Over the last year I’ve done a lot to grow my business. I’ve upgraded to an on-line calendar schedule, a new website, a new payment system and training in nutrition, corrective exercise and marketing. The most important thing I’ve done though, is to join a network of other entrepreneurs.
How can a network of other entrepreneurs be the MOST important thing I’ve done? Simply put, its their support. I don’t know a lot of other entrepreneurs and going it alone is rough. I had expected my family and friends to be my biggest cheerleaders and they were, but they also had no idea how to support me. None of them had ever launched their own business or if they had, it had been in traditional routes (lawyers, real estate, etc). And although they could provide advice, it was often in the form of “That’s nice.”, “That sounds good.”, “I don’t think that will work.”, “Why don’t you try….?”. Sure I wanted to hear the good and the bad, but I wanted it to be consistent with what I was trying to achieve and to feel that they were vested in my outcome. Case in point, not a single family member has signed up for my email newsletter or regularly checks out my Facebook page. Sure they are happy for my success and rejoice when I achieve milestones, but they don’t really get it. As my loving mother said, “Are you sure that you’ll find clients when you move?” Nothing like voicing my fears back to me! Luckily, I knew she meant well and only wanted me to consider the difficulties with moving and having my own business.
Truth is, just like not every family member and friend of mine will understand why I choose to have my own business, not everyone closest to you will know how to support you in your goals. Be them weight loss, running a 5K, eating healthy or toning up your abs, not everyone will get it.
It can often be frustrating not to feel that we have the support of family and friends. Especially those people we look up to most or want the approval of most. When a spouse or good friend offers a piece of cake when they know we’re trying to lose those last 5 pounds. When they bring home chips, soda or pizza when we’re trying to make healthy food choices. When they laugh at us when we tell them we woke up at 5am to get in a run or workout before our children woke-up or we’d never get it in. It hurts. We try to ignore it, but it hurts.
Truth is, they may not know how to support us in our goals. They may have their own fears or challenges that they’re trying to overcome. We can’t expect those around us to be on the same journey at the exact same time as we are. That just sets us up for hurt, frustration and failure. So what can we do?
- First, Find Your Family! We all need support in our goals. It gets us through the down times, the challenges, the bumps in the road. They help us to put those challenges into perspective so we don’t blow them up into mountains from the speed bumps they really are. They help us to move forward rather than staying stuck in the challenge. Often we can’t see our way through the obstacle, but our support group can. That’s their function. Challenges come, they do to every successful person be it in business, sports or weight loss, and their purpose is a good one, to move us forward, in one way or another, toward our goal. For our goals are that much sweeter based on the challenges we overcame to get there. And your support group will get you there.
- Second, Stand Tall and Proud! Often we’re afraid to state our goals. We may think people will laugh at us or think we’re foolish. I know I was when I started my own business. For years when people asked what I did for a living I said I was a mom, oh and a personal trainer. Once I embraced what I did, that I loved it, things started to happen. Sure some people still think I’m stupid to have a career and 3 young children, but I’m ok with it. That’s their choice and it doesn’t need to be mine. Once you claim your goal as yours, things start to happen. You find people with similar goals and suddenly you’re meeting up to share recipes, train for a race or chat about challenges. But if you never talk about you’re goal, no one will know and you’ll never find the support that will help to move you forward!
- Third, Asking Gets You WHAT You Need! Family and friends want to support us, they just don’t know how. Then we get angry when they say or do things that don’t support us. Like bringing home pizza when they KNOW you’re trying to lose those last few pounds. Scheduling an event the same day as your big race so you need to find a sitter to watch the kids. The best way to get them on board is to TELL them exactly what you need, rather than letting them figure it out on their own. Most times we tell people our goals: “I’m trying to lose 10 pounds.” “I’m training for my first triathlon.” “I’m cutting out all processed foods from my diet.” And then when they don’t “support” us the way we want the to, we get mad, but we never told them how to support us. A better way is to say “I’m trying to lose 10 pounds and I could really use your help. I don’t expect you never to go without pizza and ice cream, but could you just not bring them home.” Most people are agreeable when we tell them exactly how to help. Now they still may not agree with you (see point #2!), but thats their issue, not yours.
- Fourth, Find Your Focus! There are always times along any journey when you have to go it alone. No matter how much support you have, no one else can do the work to help you attain your goals except you. Use your support group to help celebrate successes, ask questions, get motivation when times get tough, but know that the journey is yours to travel. You get to decide what path you take, how you’ll train, what you’ll attempt to do or not do. Sometimes it will work. Sometimes it won’t, but either way, you’ll learn something to help you get closer next time. The only time you fail, is when you stop trying.
So get started today:
Find Your Family – if you’d like some individual support, I have room for 3 new clients this month. You can schedule your FREE Initial Consultation HERE: https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ASP/home.asp?studioid=164405
Stand Tall And Proud – claiming your goal as yours
Ask For What You Need – If you don’t tell people how to support you, they can’t ever give you the support you’re looking for.
Find Your Focus – this journey is yours, so claim it and keep going after it!