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What to Do When You Feel Useless as an Entrepreneur

Working alone as a solopreneur means there are no pats on the back after an awesome brainstorm, no validation from colleagues on that amazing piece of coverage you just got, and no certainty of pay at the end of the month, either.

Sometimes, running your own business can be a crazy roller coaster ride and frankly, we just want to get off.

Whilst the life of an entrepreneur is rewarding, fulfilling, self-directed, ever-evolving and limitless financially, it is also full of challenges - not least, the challenge of the mindset.

Doubt kicks in and the vision can seem so far away.

The thing with business - and particularly online business - is that by sticking our heads above the trenches we are vulnerable. That vulnerability comes from potential criticism (a sure sign of growth, by the way); it comes from a financial vulnerability (what if no-one buys my stuff?!) and it comes from a place of self validation.

Working alone as a solopreneur means there are no pats on the back after an awesome brainstorm, no validation from colleagues on that amazing piece of coverage you just got, and no certainty of pay at the end of the month, either.

I will be honest here. I have had more days than I care to tell you sobbing into my chocolate (always dark, always Green and Blacks), worrying about my next step and convincing myself I am useless.

It's not that I don't think I am valuable and capable, I do.

It's that sometimes maintaining the mindset of a successful entrepreneur can be challenging, especially when one's value is not always reflected in that there bank account.

There is HUGE amount to be said here on manifesting money, the size of your income being the size of your faith and all that awesome stuff; I am not the expert in financial abundance and manifestation, so I adore the work of Denise Duffield Thomas whose bootcamp helps me deal with that stuff.

I think that self belief and the journey towards long term success in every form is a personal pilgrimage and inner voyage to unblock limiting beliefs.

Each of us will come at it from a different perspective and personal history, and we each have our own obstacles to deal with.

Whilst inner work is a personal exploration on many levels there are some practical actions to take when the meltdown hits. In that moment of self-doubt, in those dark times of wanting to throw it all in there are some simeple steps you can take to get back on your saddle with confidence.

1. Look back and see how far you have come

Take a moment to reflect just how far you have come. Think about what you would tell yourself now if you were starting out, and consider just how much you have learned.

Experience is vital, and it just can't be hacked.

2. Re-find your flow and re-connect with your brilliance

What can you do, right now, that reminds you of who you are and what you do best?

Can you record a podcast, create a blog post, brainstorm a new offering, or jump onto Skype with a client?

Whatever it is, re-connect with what you do best and that self belief will kick back in. I promise.

2. Remember that everyone starts somewhere.

Of course that phrase "don't compare your beginning to someone elses's middle" is good to remember, but I like to look back at some of the big guns before they hit the top (jump here to have a nosey).

See? Don't you feel better now?

3. Get out

Stepping away from the machine is an absolute must at times like this.

There is nothing worse than staring at the computer, willing sales to happen and smearing your screen with tears, tissues and ice cream residue.

Every time I step away and just let stuff happen it works. I come back to an inbox of sales, new enquiries, or a random connection that I could never have imagined. The universe works in mysterious ways and we need to let go to let it rock that stuff out.

4. Tap it out

I adore EFT, and turn to it whenever I feel overwhelmed, under confident or just generally crappy. There are some brilliant resources on You Tube (Brad Yates is an excellent place to start), so get tapping, clearing and unblocking.

Tap on whatever you are feeling in that moment. My scripts tend to be along the lines of :

"Even though I will never be successful, I completely love, honour and respect myself";

"Even though I am useless I completely love, honour and respect myself";

"Even though I don't know what I am doing"......and so on.

It's not for everyone but hey, it might be worth a go.

5. Ground yourself with people who love you for YOU

When you feel like an utter failure, call in your support team of family and friends for a beer/coffee/pep talk. These people know you for who you are, love everything about you and don't care if you haven't sold out your latest programme.

Get real, remind yourself that life goes on outside of business, and re-connect with people.

6. Connect with people who understand

Whenever these moments hit, I love to head over to a rant (or a rambling over share) in my mastermind groups and let it all out. Sharing that emotion and standing in that self doubt makes it easier to see it for what it is - a passing feeling.

7. Store your love letters

Storing glowing testimonials, messages of thanks and appreciation in Evernote or similar creates an easy way to dive in and remind yourself how much people have appreciated your work and skills in the past.

Have a sift through and remind yourself of your awesomeness. It works wonders.

I also have a daily recurring task in my To Doist (I am cheating on my Bullet Journal at the moment) which says "Remind yourself you are awesome, and charge your worth". It helps.

How do you deal with doubt as an entrepeneur? Who, or what, do you turn to?

Stay super - because you ARE super.


This post originally appeared on The Dexterous Diva.

P.S feel free to stick this blog post in my face the next time I have a wobble.