Ebbs and flows are totally natural and to be expected in both life and business.
Too many people are walking around expecting to have all the answers and always know what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, to always have the perfect mindset, to always love what they’re doing and it’s just not achievable or realistic.
So much of the ‘mindset work’ is less about feeling or being positive all the time but more about how you handle the harder times. The darker times.
There are too many people telling you, or ‘selling’ you, an ideal that’s not realistic or sustainable.
An ideal that directly denies your humanity.
And it has to stop.
You know I’m always here to give you the unsexy truth, but always with a dose of hopeful realism that should lead to oodles of self compassion and the ability to quieten that nasty little voice inside your head.
Life is about the ups and downs. Business has ups and downs.
There will be times when you feel super aligned and on fire and there are times you will question EVERYTHING and realise you need a course correct!
Both are positive, believe it or not.
The ebbs may not feel great at the time, and they may come with uncomfortable truths, but they are course correctors.
Too many people are telling you things are a ‘mindset issue’ when in fact they might actually be a values issue.
They might be an honesty issue.
They might be a ‘directly conflicting with my personality’ issue.
All should be respected and listened to.
I never ever want any of my listeners to believe I have it together ALL the time. I don’t. If anyone tells you they have, I’d run a mile.
You deserve more than being fed an unrealistic expectation to try to live up to.
I have my ebbs and flows too. Of course I do. I’ve had several this year in different aspects of my life.
I naturally question everything and sometimes I realise things that are a totally inconvenient truth and it’s hard but necessary in the quest for living the life you truly want to.
It’s part and parcel of being a human and it’s NOT a bad or negative thing. It’s just not.
You’re just buying into a lie that you’ve been told your whole life about how you ‘should’ be to be a good human. By society, parents, friends, movies, marketers trying to sell you stuff.
You are not infallible, you’re absolutely supposed to feel the whole human spectrum of emotion.
Life is about polarity. Light and dark. Right and wrong. Good and bad. Positive and negative. Without its polarity you don’t experience the best bits in the same way.
You wouldn’t experience gratitude in the same way.
You wouldn’t get to grow and evolve.
The ebbs are not only course correctors but they are messengers.
It may take some time to figure it all out and that’s ok.
It’s about digging into what it’s trying to tell you or lead you towards or lead you away from.
Are you trying to repeat a familiar pattern?
Did you catch yourself trying to have a replay of a past experience from when you were younger and trying to have a different outcome but inadvertently getting yourself into a place that’s a massive contradiction to your values? (If that felt close to the bone that’s because it is and something that I’ve recently dealt with, i’m sure i’ll do a podcast episode on that soon ha!)
These things are going to happen in our businesses. I believe it’s a really important part of our evolution.
We age, grow, our priorities shift, we realise things that we thought we wanted we don’t, or even that we thought that we didn’t want and realise we do.
The trouble is what external influences try to make this mean for you.
No one can tell you what it means but you!
Something that is a huge issue in the online industry that I see causing a lot of these ebbs is this whole six figure business owner thing and I’m always trying to debunk it.
It causes ebbs because people might look at their income and feel like their business is ‘not working’ or that they aren’t ‘good enough’ because they’re not at the six figures yet.
But a far more insidious reason is because if you ARE at a certain level, whether it’s six, multi six etc and you realise you might not actually be happy or you’re hugely over worked and you want to take it slower, or your priorities shift, because you have that label you feel like you can’t step back or walk away from income because you’d lose that label and perhaps get rejected from the ‘club’.
It’s a big issue and we have to become conscious of this.
If the money and the label are your number one driving force it’s always going to cause ebbs because you won’t listen to your intuition or your gut, you’ll ignore feelings and try to push them away and you’ll stay doing something that isn’t making you happy because you simply can’t lose that label because that’s how you’re validation yourself and allowing others to validate you.
But isn’t that worse than being in a job in the first place? Haven’t you created yourself even more painful shackles?
It also belittles all the incredible businesses that are out there that fall under that imaginary threshold of acceptance and I’m not here for it.
I really want this to sink in today, I know I keep banging this drum but I won’t stop because it’s so important to me.
There are too many amazing people out there giving up on their dreams because of it.
So much nuance is left out of the marketing that’s targeted towards business owners that is intentionally there to leave you in a state of not feeling good enough so you’ll buy more.
It’s preying on and directly CAUSING insecurities.
The biggest one is around this six figure thing. Totally achievable over time but it might not actually be what you want.
It also causes you to feel not good enough until you get there.
It just sounds oh so shiny.
A huge amount of people wouldn’t get to six figures in a job if they decided to go back to work.
I’m never going to be one of those people that bashes corporate jobs because I loved doing both. I got curious the other day and looked up salaries in my old industry and if I went back there’s no way I’d be earning what I’m earning in my business.
Would you? It’s a good sense check!
So let’s put even more context to this. According to HMRC the national UK average salary at the start of 2022 was £24,600, the average full time salary was £31k. Let that sink in.
So if you make £25,000 in your business BY YOURSELF, with no one else to answer to but you. Flexibility to work the days and hours you want to around your other commitments and passions. Not needing to ask to take a day off. You’ve earned more than the national average salary.
In my eyes that makes you a flipping rock star and it’s something to be hugely proud of.
There are a huge amount of businesses that only want or need a certain amount that could be way under the six figure threshold. I LOVE working with them. They’re clear on what they want and not buying into the hype.
That doesn’t always mean they’re playing ‘small’ as much as some marketers would like you to think.
There’s so much judgement around, we need to start being our own judges from our own truth and our own minds. Internal validation.
Of course you can aim as high as you want, and it’s so possible, but my point here is that whatever your goal is it’s so so valid. And might actually be a lot easier and take less time than you think if you stopped beating yourself up.
I work with clients right at the start of their journey all the way up to multiple seven figures. The thoughts are very similar and a huge amount of it is always tied up in attaching your worth to your income.
So say you hit the elusive six figures…But you realise you’re really unhappy.
Does that mean you just have to stay doing what you’re doing so you can keep the income label?
Does that mean you can’t pivot, or say no to something that’s not right for you anymore?
That just doesn’t make sense in the grand scheme of why so many people start their businesses in the first place, to be happy, to love what you do.
If you have an ebb, does that always mean there’s something wrong with you? That you have a mindset issue? That you aren’t good enough?
Of course it doesn’t.
All it means is it’s worth taking the time to get curious and investigate the thoughts and feelings that are going on for you.
Then be brave and do the right thing for you.
Don’t ever let what someone else might think keep you in a place you don’t want to be.
Who told you that because you love something today, you then have to love it for the rest of your life?
That’s not a healthy or realistic expectation to put on yourself and if you obey it, denies you so many other possibilities that may be better for you.
If you actually look at the stories of some of the biggest entrepreneurs in this online space you’ll see that most of them pivoted. In big ways. Most of their businesses now are VERY different from how they started.
They followed the passion.
They were brave enough to say ‘that doesn’t work for me anymore so I’m going to make a change’.
THAT’S the mindset work.
The bravery to do what’s right for you despite what other people might say or think.
Being able to walk away from potential cash and opportunities because it’s not right for you anymore.
THAT’S the work.
Courage, bravery, self compassion, confidence, honesty about what you REALLY want, even if what you see isn’t convenient.
We have to stop looking at certain emotions as negative. We have to start listening and being curious about what these ebbs are telling us.
It could be as simple as needing a break.
It could be that you are actually at a point where you want or need to pivot in your life or your business because something just isn’t right for you anymore.
No one gets to judge you for that and it certainly doesn’t make you ‘less than’ if that requires a step back to take a step forward, which might mean a drop in income.
If things are happening in or around your business, or in your life, that fundamentally don’t make you happy or really push your values buttons you need to look at that and be brave enough to take a step back.
Whether that’s stepping back from income, people, industries, relationships, opportunities it doesn’t matter. What matters is your happiness.
It may take you a hot minute to figure it all out and that’s ok. I’ll be there in the trenches with you.
Ebbs and flows are a natural part of life and you deserve to be happy. Inside and out. What other people think is not your concern. Be brave, you’ve got this.
Fran Excell, Success Mindset Mentor at www.franexcell.com – Helping Business Owners & Executives Overcome Stress & Self Sabotage so they can get back their time, get off the emotional rollercoaster and feel more in control.
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© 2023 Fran Excell. Success mindset mentor for entrepreneurs & executives.