This is not my usual blog post and may be too much information. But many women may find themselves in this spot. And, it’s as much for me as it is for you.
I had been feeling a tad chubby recently and started the Keto diet about a week ago. (Please don’t send me emails or comments warning me against it, I’m not going to die). I had not weighed myself in forever as the awareness of that number has always made me crazy. I didn’t need that. I just needed to move forward. Similar to the way we need to act in our businesses. (Really, I am going to connect this to biz improvement!)
So I followed KETO faithfully for a week and felt lighter. Go me! I felt ready to get back on the scale and see where I was. Woot, I was ready!
I hopped on the scale and saw that I had gained 12 pounds since I last weighed myself.
What? How could that be? After a week of Keto!
That can’t be me! I haven’t weighed this much for ages, and I didn’t feel it.
Oh right. I had gone up a size in the last year.
Oh, wait. There is a closet full of lovely clothes that did not fit…and I missed wearing them!
My usual response to this new information would have been shame. But not this time.
My response was:
- Wow – who knew?
- OK, now I know
- I have work to do, and that’s fine.
- I still feel good about myself.
That last one is all about self-love. It’s a muscle that needs to be exercised.
Being an entrepreneur, no matter what stage of business you are in is a tough road. It’s full of ups and downs, failures, embarrassment, mistakes, pivots and “I don’t know what the hell I’m doing” moments.
After 4 businesses, and working with many women entrepreneurs I can say that the best way through all of those down times is plenty of self-love. Being kind to yourself is the way through. Grace, not shame or embarrassment. Taking a deep breath and focusing on the next small steps will get you headed in the right direction.
One of my businesses failed and I ended up in a huge amount of debt trying to dig myself out. (That’s a story for another post.) After a terrible 3 months of shock and shame, I began to forgive myself. I took a corporate job to get the bills paid and went on to start another one.
Another of my businesses was a passion project that I adored. It was geared to the age 50+ woman and was focused on the notion that you could create a juicy life at any age. But after creating 3 courses, a few e-books, and many webinars, it just wasn’t reaching my revenue goals.
After an intense year of effort, I decided to fold it. It was going to take too much time and too much money to turn it around. It was the right business decision (no debt incurred this time!) but I was grieving, and once again, felt like a failure.
After a period of mourning, I took a big step back and reflected on the experience from a lens of self-love. I realized that I had incorporated all of those “life is a blast” thoughts and emotions into my own life and could continue to create my own definition of successful aging.
So I have had huge challenges as an entrepreneur. And I know that the sooner you can exercise that self-love muscle, the better off you and your business will be.
So my challenge to you, you fabulous women entrepreneur, you: Where are you showing yourself kindness? Where and how can you practice more self-love, forgiveness, and positive energy? It’s the strongest tool you will have in your toolbox. Trust me on this.