You wake up. It's early. 5.30am. You should be sleeping but something nudged you from sleep to consciousness and your brain has fired straight into thinking mode. It starts with a simple, 'What do I have on today?' and within ten seconds, your mind is skipping through a field of worries, ideas and business related thoughts.
You should of course, shut your eyes, breathe deeply, focus on gratitude. But you don't. You pick up your phone or ipad and decide that there's something really important you need to check out. You head to your preferred social feed, or email, or possibly the news. You read something that triggers some insecurity or idea. Either way, this is the cattle prod that gets you leaping out of bed. You may spend the day buzzing with energy or beating yourself up with 'I'm not good enough' thoughts.
Whichever it is, your mind never stops. You are an entrepreneur.
I had one of those mornings today. Sadly, it wasn't the upbeat kind. I saw something on someone's website that was a really clever idea. But instead of feeling inspired by it, I felt less than. 'Why hadn't I thought of that?' 'Why does everyone else seem to be three steps ahead of me?' 'Am I creative at all if all of these people seem to have better ideas than me?' 'Am I even capable of having an original thought when there are so many people all trying to be original and different?' 'How do I make my mark when it feels like it's all been done before?'
And then my lovely husband brought me coffee and I told him how I was feeling. The poor man is very used to the mental rollercoaster I board every day as a solopreneur. He simply said this:
"Albert Einstein once said: 'If I have seen further than others, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.' You don't have to have all the original ideas. Just because someone else has done it doesn't mean you can't improve upon it."
And with that he left me alone with my coffee and my thoughts.
The internet has made it easier than ever to set up and run a business. The problem is, millions of other people are doing it too. It can feel as though it's all been done before and you get put off before you even get started, particularly when those other people seem to have it all sussed out and you feel like you're just starting.
If this sounds familiar, here are some tips to navigate self-sabotage and comparison-itis:
I created Campfire Communications to help other small business owners achieve their definition of success, however that may look. I help you find your brand story, write it and teach you how to share it with the world. But more importantly, I want to provide a virtual campfire you can sit around to share your thoughts, questions, highs and lows. I currently do this on my Facebook page, but I'm thinking about turning this into a membership group and would love to get your thoughts on whether this would appeal to you.
If you're able to take my short survey on this, please do. I want to create a space that works for people like you.
For now, keep going. You're doing great.