A few days ago I wrote a post on my personal Facebook page about the real life struggles of parenthood when our kids are horrendous and the struggles I face myself as a single mum.
I decided to break the silence on social media to do with the fact that you only ever see parents posting the cute selfies with their kids, the cute things they say, the photos of them that are hilarious or cute but
No one ever posts when their child is being a little shit saying and doing things to hurt you or act out.
There is a shame that comes from talking about that, where we think that we failed in that moment as a parent. That we haven’t taught our kids right. We tend to compare ourselves to other people's lives and kids, because what we see on the outside highlight reel it looks like that family completely has everything together!
But they don’t.
There is a different struggle with every family, a different set of circumstances but every child goes through stages that make us sit back as parents and wonder what we did wrong.
After I wrote this article I had a number of people message me to share their story privately and some wrote comments on the post about things their kids had done also.
(If you want to read the post, it’s public and here
Then I started thinking about how this scenario is EXACTLY the same with business.
Everyone wants to have their highlight reel going on social media and with the people in their life about how amazing their business is, when behind the scenes the reality is that they are drowning.
They are working like crazy to make their business the “Perfect” business but feel like they have no idea what the hell they are actually doing.
Much like parenting isn’t it?
We like to tell people that we are so BUSY with our business but what we are really busy with, is being busy. Not looking at ways to get the knowledge to work smarter.
We think we have to be busy all the time because that makes us successful.
We think we need to portray that everything is amazing all the damn time, when it isn’t.
We think that if we put our hand up and say I’m struggling this isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, that we failed.
We believe that we have let our teams down, our family.
We get caught in being too proud to admit that things aren’t sunshine, rainbows and lollipops ever god damn day.
Because god help us if things weren’t PERFECT all the damn time.
It is freaking exhausting trying to keep up appearances all of the time. The energy that you spend keeping a smile on your face constantly while you lie through gritted teeth about how amazing being a business owner is, it’s crippling you.
You may not realise how much it is actually affecting you right now, but the bigger and longer term effects of burying your head in the sand and avoiding reality - they are the things that are actually going to break you.
Being real with yourself and the people around you, that’s not going to be the thing that breaks you - that’s the thing that’s going to fix your situation.
If more business owners were honest with their struggles it would create an environment where people weren’t beating up on themselves all the time for not being as good as the person over there.
If we could break the silence and speak about our struggles of being a business owner, what better conversations would be had amongst communities and online.
If we could drop the act how much more energy would we have to devote to fixing the issues that we face?
As all of my students know, I am real with them. I talk openly about the struggles that come with being a business owner. The more you grow the more issues that happen but the difference is your reaction time.
Years ago I use to spend weeks and months stressing over things in the business instead of doing something about it. I wasted so much time and energy when I think back about it now that I could have used much more productively.
Now, there are still stresses, I run a multi million dollar sales and marketing company that changes peoples lives along with other smaller businesses. I have a constantly growing team and customer base. We are constantly innovating our services and products we offer people. We don’t stand still. Ever. It is impossible to be in business without some sort of struggle and issue because we are dealing with PEOPLE. Humans come with emotions and make mistakes.
The difference between the old me and the new me is my reaction time and HOW I deal with those issues as they arise.
I don’t spend too long stressing over things. As my mentor says, “Worry is Not Work”, so what’s the point in constantly worrying?
Find a solution and move forward. If something is not working, change it.
Yes there are times that I may spend too long worrying about something, but it may be days whereas years ago it would have been months and months.
See what I mean about the reaction time?
I also see the business as being similar to kids where they go through great phases and then you have a rocky patch where you want to be the one curling up in the corner crying.
Kids also chuck tantrums. So do Employees. So do Customers. Sometimes so does the Owner.
Instead of pretending these things don’t happen - let’s learn better coping mechanisms so that our reaction only improves each time this situation happens.
Break the “everything is amazing all the time” Highlight Reel with me and tell me what some of the struggles are that you are facing in your business currently! You can comment below or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org