Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How to Overcome Feeling Unsupported In Business

Recently, I have been invited to and included in several groups which have the purpose to support each other in the group.  A few years ago, when I began my business, I searched for supportive groups like these.  I joined them.  And I felt completely UNsupported.

Three years in my business and I am finally feeling supported.  But it has nothing to do with others supporting me.

Before I became an entrepreneur, I was used to being part of a team... being part of an organization.  I discussed ideas and possible solutions to challenges with my colleagues.  As a solopreneur, one has oneself.  As an entrepreneur with a team, there is still hesitation to be fully transparent with the team. As a result, many times, entrepreneurs and solopreneurs feel very a.l.o.n.e.  Yet we often want to just talk things out... exchange ideas... work with others to do something bigger and better.

So we reach out to groups and sometimes partners to help us feel included and not so alone.

I continued to feel unsupported even though I put effort into reaching out.  People who I wanted to support me, and whom I thought wanted to support me, supported others... partnered with others... became friends with others.  I felt left out.  Excluded.  Alone.  At times, I thought there was something wrong with me.  My mindfulness practice helped me, and I can honestly say, I'm more resilient now than ever!

Then one day, during meditation I'm sure, something clicked.  I teach mindfulness and leadership, but let me tell you, I still need my own coach and practice:)  These people probably did support me.  I mean, what was I expecting from them anyway?  Oh... well... I wanted friends.  I wanted fun.  I wanted colleagues.  But, that is probably not what they were seeking.  I had expectations. And, of course, when you have expectations, you will be disappointed.

So I began shifting my mind every time I felt unsupported.  Instead of getting all wound up about why they wouldn't support me... I started focusing on what I truly wanted and I stoked my own fire. My own vision.  When a partnership did not work, it was probably because the other person was not aligned with what I truly wanted.  I had to come to terms with the fact that my business partners and supporters are not necessarily my friends.  It does not mean I'm not friends with lots of people I do business with... but in order to have true business support, I need to follow my business vision.  And I need to let go of those that do not support me.  That also does not mean not be friends with those that do not support my business.  That means, do not involve myself with the idea that they do not support me.  Carry on.  Do my business.  Mind my own business.  Just like my business tagline says... mind your business.

True, not everyone supports my business vision.  One lady told me there were too many other people doing what I want to do so why bother.  This was someone from an organization that helps business owners.  At first, I did feel deflated.  And if it was a year ago, I would have decided to not pursue what I wanted.  Within a few days of that meeting, though, I had a second person in a few months ask me if I'm going to hold a retreat.

I've been dreaming of holding retreats as part of my business for about 20 years.  I found the fire in my belly that entrepreneurs absolutely need in order to survive.... and I began planning my retreat. And it's happening November 20-22, 2015!  I have people signing up for it.  I have people interested in attending another one.

I finally feel supported.  But, I am supporting myself.  I am revisiting what fuels my inner fire both personally and in business.  It may sound woo-woo to some... but it is what success is built from.  It is how we build resilience.

In order to truly feel supported, I began doing what I love to do again.  For me, that included activities like running, hula hooping, dancing, paying attention to friendships, playing music, being in nature.  We often create busy lives and stop filling our tanks with fuel... when the fire goes out, so does our aliveness.  Of course we will feel unsupported in business if we feel unsupported in life.

And guess what?  As I live my own life... as I fuel my own fire... as I focus on what is important to me... I am gaining friendships and support in ways I was not before.  Your fuel may be different than mine.  It IS different.  And that's why I created this upcoming retreat, "Unleash Your Creative Spirit". It is a retreat to find that fire in your belly... so that you can be alive in life and work.

The answer to finding support is to stop seeking it.  Do what brings you joy.  Of course I still have to do paperwork that I don't like.  But the end result brings me joy.  My vision stays in my mind.  A dimming fire is a sign I'm going off track.  Sometimes I simply need to meditate.  Sometimes I need to revisit the big picture and make different plans.  Sometimes I need a kick in the you-know-what from my coach.  But the support is always initiated from me.

The whole world is actually supporting me.  But without me supporting me, it doesn't matter... I won't feel it.  Entrepreneurs and solopreneurs need to self-support so they can feel the support from the world.  Do what YOU need.  Mind your business...