Being a solopreneur, a single lady (Beyoncé pun intended) running a business can be, well, lonely. It can be challenging. Quite bluntly, it can be scary as hell.
Real talk: last Monday I kind of had a breakdown.
That ugly, belittling voice of self-doubt crept its way into my head again. At first it was just a whisper, an uneasiness in the pit of my stomach. It was the faintest breeze of uncertainty in my abilities as a boss, and in myself.
I tried ignoring it, but like a toddler begging for attention, ignoring it only made the screams louder. Before I knew it, self-doubt had blown in like a hurricane, catching me unprepared and defenseless. It was too late for positive self-talk, it was too late for calming breaths. Self-doubt had ripped its way up from that pit in my stomach, torn through my heart and settled into my brain like dust after a storm.
The negative thoughts enveloped me, suffocating me. I was choking on my insecurities. “What the hell am I thinking?”, they said. “I can’t run a business. I can’t be an entrepreneur. I'll never be able to support myself financially. I’m not talented enough. I’m not good enough. I don’t do enough. What am I doing with my life?”I drove to the grocery store fuming (Yes, I may have been in the middle of a breakdown, but a girl needs her hazelnut coffee creamer). I was mad. I was livid. I was pissed with myself for ever thinking I could be an entrepreneur, for wasting so much money in start up costs, for thinking I could actually be successful on my own. Pissed at myself for being so pissed at myself. Since when had I become so insecure and unconfident in myself? Since when had I become my worst enemy? As I sat in the parking lot debating if the tears would hold back long enough to stock up on groceries, I decided to call my boyfriend. I explained to him how utterly stupid I was for ever thinking I could do this girl boss thing. I told him that I would never make money doing this. I wouldn't be able to support myself this way. And here’s where the waterworks came on full force, I told him I wouldn't be able to support him. That I wouldn't be able to help support us, and our future together. That I was going to end up being a freeloading wife with nothing to offer. And it terrified me.He comforted me, he reassured me, and it helped a little, as his sweet and soothing words often do. But it wasn’t enough this time. I was throwing a pity party for one, and it was a rager. We said our good-byes, our I love you’s and he told me again how much he believed in me and how I needed to believe in myself too. I walked through Trader Joe's still feeling pretty crappy about myself. Feeling like I was struggling to keep my head above water and that I could start choking again at any second.By the time I got home I was feeling slightly crazed. The negativity was about to boil over. I needed to get out of the house. I needed to be outside. I just needed out. It was the strangest thing, and I can’t really explain it, but I felt like I was being called to the cemetery. There was an internal pull, a force driving me to just get myself there and everything would work out. Everything would be okay. So I packed my planner, a notebook, some snacks, made myself an iced coffee and hit the road. With the radio cranked up way too high and the windows down I made my way to the cemetery. As I parked under the shade of an ancient tree, as I gathered my things and meandered down the path to my dad’s grave, I immediately felt better.
I spread out a blanket and sat there for a long time, unmoving. I cried a little. I smiled at the thought of my dad telling me to “buck up” and that I could do anything I put my mind to. I smiled at the fact that his eternal love was what ultimately calmed me down. I spoke to a middle-aged grounds-keeper who was going to night school to get his high school diploma. We chatted about this and that. Words that were lost in translation. I smiled at his beautiful energy, his love for life. I did some scheduling and product planning for work. Then I cried a little more.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I am magically better—because I’m not. I’m not going to pretend that I’m suddenly the most confident boss babe on this planet, or that I know what the heck I’m doing each morning when I wake up and roll out of bed—because I don’t. I’ve definitely had a couple more slips down that rabbit hole, and I know they won't be my last. But life isn’t always unicorns and rainbows. Life is messy and unpredictable and can leave you flat on your ass from time to time. As solopreneurs we often deal with these falls on our own, left to pick ourselves back up. Left to be our own motivation to keep going, our own strength to face the next work challenge. Being a single lady behind a small business can sometimes feel like you’re walking head first into a hurricane. The trick, I’m learning, is to find beauty in the storm, because although life isn’t ALL unicorns and rainbows, it’s like 98 percent.
Tanya—thank you. It is pretty intimidating sometimes and I’d be lying if I said I wans’t scared when I hit publish, but it’s also kind of therapeutic in a way. Thank you for following along on this crazy journey of mine! xoxo
May 19, 2016
Terry—thank you so much for your kind words. They mean a lot.
Today’s blog, a glimpse into your soul. I truly believe you are a very special human being and will accomplish many things.
May 17, 2016
I love your raw honesty. Sharing these emotions with others takes a lot of confidence and I admire you for taking the risk for yourself and those who follow your blog.
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