Discomfort is a sign of growth. What matters is what you do about it.
So you started a business! You created something completely from scratch.
A business that let you to use your skills and talents to serve people you love in the exact way you want to serve.
You spent time getting up and running and eventually things started moving along, you got more clients, and started feeling really good about your work.
You thought, “This is it! The work I’m meant to be doing!”
You hate to admit it, but you’ve started feeling kind of “meh” about your business.
It just doesn’t feel as exciting anymore; it’s not really making you happy or excited to get up in the morning (which, btw, is why you started this whole thing, right?)
Sure, you could continue to show up every day and do the work that you’ve been doing. The work you’re good at. The work you know how to do.
But somehow the idea of that just feels … flat.
You’re not inspired by your business. You’re not excited by the possibilities any longer. You’re tired of writing and talking about the same things day after day after day.
In all honesty, you’re kind of over it. But you’ve spent all this time building it, so how can you possibly give it up?
At the same time, it feels impossible to keep plugging along like this!
What is this strange sense of discontent?
At some point in the life of your business — whether it’s within the first year or after a few years — you might feel a sense of disconnect or misalignment with your business.
It could look like any of the following:
- You’re not liking what you’re selling anymore
- You’re not excited to get a new client
- You don’t feel as thrilled about the work you’re doing on a day-to-day basis
- You’re tired of writing and talking about the #samedamnthing day after day
You might even have a craving for more:
- You feel like you’ve outgrown your current business
- You know there is new territory you’re eager to explore
- You feel called to a new way of doing things
If this is you, pause. Take a deep breath. Don’t panic.
Discontentment is a sign of growth
While you might start to panic when you realize the whole empire (or small business) you’ve built isn’t something that spark joy any longer, this isn’t a bad thing.
In fact, this is totally normal — and a good thing! It actually indicates GROWTH for both you and your business.
So don’t be afraid of this phase. Don’t try to look away or fake it until you make it or ignore it. (What we resist, persists!)
Instead, embrace it. Spend some time understanding what you feel and what’s causing you to feel this way. Be willing to go deep and take a good hard look at what’s at play.
You can make it through this phase and come out the other side smiling, but only when you’re first willing to dig deeper.
5 things you can do when you stop enjoying your business
So while it’s generally a good thing and part of growth, you still need to know how to handle it when you’re not feeling the joy in your business anymore.
Here are 5 steps you can take to better understand your feelings, what they mean, and decide how to move forward.
1. Step back and take a break.
It’s not a good experience for you or your clients when you’re not feeling 100% about what you’re offering. Same thing with posting messages on social media. If you’re not feeling aligned with what you’re saying and selling, take a break from it.
2. Ask for clarity.
You want to understand WHY you are feeling this way and the factors that are causing it. This is where you need to pay attention to what’s going on in your own heart and mind.. Meditation, journaling, and asking for guidance can help. Be open and willing to examine whatever comes up for you.
3. Revisit your values.
While your core values may always remain your core values, their priority may change… and sometimes a new value will pop up given life circumstances. It’s important to honor and reprioritize your values as necessary. Consider what you value at this point in time. And look at how your business is fulfilling — or neglecting — those values.
4. Consider what you want at this point in time.
Our wants and needs are ever-changing, and if you haven’t taken a time-out to ask yourself what you want lately, now is the time. (It’s ok to want something different than you wanted 6 months, a year, or 5 years ago.) Give yourself permission to explore your wants and desires from the space you’re currently at in your business.
5. Define the next right step.
Once you’ve processed the above steps, it’s time to take action, even if it’s a baby step. Get clear on your options and non-negotiables. Brainstorm a list. Don’t worry about seeing the whole staircase, but decide on the next right step you can take based on what you know now. That next step could be as small as research or talking to a business bestie.
What’s holding you back from experiencing more joy in your business?
Growth is a natural part of your evolution as a business owner and it’s important and integral for your success.
Discomfort isn’t to be feared; it’s simply a sign that you’re growing. But it’s important to notice it, understand it, and consider what changes you might make so you and your business can thrive.
We are always growing and evolving and it’s important to allow that process to take place.
It may sound counterintuitive, but business owners often keep doing the thing they’ve always done, even if, on the inside, they’re feeling called to grow and step forward in another way.
The greatest thing you can do for yourself — and your business — is explore these new curiosities and see where it takes you.
Have you gone through this phase in your business? Or are you in it now? How have you handled it?