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Going Through The Trenches: Small Biz Edition

In the last 10 years my ideas of "success" have changed. When reading self help books now, I see that I did all of the hustling. I sat with goals, figured out a plan and executed it. I moved 1600 miles away from where I grew up to start my dream of owning a Chiropractic practice. The problem though, having these goggles on and fast tracking to what I thought felt right, I didn't get to see the bigger picture. My naïve nature and grit worked, but not without a price. Once I started, I realized what "being in the trenches" really meant. Sure, the story of "we didn't have a pot to piss in" and coming into success shows a real can-do attitude, but when you are going through it, it can be miserable. I cried a lot in my first year of business. Like, hyperventilating in a bathroom, crying.

The self helps are great about pumping you up, but lack the trenches. They can feed you fluff to get you started but not always sharing the scary parts. I felt, "well damnit, here I am following my dream and it feels absolutely deflating. Those 5 steps to success books and influencers kind of well.. suck. I needed a jaded and dirty perspective because that is really what a lot of starting a small business is all about. I needed the "okay, dumb shit is going to happen but here is how you pivot." I was pivoting all the time. The burnout can be real. The crying, depression, the pushing through no matter how you feel can be so exhausting.

So what happens when you are on the other side of it? When you are in the thick of living your dream, but it isn't feeling as good as you had hoped? This is when you need to sit down and do a self-audit. How are you feeling? Is this something you want to continue to push through? Where is your business plan, your core values, your mission, WHY you want to do what you are doing, and Who do you have to help you? The hard thing with this is.. you may be broke. You may be like me, where your dream also caused you to worry about how you may pay for groceries that week. You may not be able to hire anyone to help you, but who is in your network? Who else is going through the thick of it like you are? Invite them over and have coffee. It can be cheap-ass coffee. Grab and mug and make this a complete judgement free zone. When owning a small business you don't have time for judging or feeling overly competitive because these are distractions. This is your brains way of pushing you away from what really needs to be done, so tell her to shut up and be vulnerable with yourself and your new network. This can be the start of feeling better or recognizing that this may not be the path for you AND THAT IT OKAY! If you change your course, don't feel like a failure. No one will think that. You pivot how ever you need to.


Dr. Ariel Blackburn

Insta: @shesbeenhereallalong



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