The highs are great. But how do I cope with the lows?
As I write this, it’s an early Friday evening. I should be looking forward to the weekend or spending time with family or friends. Instead, I’ve cornered myself off from the world to have some ‘me’ time. Yes, it involves a really large bar of Green & Blacks, but more importantly, it involves a lot of thinking.
Whilst I sit here, I glance at a poster I have pinned to the inside of my open cupboard. I was given this poster during a workshop on Resilience with The New Entrepreneurs Foundation, and it illustrates the journey of starting a business through a stickman figure. As I look at it, I sigh with relief. The stickman in the poster as he walks his journey to success, climbs so high, only to fall. Every. Single. Time.
I’m so relieved. I’m actually smiling as I realise that this really isn’t only happening to me. I’m not doing things completely wrong… starting a business is clearly full of peaks and troughs, it isn’t an easy upward stride.
There have been so many amazing highs recently. Sometimes unbelievable ones, so great that I have to pinch myself to realise that they are real. I look at what I have achieved and I am so proud. I’m 22 and done all of this? I sometimes feel like there is an angel watching over me, dropping all these little bursts of opportunities in front of me, and guiding me through the right door. I feel so lucky.
But every time, after every high, there’s this car crash when out of no where, a low hits me so hard in the face, I can feel the pain all over my body. A low can be caused because of one of many reasons – a door slammed in my face, a broken promise, negative feedback, a lack of self-confidence, a lack of business confidence, a lack of motivation, a lack of sales, a lack of clarity of where to go next.
Before I glanced over at the poster in my cupboard, I was thinking to myself, how does everyone do it? But I realised, or was reminded, that this happens to everyone. The secret is, that everyone’s lows are so well hidden by every confident man or woman who says “we’re doing really well, thank you”. And the world believes them. Something I am hands-up guilty of doing myself. How did I not realise this sooner?
Every person who starts a business seems to have this extra resilience built inside them, enabling them to cope with the lows to face the world, and to get to the final stage when “we’re doing really well, thank you” becomes real.
I know I have this resilience because it’s been a year now, and I’m still getting out of bed at 7.30 am everyday with new found energy to keep going, despite what happened the day before, or how little sleep I may have had, and while I’m sitting here feeling one of those lows, I’m feeling grateful that I will wake up tomorrow and be ok. Why? Because I know what I have achieved, and what I can achieve – and with this knowledge, I’m ready to wake up every morning and fight every low that is thrown at me.