How many times has fear tried to consume you? Fear can be as simple as being afraid of walking across a city street to overcoming that giant obstacle standing in your way as you move forward.
I know, I know…I haven’t updated this in a while. For one, I’ve been busy and two, I’ve lacked inspiration…
About 8 months ago I was struggling with being uninspired and honestly I was exhausted. It seems like everywhere you turn, you have to update this, instagram that, tweet somebody before you miss that small window etc. I was becoming burn out and felt like at one point that was all I was doing ALL day.
Struggling with this was one thing but then an unexpected curve ball took the wind out of my sails about 6 1/2 months ago, my middle sister was killed in an motorcycle accident. That was enough to make me want to curl up in a ball and separate myself from everything. Which is what I did for a month or two. In that moment, you don’t feel like anything matters and stumble wondering why we actually do what we do each day. Is it to have the things we have? Be on top? Finally have that dream house we’ve always wanted? None of that really ever mattered to me but it really didn’t matter after having to swallow losing my sister.
That in itself is a whole other story that I will share very soon, so stay tuned…
At some point in business you’re always going to have a burn out moment, it’s just inevitable. Anyone who disagrees with that is just lying to themselves otherwise. When we originally started Business Beware it was to help fellow business owners and share stories with others to inspire those wanting to start a business of their own. The show has been a great way for us to share the stories across the boards and we even have a ton of people contact us to share their story with us. For a show, that’s exactly what you want but the problem is that so many of these people were only wanting to share something to say, “What’s in it for me?” I actually recall one person I contacted about doing an interview with (who originally reached out to us) asked about all the outlets we were in, where it was aired, how many viewers etc. That was fine but I told them they were missing the point of what our show was all about – sharing stories to educate and inspire others, not about getting something in return for sharing your story. As a side note, they were also a startup business who thought they deserved the royal red carpet rolled out for them. I told them they were in for a rude awakening if they thought that everything just goes according to plan and people come busting down your door to talk to you.
Now granted, I had just lost my sister and I was in a fog as it was but I was blown away by how selfish some people were. I’m on the phone thinking, “To be honest with you, I don’t care because there are more important things in life than being worried about how many twitter followers you have. Oh by the way, my sister just died…” It’s not like I could just bust out and say that but there were many times I wanted to just to make someone take a step back for a moment.
I remember talking to a friend one day and they asked how everything was going and I just replied with, “I’m burned out and at this moment could throw everything out of the window.” They said to me, “Why? Everything you do helps others around you and I even get something from the stories I read on I Am A Mom and Pop AND I’m not even a business owner.”
I don’t know why but for some reason that’s exactly what I needed to hear. We go about our day, doing what we do and sometimes we think to ourselves, “Does anything that I do matter?”
Yes, it does.
I was struggling with trying to balance and keep up with everything that I forgot to focus on the root of what I do. I think many of us lose sight of why we started something because of all the static going on around us from having to keep up with social media, experts telling you this and trying to get ahead of the person next to you. Here’s what I can tell you:
- You don’t need to constantly update your social media accounts like everyone tells you to.
- Don’t settle for something less than what your ultimate mission is just to get ahead.
- It’s okay not to answer an email within 10 minutes of when you received it, it’s not going anywhere.
- It doesn’t matter how many followers you have because anyone can buy them these days (your mouth just dropped didn’t it?).
- Before you assume that someone is ignoring your emails, calls etc. just consider that something else might be going on in their life you have no clue about. – Be cool.
I could honestly sit here and list a lot more but I’ll spare you on that. You might be thinking about walking completely away from what you do and you’re already over it all. That’s okay.
Here’s my thought on that – Isn’t it better to walk away from everything and everyone than ultimately losing who you really are?
That’s my advice on that so take it and figure it out but make sure it makes you ultimately happy. Am I going to walk away from all of what I do? No. But now I’ve refocused myself and know what I need to accomplish and what I need to let go of. Sometimes things in life happen to make you remember what’s truly important. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. Whether you agree or disagree with me, figure it out and make sure you’re truly happy with whatever it is you do.
I think back on being a kid and often miss the days where you didn’t have the worries you do now or the realization that there are mean people in the world. Although we can’t go back we can definitely tune out the negative even if at times it seems impossible. One thing I have learned on this journey of building a business is that there are a TON of people that want to rub elbows with you once you are going places. I love meeting new people but can’t stand it when people only want to talk to you when they need something.
Putting that aside, I always think back to my high school graduation where my guidance counselor gave a speech at the end right before the hats went flying. She was one of those people who didn’t say a lot so when she spoke, you listened. She turned and looked at all of us and said, “Class of 2001, I hope you dance.” And if you know the song she is referring to then you completely understand why I often think about those words and what they mean. Life is full of let downs and trials but never, ever lose your sense of wonder. Tune out the negative and dance.
I’m still amazed at how fast time flies and how much faster it gets as you get older. 2012 is almost here and you always hear everyone coming up with new years resolutions but my question is why do you wait “for the new year?” Too often we think that we have to have a reason to achieve goals or change the way we eat, workout, travel etc. But seriously, why wait?
There is one thing that you have to understand, life is short and you don’t know what tomorrow holds so get out there and live life to the fullest. We get so caught up in daily life or drama that we forget to actually enjoy life. We forget about the things and people we love when truly that is the most important thing in life.
“Life is not about money, fame, your net worth, objects or how many friends you have, it’s about leaving footprints on others hearts and helping those you meet along the way.”
Go ahead and think of right now (this new years) as a clean slate but from this day forward don’t be afraid to make a change or take a chance before the new year comes around again. Once you accomplish a goal don’t stop there, keep setting them. Every day is a clean slate so make everyday amazing. Don’t waste time on looking back and wishing you could change something, focus on what’s ahead. I once had the privilege of hearing Colin Powell speak at a conference and what I took away from his speech was this:
“Don’t waste your time looking in the rearview mirror, focus on the road ahead of you.”
You may have heard this before but I’m telling you that it’s true…be patient and good things will come. It’s so true and it’s happened to me so take my word for it. So celebrate the new year, enjoy it and never stop challenging yourself.
Happy New Year! See you in 2012!
Photo credit: SJ Photography
Hello, my name is Ashley. I'm an entrepreneur that makes mistakes just like you, a believer saved by grace and living life to the fullest while meeting amazing people along the way. These are lessons I've learned through running businesses, experiencing tragedy and dealing with everything life throws at you.