I had mixed emotions the first year my business hit 7-figures. On the one hand, I felt elated – the business was doing great, I was traveling internationally for conferences, the demand for my company’s services was high.
On the other…I was starting to panic.
The business was doing well but the rest of my life was not. The evening glass of wine had turned into three, and then I’d eat whatever was around. I told myself I didn’t have time to go to the gym, and I gained weight. I routinely worked past midnight and then couldn’t fall asleep because my mind was racing. I looked terrible, felt terrible, and worst of all, my marriage was ending.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was focusing on the things that were missing or could go wrong. I had shifted from looking for opportunities to looking for problems.
My feelings of excitement and possibility had turned into overwhelm and dread.
There must be something wrong with me.
The only explanation I could see was there was something wrong with me. I wasn’t like other people.
To cover up my feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, I tried to make everything perfect, and for everything to be perfect I had to be in control of it all. This meant when things were going well, I felt relieved instead of happy and when they didn’t go well, it proved that there was something wrong with me.
She said, “Love your business.”
When I hired my first business coach, she told me I needed to fall back in love with my business. I thought she was crazy at first, because I was looking for tactical solutions to FIX my business, not love it. But over time, I came to see that I was in a relationship with my business.
My thoughts about my business created my feelings, which drove my actions. The big revelation was the business was not making me miserable, my thoughts about it were! The good news is that we can change our thoughts – once we become aware of them.
Your business is not the measure of your worth.
When your business is your identity and your identity and self-worth are tied to its success, every time something goes wrong, you think it’s a reflection of your value as a person. But it’s never true that the success of our business is the measure of our worth.
If you don’t feel good about your business, or yourself, it’s because of the way you are thinking. Your thoughts about your business cause you to feel the way you do, which leads to the actions you take and the results you get.
Want better results? Here’s the best way I’ve found for managing the mind to get results:
- Daily thought downloads: Do this with pen and paper in the morning and simply write down what you’re thinking. Many of your thoughts will be about aspects of your business you’re worrying about, like cash flow, employees, contracts or your capabilities as a leader. Write it all down.
- Separate facts from thoughts: When we think our thoughts are facts, we don’t question them. Something is a fact if everyone would agree and there is never a case where the opposite is true. For example, “The deadline is 5PM” is a fact. “I don’t have enough time” is a thought.
- For each thought, ask these questions: How does this thought make me feel? Do I want to continue feeling this way? Does this thought inspire me to take action?
- Identify the results you want: What outcomes do I want today? What actions will create them? How do I need to feel in order to take these actions? And what thoughts will make me feel that way?
- Practice these new thoughts, feelings and actions: just like we need to practice to become an expert at a sport, we need to practice managing our mind.
The fastest way to feel better is to follow these 5 steps.