By Charlie Kingsland-Barrow
I still remember it now. The awkwardness of the plastic chairs, the ticking of the clock on the wall, as I told my business partner that this was the end. I was about to walk away from everything we had dreamed of and worked for.
For so long I had carried around that burden with me - perhaps the same one that is tugging at your mind and soul right now - the weight of doubt. The ‘is this working?’ thought that refuses to leave.
Despite doing all that you can, nothing seems to be working, and deep down you perhaps know that this should be your time to leave it behind. Yet, you can’t quite bring yourself to do it, and sheer stubbornness and belief keeps you clinging on.
You might’ve heard the statistic that 99% of businesses fail within the first five years. And with the online space growing ever more competitive by the day, it’s hard not to give up hope when you feel like your business might be falling away.
But take heart. Your business can be turned around, even if you feel like, right now, you are fighting a losing battle.
In fact, business failure could be the best thing that has ever happened to you. It enabled me to see where I was going wrong, what I REALLY wanted from my business and life - as well as what I definitely didn’t want - and gave me the kick in the pants I needed to ensure that I could create a thriving business that not only fulfilled my desires for financial abundance, but also gave me the lifestyle I craved: plenty of time to spend with my family, living in the home of our dreams.
So if you are feeling burnt out, broke, and sick of the struggle, here is what you can do to transform your business before you get to the ‘I quit’ stage, right now.
So many of those I coach and work with tell me that they are focused and ‘working hard’, but when we dig deep into their working time we find that the majority of their working hours are spent distracted by social media, or time working on tasks like admin or email, tasks which don’t yield high-impact results.
If you haven’t already, create a disciplined work schedule and be tough on yourself within it - schedule email and social media for AFTER you have completed your most essential and profitable tasks.
This will immediately open up more time for you to be able to concentrate on work that is going to make the difference in your business, rather than sticking your head in the sand of Facebook and procrastinating, which we tend to do when we can feel failure so close.
So many of us start out in business full of love, brimming with positivity, excitement and energy. But then that love fades quickly when we fail to see the results we want.
First, ask yourself this: do you REALLY love what you are doing, and is it in true alignment with who you are?
Is your chosen niche what you truly love, and what comes naturally to you?
Do you feel alive when you are doing it, talking about it, dreaming about it?
If it’s a yes, the chances are that your passion is just being swamped by emotions of fear and lack, or there is another issue you are allowing to overcome your natural joy and flow. What do you need to do or concentrate on in order to bring those feelings of love and joy back to your business?
Often finding ways to bring back the love - whether through taking time for creativity, reflection, and peace - will unlock your joy and passion, which will reignite your business entirely as the pressure to ‘earn’ becomes less of your focus.
Concentrate instead on the creativity and passion.
If you have a suspicion that this ISN’T the right path for you; this is the perfect time to examine your true desires and ask yourself what it really is you desire and are called for. Reflect on how you found this path, work with a coach, post in online support groups, journal, meditate until you get to the heart of what it is that you feel sits naturally with who you are and what makes you blissfully happy.
It’s when we do what makes us truly happy and practice that on a daily basis that success flows to us much faster than if we concentrate on what we ‘should’ be doing in our business.
Why is it we resist failure? Virtually every great business owner and entrepreneur has experienced failure, possibly losing millions or facing bankruptcy in the process, before soaring on to greater heights. Yet most of us consider even small debt or loss as catastrophic failure - but what’s the world’s greatest have to teach us isn’t about debt, it’s about mindset.
Perhaps the mindset that is keeping you so close to failure is the mindset that that’s holding you back from success in the first place?
Start each day by filling your mind with gratitude for what you do have and then deliberately work to expand and grow your mindset. This has worked tiny, daily miracles in my own business and will do in yours too.
Whether that’s through journalling or listening to audio or reading, starting your day with a consciously open and uplifted mindset will help you to ultimately grow.
4. Let Go
There is a simple formula for success and it looks like this no matter what business you are in;
Build, Launch, Sell, Repeat. Is your latest program or offering just waiting for the perfect design, webpage, landing page, wording, images? If you are confident in being of value to others, then just get it out there.
Perfectionism is crippling and serves nobody. Set yourself a 24 or 48 hour challenge to get it done, complete and out there.
5. Hire a coach
I’m continuously amazed by people who want success but think they are able to do it by themselves, which is kind of like saying you can have the body of your dreams without exercise- one almost always has to go hand in hand with the other to achieve maximum potential.
Your route to success is so much faster and much more pain-free when you have access to the knowledge, guidance, and inspiration of a coach, ideally within a long-term partnership for continued support.
If you don’t feel like one-to-one coaching is accessible for you right now then join a group program.
Being on the edge of failure can actually be the best thing to happen to your business, which is why I felt elated when I quit the business that no longer served me, and emerged instead, into the light and the happiness and the abundance that my business now has.
And the most incredible part is failure isn’t something that just happens to you. You get to choose it. Choose whether it overwhelms and overcomes you, or choose to embrace it and let it be your guide into something better.
Charlie Kingsland-Barrow is the founder of the Work Less Revolution, and is on a mission to shred the busy-ness of business away from female entrepreneurs worldwide.
A coach, mentor, speaker and writer, Charlie believes that you do not have to sacrifice health, relationships, marriage, or self in order to be successful. She enables women to scale their business profits, streamline and outsource their workflow, and prevent overwhelm and procrastination - resulting in more money and happiness but above all - time.