I’m afraid we’ve been fed some myths about what it’s like to have your own business and work for yourself.
I’m afraid that these myths are making it hard on people, people who want to be successful and fall into the trap of listening to the loudest people on the internet. Because the people that are feeding you the myths are loud. REALLY loud. Because it’s in the best interest of their businesses to convince you that they’re right.
And because I’ve made it my job to tell you the truth even though it may not be what you want to hear. Even if the truth is inconvenient. Because holding on to something that won’t serve you is even more inconvenient.
Here are my current top 5:
- You can get paid to breathe.
Somewhere, we decided to start making online entrepreneurship sound like it’s the same as flitting about on Instagram and Pinterest all day while money just shows up in your bank account. Nope. It doesn’t work that way.
The truth: You can get paid for a lot of different things, but they all have one thing in common: you delivering value to another person. That value could be in the form of accountability or beauty or convenience or entertainment or service or product. But there has to be value there.
- If you find your passion, work won’t feel like work
This one leads to so much disappointment from people because “I thought having my own business was supposed to be fun!” It is fun. But it’s also a lot of freaking work.
The truth: Until you become a mogul, you’ll have to spend your time doing things you aren’t passionately in love with. Things like invoicing, bookkeeping, and email are important. Are they fun? Most of the time – no. Can you do things to make them fun or outsource? Absolutely. But, for most of us, it takes time to make enough money to do so. I didn’t bring on help for my business until year 3, and I just started outsourcing my bookkeeping last year. That was a whole lot of time doing things I wasn’t passionate about.
The key is to find work that feels rewarding to you and that matches your lifestyle goals. The key is to find your bigger Why and let that lead you to the What and the How. The work part of things isn’t going anywhere, but if your business fits into your life, you won’t mind.
- Success comes quickly and easily if you find the right thing.
This one is sold to us all the time. By very loud people who will teach you their patented “6 figures in 6 weeks” formula that probably relies on you then turning around and teaching other people your patented and slightly-different “6 figures in 6 weeks” formula.
The truth: Baaahaaahaaa. It takes time. And persistence. And hustle. And scrappy resilience. And because it takes so much time, don’t you think you should get started sooner rather than later? (Want to hear my own it takes time story? Check out this podcast episode!)
- There’s a single secret weapon you need to add to your arsenal that will guarantee you success.
If only you take this one class or find the perfect e-book or the secret formula, you’ll have it figured out. So you subscribe like mad, hoping that the solution will show up in your inbox.
The truth: While there are things you can do that will help you be successful (I’m a HUGE fan of getting support as you grow your business), the key is finding the right thing when you need it and quieting the rest of the noise so you can focus on yourself.
- You’re going to feel 100% comfortable 100% of the time.
If you’re passionate and getting paid to breathe and have the secret formula to overnight success, you can dance your way through life, right?
The truth: I am uncomfortable in my business most of the time. I’m uncomfortable writing this post. I’m uncomfortable every time I send out a podcast pitch or record a solo episode or start an interview. And this discomfort is what has allowed me to grow. This discomfort of operation beyond the bounds of my comfort zone has contributed exponentially to my success.
For me, comfort means I’m playing it safe. Which has never gotten me anywhere.
What to do now:
Get uncomfortable. Trust that even though you will fall down, you’ll be able to get back up again. And then get scrappy. Dig in your heels. Be willing to raise your hand and say yes and then do the work. And then do it again and again and again.
Own the value you bring to the table – whether it’s in business or life. Get clear on how you make people’s lives better and easier. And be willing to say it out loud.
Find the right support and let everything else go. Take a chance and do something that no one else has done before. Be willing to stand out and be noticed. And be willing to get started.
Because no one’s going to do it for you. Because the time is going to pass anyway. And because today is as good a day as any.