Learning to drive a car.
Writing your first book and,
starting a small business.
And often my impatience gets in the way.
It’s the stress of running a business that soooo many people experience.
I find I want solution – now! – and get frustrated and anxious when I’m forced to slow down.
At those times it doesn’t help to be reminded “it’s about the journey, not the destination!” I want a solution now!
For example, I have a love/hate relationship with software. I know we have to use loads of programs, but it’s also a source of small business owner anxiety.
For my small company I’ve been using software like:.
- Google Docs
- G Suite
- Adobe Premiere
- 1 Password
- Microsoft Powerpoint & Word (because I used to always use the Mac programs)
ALL OF THESE programs are actually super simple to use (apparently), but when I began using them I often felt completely overwhelmed!
Xero was the worst.
I hate accounting, numbers, and the very thought about spending time in an accounting problem literally caused me levels of anxiety that I never thought I had. (I described some of my bigger challenges in my book)
It took me watching several tutorial videos, painful (mini) anxiety attacks, and actually taking the time to face my fear (of not knowing WHAT THE F*CK I AM DOING!!!) to sit down and explore, learning how to use the program. (I go deeper into managing your mental state in my keynotes.)
What do I mean?
I mean I would just play around. I would open and close tabs.
I would go down the rabbit hole and spend hours researching what “Reconcile transaction” means, how to pull up a Balance sheet…
I would pull reports like the Cash Summary even though I didn’t know how to read one, just to start to see the numbers in front of my face… and it was hard!
It was painful to look at these spreadsheets when I didn’t understand what they meant! But I had to do it…
Another one is Google Docs.
After spending all my time from 2010 – 2016 using all Mac computer programs like Pages and Numbers, and passionately falling in love with Dropbox, I was so used to those programs and couldn’t see the benefit of switching.
Plus, I hate clutter!
So when I use Google Docs I felt like I had less clean space on my screen because I don’t need the browser tab showing.
It wasn’t until I had trouble collaborating with virtual team members on documents and I learned about the value of Dan Martell’s Playbook, that I truly understood the power of Google Docs.
Now that I have taken the time to familiarize myself with the interface and sharing permissions of files, it all makes sense to me.
And – like most of the stress of running a business – there are hidden lessons. Like: you will often quit (or want to quit) before you reach success. It’s the reason why my small business owners succumb to the stress of running a business and…quit.
I have learned I needed to get a better handle on my finances. I have poor spending habits and operate too much on emotion vs logic.
I needed to experience a poor balance sheet and understand why my business has been failing in order to learn where I should actually be focusing my time, energy, and attention to the business in order to make it grow.
I had to learn how to build a scalable business because I can’t keep doing everything myself forever.
Learning how to “Let go of the vine” in entrepreneurship is extremely hard, and necessary if you are ever going to build something that can thrive without you!
The two books, “Built to Sell” by John Warrillow and “The E Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber changed my life forever. Both books chronicle stories about entrepreneurs learning how to build their businesses like McDonalds.
(Ps. A third book I would highly recommend is “Traction” by Gino Wickman. It’s about building your business using the EOS model (the Entrepreneurial Operating System) and is a phenomenal framework to piece everything you need to know together.)
I have learned how being naive has been one of my greatest assets in life and business, because I don’t wait to start something.
At the same time, I have learned that as eager as you want to be, as much drive as you have, as much Gary Vee you listen to, or as much Red Bull you drink… there are some things that you just can’t work harder on to speed up the process.
“Don’t rush the process… trust the process.” – Eric Thomas
Gary always says, there are some shortcuts to success, but to build an actual business, it takes time, patience, and hard work. There is no alternative.
It’s about building a strong foundation along the way.
It’s about learning the ins and outs of what makes a business actually tick.
It’s about building a strong team around you, learning how to make the hard decisions, and it’s about learning how to maintain and navigate your own mental health along the way because if you’re a true bred entrepreneur, you’re in this for the long haul and you need to look after yourself.
I started my first business when I was 23 years old, which was a complete flop. Underground FMX Productions was to be a production company for extreme stunt shows and I was only six months in when I broke my back and was paralyzed.
That was unfortunate.
However, from that experience and many more, it spun me into a world of sledge hockey which completely sent me on a new and amazing path.
Now today, I have built the Sledge Hockey Experience, a corporate team building program where we bring able bodied people out on the ice to play sledge hockey.
We have ran over 35 events in the last three years with companies such as RBC, TD Bank, CIBC, Toyota, Canadian Tire, Petro Canada, and so many more. We ran the sledge hockey event for the Invictus Games when Prince Harry was in Toronto, and we even fundraised over $30,000 so far to donate 31 sleds to children with disabilities.
And we did all this because of the failures I have experienced along the way. All those lessons were stepping stones to help me execute this dream and this vision today!
If you start a new business you will experience small business owner anxiety
and the stress of running a business – that’s inevitable.
What is not inevitable and it totally under your control is how you manage it.
I have learned so much about building a business comes down to patience, and if you don’t have that, you’re screwed…
Some things just take time.
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