My daughter and I started an intense kickboxing bootcamp last week.
We're up at 5:20, at the gym at 5:40, and in the midst of attempting to beat the daylights out of a boxing bag at 6:30.
It's hard. The kind of hard that makes muscles shriek and scream.
Last Wednesday morning when we got in the car I said, "I really don't like this. I hate waking up early. I miss my morning coffee ritual, and did I tell you I don't like this? Because I really don't like this."
That's when my daughter turned to me and said, "The good news is you don't need to like it. You just need to show up and do it."
The reasons we joined this 10 week pain-fest are:
- To live vibrantly today and in the future (because I sit a lot for work and that's just deadly).
- To increase our strength (because toned arms are ah-mAzing).
- To keep ourselves disciplined, because without someone holding us accountable during ab work, we'll roll on the floor laughing and giggling (happens during every fitness video).
It dawned on me Wednesday morning - after my daughter's comment - how much energy I was spending resisting. How it clouded my attitude and made the whole workout experience about 50 times more awful than it needs to be.
Since that morning, I've consciously chosen to stop resisting.
I get up. I brush my teeth. I put on my workout gear, fill my water bottle, grab my gloves and go. Just like that.
It's still hard. Desperately hard.
But without my resistance it's less painful.
Which got me thinking about the resistance that comes up in business.
Are there parts of your business you resist?
- Bookkeeping maybe?
- Learning how to set up business systems to streamline your workflow?
- Stepping into your sales shoes when a potential client is on the fence?
- Speaking up and representing your business in a private Facebook group?
- Keeping your workspace clutter-free?
- Creating an email marketing campaign because you don't want to learn Mailchimp?
How much energy do you expend freaking out and resisting that thing? Complaining, analyzing, and worrying? How much energy do you waste making excuses and whining? Feeling lost, overwhelmed,and aggravated?
What if you let yourself just feel it? Dislike it with a fiery passion if it gives you relief.
But most importantly, what if you stopped with the expectation that you should like it, and instead just showed up (without all the drama) and simply did it - the best you could?
Learning to run a business is exactly the same as learning to kickbox.
It requires building emotional and mental strength to do things like:
- contact your newspaper's features editor to pitch a story about your new business
- offer to be a guest speaker for an entrepreneurial group
- go door to door downtown and personally introduce yourself to business owners who purchase what you offer
- not fall apart when readers unsubscribe from your e-newsletter
- set boundaries or untether from clients who drain you
- apply to be a contributor at a bigger blog your dream clients enjoy
* I've done all these things my friends. If I can do it, you can too.
Here's what I know about building muscles - of all kinds:
There are crucial parts when it's hard. It hurts. The rewards aren't immediately obvious. It requires somewhat boring repetition; and you need to push yourself to the point of muscle failure - because it's the breaking down of your limits that enables you to expand and strengthen.
As you know I believe it's critical to align your business with the soul of your work. To elevate your energy so it mirrors the opportunity you desire to attract. But getting that all aligned doesn't mean running you business will be easy.
What it means is - staying with the occasional discomfort of building your business muscles will feel very rewarding. It will make you stronger, change your outlook, increase your confidence. And THAT'S what will elevate your joy.
Hard + Easy = Happy
Hard + Rewarding = Deeply meaningful
Hard + Soul-Sucking = Perhaps let go, evolve, or create a new container for your work
So my question to you...
What are you resisting?
Who could you grow into, how could your business expand if you just showed up and did what needed to be done?
If you are building your solo-business I wish I could tell you it's easy and anyone can do it. I wish I could tell you it's as simple as following your passions.
But instead I'll tell you the truth:
It takes guts to be a soulfulpreneur. Determination. It takes staying with it and correcting your form when things aren't aligned. It takes trying hard. And then harder. It takes changing things up so your content and offers feel fresh. It takes breathing through challenge and allowing yourself time to recover when you've spent your last drop of energy.
You don't always need to like it. You just need to show up and do it.