In my recent professional life, I coached and led financial advisors that were all entrepreneurs running their own business. Most of them came to our company to start a business from scratch. To start a business from scratch is freaking hard. It requires so much courage and straight up grit. For all of you entrepreneurs in my life, just know that I’m so proud of you. You are such cool humans. Thanks for inspiring me every single day.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you know that there is a honeymoon phase. You’re so excited about your business and vision. You realize the people that are really behind you, you had no idea they would be behind you. You actually think the thought “Maybe this won’t be as hard for me as it is for others. Maybe I’m just really called to this work. God really has his hand on my business. Everything seems to be aligning.”
Then, shit gets real (sorry if you’re offended, there’s just no other way to say it, if you know, you know). The people who said they would be behind you start dragging their feet. It feels like a personal rejection. It’s like in 6th grade when you were “going with” Jared and then you find out Jared’s going with someone else. It’s like that rejection times one hundred…thousand. Don’t these people know how much you can help them? Don’t these people know your sincerity in serving them. They have no idea how much you can improve their financial planning. You actually think the thought “This is hard. Maybe I’m not really called for this work. God, where are you? I thought you had your hand all over this?” Then you see your paycheck, and it’s $191 before you withhold for taxes. Insert face into palm.
Before I started as an advisor, I remember thinking that I was a resilient person. I did some hard things (I didn’t, I was 22 and life was pretty posh). I remember thinking that when things got hard, I would do what I normally did, just work through it. Like when I wasn’t doing well in my corporate finance class, I really needed to “dig deep and work through it.” Look at how resilient I was – I went back to the professor two times to ask for help – I went to the library to study when I really wanted to go out with my friends…so much grit (eye roll). In life, how often do we go back after getting rejected? Do we go back once, twice, maybe three times? Then we “wash our hands of it” and move on to something else.
As an entrepreneur, you have the “this is hard and maybe I’m not really called for this work” thought every dang day, for years. You also have some good days too. But on those hard days, you often wonder if this is God’s way of telling you to stop. I’ve literally had hundreds of conversations with advisors on this topic. God called you originally to this work, you prayed and discerned whether this was the right thing for you to do, for your family. You felt clearly called. After all of that, do you think that the God of the Universe would lead you to this just to watch you fail? I think no, God would not do that. God is good. But, in those moments of fear and doubt, how do you deal? You can’t hear God. It’s radio silent. Your fear is taking over your vision. Your doubt is drowning your confidence. Your anxiety and stress are at record levels. What do you do?
Do the next right thing. Then ask for help.
You do the next right thing. Then you ask for help. This is probably the best advice I can give to myself or to you. And BTW, I’ve had to lead myself in this way more times than I care to admit. You just do the last thing you clearly heard God speak to you. In my business, you pick up the phone and ask for the appointment. You just make five more calls, before you know it, you’ve made twenty more calls and you’ve scheduled appointments. You pick up the phone and follow up with clients who were on the fence, you ask for the business. Before you know it, you’ve secured commitments to move forward. You pick up the phone and ask for help from a mentor. Before you know it, you’ve got lunch scheduled with someone that will pick you up by your bootstraps and hold you accountable. You just do something, you just do the next right thing. Then you ask for help. Notice I did not say, ask for help then wait for them to tell you what to do. Go to action first. Then you can ask for help. But waiting around for someone to return your call/email/text is not productive. They will likely get back to you. But take action no matter what.
Even if you’re not a financial advisor or an entrepreneur, this still applies to you. This always applies when you’re stuck. Did you have a dream and now it’s hard? Do the next right thing. Then ask for help. Are you hoping for a baby and it’s just not happening within your timetable? Do the next right thing. Schedule the appointment with the specialist. Then ask for help. Reach out to a friend/therapist who’s been through this. Is your dream to get back into shape? Don’t run a marathon today, that’s paralyzing. Just get out and run the first mile and see what happens. Then ask a friend to join you in the process. Do you dream of finding your forever partner, just get online and do the dang thing. Go out on a date. Then find a friend who’s going through the same process. You two will laugh your butts off as you sift through the available inventory. You have a dream of growing in your faith, don’t feel that you need be an ordained pastor on day one. Just do the next right thing. Say a prayer or open the bible. Then ask for help. Find a friend/colleague/neighbor who’s on the same journey just a little farther along then you.
For others, your dream is just to get out of bed. You’re dealing with depression. You’re dealing with addiction. You’re dealing with illness. I am no expert here. But I know that action and support will serve you. Do the next right thing, then ask for help.
Whether you are building a business, or fighting addiction, God did not get you this far, just to leave you here, alone. God still has plans for you, plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. You aren’t just enough. You’re a freaking work of art. God’s plans for you are way better than you can imagine, they’re way bigger than you can even fathom. You can’t stop where you are, now is not the right time to stop. You never stop at a low point. Just do the next right thing. Then ask for help.
You have this dream in your heart for a reason. When God puts a dream and purpose in your heart, it isn’t a mistake. Pursue this dream. Pursue your purpose. Even when it gets hard. This is exactly who God called you to be. The tools will arrive. The people will arrive. The business will arrive. Maybe it was never supposed to be easy. Maybe there is purpose and wisdom in the struggle. Keep moving forward. You maybe can’t do everything right now. Just do the next right thing. Then ask for help. I can’t wait to see the abundance waiting for us when lean into our purpose, exactly who we were made to be all along.
Are you feeling discouraged in your pursuit of something important to you? Me too!!! Here’s exactly what to do.
- Do the next right thing.
- Then ask for help.
Ok, I know I’ve oversimplified this but I don’t know what your pursuit is. You do though. Trust yourself that positive action is always positive, no matter how small the action seems. Consistent action leads to consistent results, trust me. Consistent results will lead toward your vision. In this next week, do you need to create or adjust a system to make sure that when you’re at a standstill, you know what action you will take? What is the one thing you will do when you hit the wall? Who is the one person who’s on the same journey, just a little farther along than you? Who can you call that will support you and help you move forward?
In this next week, who is a woman (or person) that needs encouragement from you to move forward? Who can you support this week in their purpose or dream? Have you successfully walked through a season that others are struggling through? If this is you, you’re a woman in position to help another woman! This is great news. Just go ahead and pick up the dang phone to EncourageHer. You are the life-line. This can be life changing. You can change someone’s life!
- You are a successful entrepreneur? Call that woman in your life just getting her business off the ground.
- You successfully transitioned from “stay-at-home-mom to professional?” You successfully transitioned from “professional mom to stay-at-home mom?” Call that momma that’s just making the transition. Pick up the phone.
- You successfully transitioned from full-time-mom to empty nester with significant purpose? Phone a friend!
- You’ve dealt with the trauma and fear that comes with illness successfully? Your experience and action will serve someone else. You have wisdom, empathy and direction that needs to be shared.
- You’ve grieved the loss of a spouse or child? Someone needs to hear from you today.
- You’ve dealt with a major shake-up at work? Call that woman going through this for the first time. You’ve walked through the chaos and came out stronger. EncourageHer!
The scenarios are endless but you get my point. You have successfully navigated something, something really hard. EncourageHer in the same pursuit. You have knowledge and wisdom to offer, don’t you dare keep that to yourself. You are the help. The world needs your encouragement and support. You will make a difference in someone’s life…today.
I see you. I love you. I’m cheering you on!