can share with you, and then you need to find someone who is further down that road. Or if you decide to go in a different direction altogether, you might need a new mentor to take you down that new road. 


So you may not find a Forever Mentor, but having different ones along the way who can help you do different things can help you get there faster and make it easier.



Take a BREAK


The final big thing that I recommend to help make business easier is to prioritize breaks and time off. 


When you're first getting started this seems counterintuitive. You feel like there is no time to take time off and if you step away from everything it is going to either fall apart or catch fire. 


But it is so important to prioritize rest. To prioritize time away from your business. 


I was not good at this when I was starting out. I would work constantly, because I was afraid of letting people down. I was afraid of not getting everything done. I was afraid of not making enough money to get by. There were times where I said yes to too many things at once and I had to work constantly to get it all done. 


What you eventually realize is that working at this pace is not sustainable. 


Another thing that I've realized at this point in my business is that I do not want my business to be my entire life. I love my business, but this is not the only thing that I want to do with my time. 


I have really made it a priority to take time away from my business so that I can come back to my business with more energy and more inspiration. And also so that I can enjoy the rest of my life! 


One thing that I have started doing recently is blocking off an entire day in my calendar, say a week or two or a month in advance, to take a day off. I've done this periodically in the past, but if I block off a day in my calendar and then I don't actually have anything specific that I want to do on that day, it is so easy for me to get to that day and say, "Well, you know what, I don't have any plans anyway, so I may as well just work.” 


What I've started doing is planning days off and planning to do something that day, even if it is just to go out to lunch with a friend, or to go somewhere specific for a hike, or to read a specific book. I create a concrete plan for that day so that when I get to that day or I get to that week, I say, "No, I can't work that day, because I already planned to do this." 


This makes me follow through with taking that time off, and it also makes it more enjoyable. Now I have things to look forward to and get excited about that are outside of my work. I am more purposefully creating the life that I want to have. 


I've realized that I can schedule all the time I want away from the office, but if I'm not actually actively creating the life that I want to have, it’s not just going to magically fall into my lap. 



I hope that this has helped you understand and hopefully cope with some of the realities of being a small business owner. 


I hope that if you are in a period where your business is really hard, where you feel like you are struggling, some of these tips might have helped make it a little better. 


If you are feeling alone and you need someone to talk to, please leave a comment or reach out. I don't want any business owner to ever feel like they have nobody at all that they could talk to. We entrepreneurs definitely need to stick together! 

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Kayla Droog Consulting supports heart-centered small business owners with the back-end systems setup and updates they don't have time to do, so they can focus on serving their clients and growing their businesses!

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