It’s OK not to love your business all the time & what to do when you feel like throwing in the towel

by on June 14, 2014

It's ok not to love your businessHe took the leap and started that business. He knew it was a good idea. He knew there was a market for the services. He could see the potential and he was excited. With a little SEO work (thanks to yours truly) he soared to the top of search rankings, and stayed there with little effort. A good volume of inquiries started coming in. It seemed he was poised to rock this whole entrepreneurial thing.

But of course, it didn’t all go as planned. In his first year, his partner decided to step away from the business and he went into some pretty major debt. He had two clients in one season that refused to pay and required lawyers. He even had to send a member of his team incognito over to the client’s house to serve them papers (yes, just like in the movies). He had trouble finding the right staff. He hated managing the administrative side of his business.

He just wasn’t finding his sweet spot. He could sense it was there; it just kept on eluding him. And he was seriously, seriously considering walking away from it all.

Fast forward to this year when he determined an innovative, eco-friendly solution that no one else in the market was offering. Clients were lovely people that it was a pleasure to work for. Inquiries were pouring in and he was closing sales left, right and centre. Sure it’s not all rainbows and unicorns and there are plenty of things he wants to improve. But at least he can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And he has finally tapped into that potential he knew was there right from the start.

Starting a business is a wonderful, exhilarating roller coaster ride. But as with any ride, there are the ups and there are the downs. Click to tweet!

I know that I personally never anticipated that there would be times when I actually really, really didn’t like my business. My partner, in the example above, I’m sure would agree with me.

It’s all part of the process

All businesses, from tiny to huge, face challenges. This is perfectly normal. And so is not feeling the love in your business all the time. I read somewhere that J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, HATED writing some parts of the first book. Thank goodness she didn’t give up! Challenges mean that you are making progress and putting yourself out there, stepping out of your comfort zone to face something new for you that you’re not exactly sure how to deal with. So good for you!

When you’re an entrepreneur, the onus falls squarely on you. It’s your problem when things aren’t going well. You are directly responsible. And that can be an overwhelming and scary thing.

It can be discouraging and deflating when things aren’t going as planned. But it’s about picking yourself back up. If you want to accomplish something, you have to keep on going. You have to get back up on that horse. You must embody the quality of perseverance.

I found it really interesting how many challenges cropped up for me personally since setting my intentions at the start of this year. Challenges that tested my commitment to these intentions. Ahh, the universe has a way of helping you step up to the challenge each and every time, does it not?

What to do when you’re not having fun in your business

Even though we might not like to admit it, all of us small business owners at one point or another will think about throwing in the towel. Sometimes that is absolutely the right decision. But sometimes, it’s a matter of riding through that rough patch and making it through to the other side.

Not loving your business today (or this week, month or year)? Try this…

  • Reflect on your progress and think about how far you’ve come since you first started. Remember when it used to take you forever to get a post up on your blog and now you can do it in your sleep? Celebrate this!
  • Focus on your vision. Why did you start your business? What is the greater purpose in what you are doing? What are your intentions? You might find it helpful to have some sort of a visual reminder of your goals somewhere in your workspace. Looking at the colourful intention words I chose for this year pasted up in my office I find helps me to focus and calm down when I’m frazzled and ungrounded.
  • Don’t think in terms of failure. Think in terms of lessons. Something didn’t work? Learn from that and move on. Focusing on what I learned and how I will do better next time helps me shift from despair/frustration to silver linings positivity. You have the power to choose how you will think about something.
  • Say thank you. Yup, even for the challenges. Gratitude is a very powerful thing.
  • If they can do it so can you. Instead of being discouraged by the success of others, be motivated by it. See it as an indication that success is possible.
  • Practice the art of patience. It takes time to build up a business and it will always be evolving. The universe works in divine right timing, not ‘what I want when I want it’ timing. All in good time, my little pretty, all in good time.
  • Trust that you are on the right path and that every roadblock has manifested itself for you to learn and heal.
  • Revel in your past successes. Reread your testimonials or lovely comments from your customers and audience. Remember how you have helped others.
  • Accept how things are and focus on what you can do now. Don’t dwell on the past or overwhelm yourself thinking about everything you need to do to reach that future goal. Have your vision, certainly, but act from the present moment and know that you are exactly where you need to be right now. It doesn’t matter where anyone else is. This is your journey.
  • Remember that you are not alone. Everyone faces struggles and strife when starting a business. Yes, even that industry leader that you admire so much. Your feelings are perfectly normal.

How do you keep on persevering in your business? How do you motivate yourself to keep going when s*** hits the fan? Would love to hear from you in the comments…

Image source: cuteimage/

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rya June 26, 2014 at 10:23 pm

When things aren’t flowing in the direction I want, I shift my focus away from my business by doing something different that makes me feel empowered. This is most often something physical such as a yoga asana practice, a hike or a swim. From this place I am better able to see the bigger picture … While greater financial abundance is a goal of mine, it is not the end all be all, and I have much more important things in my life to be grateful for such as my health, family, community and spiritual path.
PS Thank you Martina for the wonderful inspiring post!


Martina Iring June 27, 2014 at 9:36 am

Thank you for your comment and insightful words Rya! It’s amazing how stepping away can freshen up that perspective and remind you of what is truly important. Getting into the forest always helps me when I’m having a bit of a rough time. Appreciate you! xo


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