How to Stay Strong When You Feel Weak

A couple of days ago I wrote a post that described why I thought all aspiring internet entrepreneurs seeking to start their own internet business ought to keep their day job.

I went onto explain that I was going to get a day job because I didn’t think it made good business sense to use the profits from my internet business to pay daily life bills.

For one)
it was causing financial stress because my internet business is not even a real business yet (yet is the keyword here because that internet business of mine is just around the corner)

and two)
because I realized that if I want my internet business to scale, I’ll need to reinvest the money it makes into marketing and growth.

The rationale is that I don’t want to build an internet business where I have created a job for myself, but I want to create an internet business where I can automate, outsource and focus on the “vision.” To do this, I need to step back. To step back I need to get a job. That’s just the economic reality of the situation.

So today I wanted to address an emotional issue that can accompany this decision to go back to work. Or even if it’s not a matter of going back to work but it’s a matter of re-visualizing the plan, or whatever setback you want to put in its place.

It’s an emotional issue in general with internet business. It’s the issue of feeling like a failure when things don’t work out how you anticipated they would.

Admittedly, it’s been a rough couple weeks for me. I don’t like to worry and concern over money. I don’t like not feeling like a provider for my family. Even worse, I don’t like when other family members second guess my decisions because I haven’t come through like I thought I was going to. It’s tough. But these are real issues and this is the personal side of business. I face them and likely you too.

So let’s talk about it today.

The purpose of this article is give you practical tips and words of encouragement about how to stay strong in times when you’re feeling weak.

Because let’s face it, just because you’re down and out and things haven’t worked out the way you have planned doesn’t mean that the dream is over. Far from it.

Do This First Before Anything Else

That vision you had when you got started so long ago, rewrite it and/or revise it. But don’t toss it.

Now is the time to revisit your original intentions and reasons behind your decisions. Whatever you do, don’t settle for second best. It’s now… when you’re humbled and not feeling so great about yourself that you “walk softly and carry a big stick,” which is to say keep quiet and let your actions do the speaking for you.

Now this doesn’t happen overnight, but that is why you re-write out your plan so that little by little and day after day you can continue taking the necessary actions to get to the place you want to be.

Don’t Be Overly Self Critical

Emotions play such a critical role in deciding whether we pick ourselves back up or give up for good from such set backs.

Adopting a belief of negativity can cause a lot of harm. It won’t only completely dismantle your internet business aspirations, but it will also change your entire being – not for the good.

Everyone starts from zero and sometimes we even fall below zero before we rise up. Hope is a good thing and good things don’t die. So don’t ever lose hope; don’t ever be overly critical or lose your mojo. Simply pick yourself up, give yourself a good talking to and reflect upon your mistakes if you made some and move on with head high.

The only other piece of advice I have to offer with Don’t Be Overly Self Critical is during this period of time when you’re feeling fragile and somewhat defeated, keep your distance from those individuals who don’t bring you up. Guard yourself from them. Avoid them like the plague. You don’t have to explain or get into any discussions about it, just keep your distance from the people you don’t want to be around while you’re rebuilding yourself up. Period.

Anticipate and Get a Plan

Quite simply, there are just some times when the challenge you’re facing is an impediment toward peak performance.

Know this and learn to identify when this is the case. Also don’t be afraid to fess up to these occassions. If you don’t have the necessary resources, or you got bad information, or you have to chalk it up as lack of experience, that’s okay. Learn and go.

These are opportunities for you to grab the sidewalk chalk and mark a line on the pavement. It’s a new start.

Examine your loss from all angles and trace its roots back as far as they go. If you can identify Why, you can make new preparations to win.

Good ole Zig Ziglar says, “You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win and expect to win.”

So anticipate what your next few months look like… what exactly will the next 90 days be like? Make a T chart. On one side is your Must Dos and on the other side are your Want Tos and at the bottom are your goals. Now make a plan and follow them as if they’re directions. Write them as if they’re directions. Every single day be sure you’re making the Must Dos happen, and when you do that move onto the Want Tos.

Lower Your Expectations and Begin to Raise Them Again As You Go. Progress Slowly.

When I used to write poetry in a daily or semi-daily basis, I was always amazed when it worked out and I would compose a poem that felt perfect.

But when it was over and I’d finished polishing it so it shined and was ready to give to the world, I’d have this sense of loss and loneliness because I wondered if another poem would ever come again. And then days, sometimes weeks and months would go by and there would be no poems as brilliant as the last one.

And when I’d sit down to write, I’d be looking for that brilliant poem, but it wouldn’t show. My expectations were to high. I had to lower my expectations.

So maybe instead of trying to perfectly capture the way I saw the forest fire causing a lot of smoke to lift itself from the large mountain while I was driving down the freeway as I was headed into the city, and all the emotion that was behind it, I’d just write, “The smoke rose off the mountains.”

Simple, now expectation writing. But still following the process of writing (this is a metaphor for how you should lower your expectations with internet business and proceed).

That would lead to the next line, which was equally not a big deal of a line. But it was the process. And before not too long of following the process with lowered expectations I’d find that I had a complete page full of “lowered expectation” writing that I had to work with.

Suddenly those lines lifted themselves up from the page so that emotion about riding in my car heading to the city and seeing the smoke on the mountain from the fire became —

The mountains will burn and all good cities cry.

The point I’m trying to make is that of course we all want to be earning six figures a month with our internet business (and of course I wanted to publish my poems). But if we start small and low, we’ll eventually see positive results.

When our expectations are too high, we might never have the appropriate patience to get far enough into success. Starting small but progressing along steadily should be a part of your plan. Be aware of it.

Take a Break

No long explanation needed here. Too much of anything is not good.

I’m scaling myself back and making sure I live a balanced life. I used to believe what I heard when some leaders would say that they worked so hard it physically hurt. Maybe that worked for them, but never forget that your situation and your life is you. Never compare.

When you take a break I think you get back to your true self. After you’ve worked really hard for awhile and didn’t see the results you wanted, you have become seasoned. When you become seasoned and with the proper reflection, I think you bring yourself even closer to yourself, and know how you work best. Take a break to reflect on this and reemerge when you’re ready to. Move forward the way you want to and think is best for you.

Enjoy the Process

This is so cliche I was tempted to leave it out.

I hate this piece of advice I’m giving right now because I am so bad with enjoying the process. I’m not sure if I’ve really enjoyed the process up to this point. I’m definitely not enjoying the fact that I’m getting a day j.o.b. to maintain life.

But that’s only one half of me.

The other half of me is totally loving the process. I laugh at the folly of life. I cherish the struggle and relish in the story. Life is great.

Here is the meat of what I want to share as it pertains to enjoying the process. Basically, you have to ditch your ego and go along in such a way that isn’t too hasty. Understand to recognize and appreciate mini-milestones.

I was on a coaching call the other day and I heard myself tell my client that one of my biggest milestones was charging $10 an hour for coaching. That it meant so much to me emotionally because I was receiving money. Now I regularly charge $29 for an initial consultation and hundreds of dollars for my coaching.

I can’t even tell you the process or progression of how that happened. That’s not good. I should be able to do so. I have my head so far foward thinking that I’ve forgotten about the process of now. So that is mainly why I wrote “Enjoy the Process” as cliche as it is, because it’s a very valuable tool for conciousness. The further you can expand your conciousness, the greater a human being you will be and that will help you in all areas of life.

Don’t Ever Stop Believing in Yourself

This is the most important and most difficult especially if your confidence has been shaken. It’s even harder when you lack the support behind you.

I’ve been thinking about this one for awhile this past week.

I am a very confident person. Yet here I am not in the desired financial situation I thought I was going to be in. Here I am nodding my head that I was wrong to quit my professional career as a teacher too early. Here I am bringing the calculator to the grocery store when I thought by now I’d be eating at fine dining establishments every week.

So why is it that I am still completely and utterly confident and sure of myself?

It’s because I have never feared being wrong. And boy let me tell you! I’ve been wrong so many times. I’ve been wrong so many times I should have regret, but I don’t. I have confidence. So the sure fire way to remain confident and continue to believe in yourself is to never ever fear being wrong. Confidence doesn’t come with being right all the time anyway.

That’s it. Please add to this list if you think I’ve missed something.

2 thoughts on “How to Stay Strong When You Feel Weak

  1. Thanks Eric for this post! Isn’t it amazing that we find thoughts that match where we are emotionally–just like that? I wasn’t looking for inspiration but found it in your words. The late great Jim Rohn talks about the magic of part-time–working a day job for dollars and building a business for your fortune and legacy. I too am considering a JOB for all the right reasons–I lost a job unexpectedly, and am getting real about what I need to do to take the financial “worry drain” off my shoulders while I build my business.
    Thanks again for putting these comforting and helpful words down for me. With confidence, Cindy Cieplik

  2. Eric,

    This is a great post, as was the one that came before it. Sorry I didn’t respond earlier, but the past 2 weeks have been entirely too cluttered with work and stuff. I’m soooo tired right now.

    Still, I want to say that I applaud this decision. It’s not at all indicative of failure when you choose or have to go to work outside of your business. Quite the opposite. It shows your maturity and an ability to make logical decisions in the face of an emotional situation; the business is not where you want it to be, and you want to build it on your own terms, not out of stress or anything else that is not pure.

    I would do the exact same thing if I were still a single mom. My husband, however, has told me to work hard and smart, and that he will support our family as the business grows. That is the ONLY reason I don’t have secondary employment outside my home business.

    If anything, you are now acting from a position of strength. It only makes sense, then, to “stay strong.” You ARE strong. Getting a day job shows exactly that.

    Anyway, I wanted to chime in and say that to you. I wouldn’t be doing well in business right now if I had not gotten initial coaching from you. From all I can tell, you are an exceptional coach, a great father, an exceptional partner to Kaitlin, and a brilliant business owner. That’s a pretty doggone strong place from which to be making great business decisions that include getting a day job.

    This is such an encouraging blog entry. Thanks for writing it, and I hope that all of us continue to make decisions that will be good for our businesses in the long run.

    Blessings,
    Christi Johnson

Comments are closed.