Along with the freedom of a solopreneur business comes the scary realization that success depends on you. I found this to be paralyzing at times. Earlier in my solopreneur journey I’d sometimes wake up in a cold sweat of fear.
Now, as I’m entering my seventh decade of life and realizing that in many ways I’m home free, I’ve been looking back and seeing that all that worrying was just a habit – and that it was unnecessary and counterproductive.
If I had it all to do over again, I would make more of an effort to stop worrying and instead exercise more faith in life.
I hope what I now know encourages you to stop worrying and start living more enthusiastically through your solopreneur business.
Here’s what I know (and wish I could have told my younger self):
The main message is to enjoy the journey! But how can you enjoy the journey when you feel so much discomfort with the uncertainty that goes with starting a business?
Here are 4 pieces of advice to help you enjoy your solopreneur journey:
1. Stay in the present moment as much as possible. Fully experience how OK you are in this moment. There are no tigers chasing you, there’s no imminent danger… You are okay.
As you live your life in all the present moments, you’ll see that you’re okay in all of those moments.
Now, you’re going to have challenges, but if you’re truly present then you’re better able to meet those challenges; you’re better able to receive the inspiration and strength that comes from being in the present moment.
This has been a hard lesson for me. I was very sick for most of my adult life. I never missed a day of work but I was often in pain, I had terrible brain fog, didn’t sleep well…
One time, when I was teaching English as a second language to adults at a college, I was having a horrible, difficult day. I remember standing at the foot of a staircase with an armload of books. I was saying to myself, “How am I ever going to carry all of these books up those stairs and then teach the class? Then later go home and do a heavy load of laundry…?”
I realized that I could only focus on taking that first step, then the next, and the next… I had to let go of any notion of “future,” including the steps I still needed to take, much less doing laundry later.
And when I did that, I got bliss! I felt the bliss of really being in the present moment. I don’t know why I don’t practice this more often, because when I do, I feel bliss.
2. Reframe everything to the positive. You know, we’re always telling ourselves a story. And then we’re reacting to that story. Everything that happens, everything we think about, we have an interpretation, and it takes the form of a story. And then we’re reacting to the story, making decisions based on the story.
So become very aware of what that story is that you’re telling yourself. And if it’s not from the highest truth that you know, reframe it to a better story, a more true story.
We also have unconscious stories we’re telling ourselves that were put into us as children, especially shaming messages that there’s something wrong with us because we’re introverted.
You can become very aware of what those stories are and question when you find yourself reacting to something or believing something. Just look at it and say, “Okay this is a story… Where did it come from? Is it true? Do I want to stick with this story or do I want to change it?”
You always have the power of choice, including the choice to reframe everything to the positive.
3. Keep things simple. This is a huge challenge for me because I tend to complicate things.
The thing about being an introvert is that we’re wired for the life of the mind, so we’re in our heads a lot, thinking and planning… Soon we’ve created all these elaborate plans that we say we’re going to execute out in the world — and we’re not even wired for doing the world…
And before you know it, we have locked ourselves into paralyzed stasis because we tend to feel overwhelmed by all this complication. So try to simplify things as much as possible.
4. Practice gratitude. I find that it helps to discern the blessing in the lesson. In my story where I could only focus on taking the next step, and then the next in the present moment – in that instance, realizing the bliss of the Present Moment was the blessing – the lesson and the blessing.
I also find it helpful to keep a gratitude journal, because when you’re facing big challenges, it’s easy to forget that you really are okay and that you have a lot to be grateful for.
And according to brain science, even trying to think of things to be grateful for triggers those happy chemicals in the brain.
I hope this advice frees you up so can stop worrying and relax and start living more with more faith and enthusiasm as you share your wisdom and expertise through your solopreneur business.