This is the column where, each week, I’ll be answering one website visitor’s question in hopes of supporting all visitors through shared (and likely, relevant) challenges, triumphs, and struggles.
About a year ago, I left a regular corporate job and went into business for myself. I work out of my home as the only member of my company. Things are going really well, however, I find myself second guessing my decision. Financially, business is very successful, and I love the flexibility in my schedule and the independence. Sometimes, though, I find my motivation and energy level dipping. Now that the somewhat frantic pace of getting the business established has mostly wound down, I’m often slow to get going and procrastinating a bit; even occasionally missing my old job, which to my logical mind, seems nuts since I couldn’t wait to get out of there. Do all new entrepreneurs go through this dip and what can I do about it?
Perplexed in Poughkeepsie, NY
Congratulations on making the successful transition to entrepreneurship! That is quite a feat, and you should be proud!
It sounds like now that things have settled a bit, the quieter energy is allowing you to be with yourself more and with the busyness less. Depending on your personality, that can be a blessing or a curse.
When you’re feeling low energy, do you like to refuel with quiet alone time or by being around people? Some really need solitude to rejuvenate and feel “clicked in” again. Others, and this happens a lot with solopreneurs like yourself, the isolation that can come with running your own business out of your home can be a bit daunting.
My guess is that it’s not your old job you are missing, but the social connection of having co-workers. Give this a shot: Over the next week, choose two days when you can spend a couple of hours working from a local coffee shop or your public library. Try to stay at least two hours there, and while you’re there, as well as after you’re home, take a few moments to check in to see how you feel. I bet your mood will be lifted and you’ll feel much more motivated. Sometimes we just need to be in the energy of others without needing to engage in chit chat or conversation.
If you find that this “dip” that you’re feeling persists and begins to interfere with your daily get-up-and-go, you might consider seeking the support of a good therapist. You can ask for referrals from your primary care physician (if you really connect well with him or her), friends, family, or your insurance company. Giving yourself this gift of a full hour where you get to talk things through with an objective professional is invaluable. Take some time to write down your ideal qualities in a therapist, and be sure to interview a few to find a good match.
Best of luck to you in your business and in your ongoing self care!
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