What in the world is a Rollercoaster Wife? If thoughts of exhilaration coupled with scary twists and turns, along with steep hills and deep valleys come to mind, then you’ve just about nailed it! Just over a year ago, I decided to leave the corporate world to start my own business. But, being the adrenaline junkie I am, could I leave it at just that? Of course not! I mean, starting a business with no money isn’t hard enough all on its own, so I decided getting married and begin homeschooling my two kiddos at the same time would make it all much more interesting!
I soon learned that the idea of balance would become my best friend. So how have I done it? What are the secrets to having a successful first year as you start your business? I’ll share my secrets with you here:
RELEASE THE NEGATIVE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE.
This was the hardest, yet most important, step I had to make. All those people who tell you that there’s no way your idea will work, or there’s no way you can do all you are setting out to do…all those people who are certain you are going to fail…LET THEM GO. This doesn’t mean cut them out of your life. Ok, it does. But, it doesn’t mean you can’t let them back into your life at a later time if it makes sense. But, right now, you need to be surrounded by positivity and people who can help you. You will question yourself many times, and those negative people will do nothing but give you all the reasons you want to help you give up. Do yourself a favor, and aim for success and dump the trash. This gets messy enough on its own – you won’t need help with that part.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH GO-GETTERS.
People with energy – POSITIVE energy – will rub off on you. It’s just how energy works! So find groups to join locally that have these people in them. I found one and it’s so awesome that I call it my “business church” because I receive so much energy from this group of people and my weeks become better just for being around them. These should be people who will believe in you, push you and motivate you to keep on going! If you can’t find one locally, either start one, or find one online. There are all KINDS of groups online that offer a ton of motivation, as well as help for you as you get started.
FIND A MENTOR & ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER.
No, your spouse cannot fill this role. And there is nothing saying the first person will be the right person, but start somewhere! The first accountability group I was part of was actually more of a “complain and gossip” group. I would go because I kept myself accountable to them. But, as soon as I realized it was doing more harm than good, I stopped going and found someone else who was willing to mentor me in business, as well as hold me accountable. I met him in another group and appreciated the path he had taken to become successful. He’s not in the same business as I am, and I liked that, too! All I did was ask to meet him for coffee; that I was looking for an accountability partner and thought he may be able to help me. He agreed to meet, and is now my mentor/accountability partner. Sometimes, you just have to ask! He now challenges me to step outside of my comfort zone, and keeps me moving forward.
GET OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE.
Every. Single. Day. There is no better or faster way to grow than to constantly be stepping outside your comfort zone. Make a list of all the things you don’t want to have to do in your business because you’re simply not comfortable doing them. That could be anything, from asking for help to learning how to post a video of yourself to speaking to a large group about what you can do to help them. So many parts of business can be overwhelming and difficult. Learning how to do it yourself will come in handy later when your business begins to grow and it’s time to start delegating.
Seriously. And I don’t mean just business. You’ve got a lot going on! Get your kids and spouse in on the gig, too. Housework, helping at an event, cooking, cleaning, brainstorming…you have these wonderful humans all around you – enlist their help and give them jobs! You will be much happier for it, which in turn will make for a much happier home. My kids have helped me hang flyers, my husband has attended events with me to help me with sales. He’s also brought lunch to an event I was hosting just to help eliminate some of my stress. I’m telling ya, even before you can afford an assistant, delegating to family will help them to feel included and help you to keep the migraines at bay.
This was probably the hardest for me to learn. I like schedules. But, between business and homeschooling my 8 & 9 year old, schedules don’t always work. Not entirely. Once I learned to be flexible with my time, the stress just melted away. I still try to get the kids’ schoolwork done in the mornings so I can do most of my work in the afternoons. But, there are days it just doesn’t work out that way. I’ve come to terms with that being ok! The kids are still getting an education (even if it doesn’t happen exactly at 10am on Monday!) and my clients are still being well taken care of. Learning to go with the flow will be one of the best things you ever do!
TAKE CARE OF YOU!
Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Be patient with yourself. Have compassion for yourself. If you are not taking care of you, then you will spiral out of control and become paralyzed. Take walks to get energize and clear your mind. Take baths to wind down and just relax. Clear out a day each week that is just for you! No work, no household chores – nothing but YOU time. It’s healthy, and it’s essential.
The bottom line is no one said you had to do this alone. In fact, I strongly DISCOURAGE you from doing this alone! It gets HARD. It gets SCARY. And then, it gets EXCITING! There should always be someone there to experience all parts with you. Find those people who will be uplifting and positive during those hard and scary times so that they earn the right to be there with you for the exciting times! They’re just around the corner!
About the Author
Shannon Whittington is a wife, a homeschooling mother of 2 and an author coach who helps people find their voice for the stories they want to share. Focusing primarily in non-fiction, Shannon's coaching services will take an aspiring writing all the way from Brainstorming to Book Sales. Having just started her business, Creative Literary Consultants, a little over a year ago, she has already helped numerous authors take their ideas and turn them into published books. A patriotic philanthropist at heart, Shannon is also working on her own project, A Walk with Warriors, which showcases 22 veterans and their stories. Be on the lookout for this title in 2017.
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