Wellbeing

10 super-practical things to do if you’re feeling a bit hopeless about your business

We’ve all had those days where we wonder ‘What’s the point’ and feel like chucking it all in. Before doing that, however, it might be worth trying one of these ten ideas.

9 February 2017 by

Oh my! Running your own business isn’t always easy, is it?! In fact, sometimes it can all feel a bit yucky and hopeless. If you’re having one of those days, here are some super-practical things you can do!

(Or, if everything’s going swimmingly, save this for a rainy day!)

1. Write Morning Pages

Morning Pages is a daily writing habit pioneered by Julia Cameron where you start each day with a little writing exercise. Now stay with me here. I know this might not sound like your kind of thing but it’s actually a goodie!

The way it works is that you free-write three A4 pages a day (handwriting if you can!) on whatever springs to your mind. WHATEVER! Just give it a go! It’s amazing the stuff you’ll find to write about!

"When you’re down in the dumps there’s nothing better than reading nice things people have written about you "

And that’s the magic in it! The writing clears your mind, releases anxiety and makes you more creative. After a few days of writing Morning Pages you’ll probably feel much clearer about your business, and have some great new ideas as well.

(Still sceptical? Here’s Tim Ferriss talking about it. Here’s a good summary of how it helps and then there’s this from someone who was initially a sceptic too!)

2. Do a little collaboration

One of the things that makes running your own business hard, and can make you feel a bit hopeless, is the loneliness of it all. A good (and easy-ish) way to inject a bit of partnership into your business is to do a collaboration.

Your collaboration doesn’t need to be a big deal. You could start by buddying up with another business to do a small project for charity, host an event or start a networking group. Here’s a lovely piece from Pip Lincolne about some collaborations she’s done. Might give you some inspiration!

3. Get back into local marketing

Maybe your social media efforts are getting you down. It can feel like a lot of work for not a lot of reward, yes? If so, try reinvigorating your business (and yourself!) with a bit of old school real-life marketing! Y’know, like flyers, car wraps, stickers, sponsorships, networking groups etc.

The simple stuff is often the most effective so if you’re looking for a bit of low-cost marketing inspiration there are a few ideas here.

4. Ask for testimonials

When you’re down in the dumps there’s nothing better than reading nice things people have written about you! If you don’t have one already, start a Smile File: it’s the perfect tonic for a yucky day.

But, rather than just waiting for people to say nice things about you, go and ask for some testimonials!  You can do this today! Hurry along now!

5. Send a thank you note!

It’s a funny quirk of nature, but doing something nice for somebody else actually makes us happier! Try sending a thank-you note to a customer, supplier or business friend and see how much happier it makes you!

Here’s a little note on Thank You notes, plus some other reasons to do it!

6. Stop feeling like you have to do everything the ‘business gurus’ tell you!

You don’t HAVE to do anything! You don’t have to have a bigger business. You don’t have to have a Facebook page. You don’t have to go to networking events. Relax! Just do what works for you! Really! Read this!

7. Find an easy way to do the hard stuff!

Sometimes all the business-y stuff feels a bit hard. Yes? And you don’t really want to do it. Yes?! Here are some good tips for getting on with the stuff you don’t want to do! And here’s a great tip if the thought of doing some of that stuff makes you feel anxious.

8. Put that Imposter Syndrome back in its box!

Maybe you’re feeling hopeless because you are suffering from Imposter Syndrome. It’s a real thing! It’s when you think you’re not good enough and you don’t really deserve your success. Like the dressmaker who, while her customers praise her for her beautiful work, worries she’s not a good enough seamstress.

To stop Imposter Syndrome try these tips on believing in yourself and this on how no one else knows what they are doing either!

9. Take some ME time

Probably the best thing you can do when you’re feeling yucky and hopeless is take a little time away from your business. ME time is not a luxury: it’s a necessity. Take a break and you’ll bounce back motivated and focused!

10. But if you’ve really had enough, it’s OK to quit

Sometimes our business don’t work, or we fall out of love with them, or we just need a change. And it’s OK to quit. Really it is! Here’s a story from someone who closed her business, and here’s another (this one is super-long but a VERY good read).

Have you got any tips for hopeless days that you’d like to share?!

This article first appeared on The Business Bakery blog and is republished here with full permission.

Julia Bickerstaff

is a business strategy, pricing and productivity expert. She is the founder of The Business Bakery, an organisation that helps women make a healthy income from their handmade, home-based or other intentionally small business.

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