Lately I've run across more than one budding entrepreneur who makes building a business out to be nothing but serious and a lot of hard work. I've been pondering this a lot. Our energy follows our thoughts. When we hold only serious energy toward anything, it BECOMES hard to us. We fulfill our own expectations. We start believing that there is too much to do, too much to learn, and that we are overwhelmed. Here are just a few examples I've run across in the past months:
- It's no fun to pay attention to weekly income and expenses.
- It's no fun to carve out the time needed to work on my business, not in it.
The truth is, your business will flourish the more you weave fun into it. When we look forward to learning something new rather than thinking it will be overwhelmingly difficult, we create energy toward our own success. When we hold our work lightly, it feels much less burdensome and hard. We end up with a more positive energy toward the things we have to do. We all know this, but when it comes to our work we sometimes tend to forget it. We think we have to labor at our work, or keep it separate from our fun.
Dread has no place in your life as an entrepreneur. You didn't set yourself up to be the boss of you just to feel dread toward your work, did you? 🙂 One way to handle feeling too burdened or overwhelmed is to make sure you inject some fun and things you truly enjoy into your business. Tiny pleasures or large ones, they all help you succeed in your work.
Here's just a small example. I've always loved the color turquoise, so to inject a little bit of fun into the work of updating one of my websites, I used it and asked Facebook friends what color to pair it with. I ended up with a dynamic combo of my fav turquoise paired with peach. I love it, and I had fun I had pulling it together. (You can check out the result at suepainter.com.) How fun it was to read the other day that turquoise has been named “color of the year.”
Often I encourage my clients to plan personal retreats to work out their stuck places and to work on their business planning. These are fun despite being productive. Go where you've been wanting to go, or return to a place you enjoy. Not only does the prospect of a trip create a welcoming energy, you are so easily able to work on your business rather than in it, getting away from the day-to-day routine. Go by yourself, or pair up with another entrepreneur who also wants to hammer out some work. You can weave breaks into your day, walk on the beach, get a nice dinner, shop. But for the most part, you are giving yourself uninterrupted time to invest in your business. Don't sabotage yourself by making this a family vacation, either. It's not – it's for YOU.
You can also form a small Mastermind group with people you truly enjoy, and meet by phone or in person to help each other with business issues. Make it fun – meet over a good bottle of wine, take a walk, whatever you enjoy. For a while last year, I did this with another entrepreneur by meeting her to water walk and swim together. We'd do that, then get into the warm therapy pool and stretch both our bodies and our views of our businesses.
Do you have staff or employees in your business? In nice weather, try meeting outdoors with a picnic lunch. Just think about ways to bring joy and pleasure into your endeavor. You'll benefit both in your spirit and your bottom line. Think easy-peasy, not hard. Think mastery, not failure. Think simple steps, not big overwhelming project. You didn't put yourself in business to feel fearful, down or out. You put yourself in business to serve others and create a world of work that meets your income and lifestyle wishes. Fun will help you get there, even in small doses!
(c) Sue Painter