If you’re experimenting, you’re winning - 5 tips to stop feeling like a failure when you’re experimenting
I was catching up with a friend over lunch about a year ago, and he asked how business was. I said, “I work so hard and take a ton of action, but I’m not making any money and it’s frustrating. I don’t really know what I’m doing wrong.” Even though hearing criticism is not always easy for me, I was at my whit’s end, so I lowered my pride and asked for his honest opinion.
“Well...I think you give up a little too easily,” he replied.
My ego immediately went reeling. I hated being thought of as anything remotely close to a quitter. I had worked so hard for years, I’m not a quitter!
“You start projects but then you don’t give them enough time to gain traction before you move on to the next thing. What if you just focused on one instead?” he continued.
Ok, I had to admit that this was true. “But I put them down because they just don’t feel right to me anymore. Like it feels out of integrity to continue.”
“Ok, so then that’s just you experimenting. If that’s the case, then you’re doing nothing wrong. So the way I see it is, if you want to keep experimenting, maybe getting a job will be helpful so you’re not stressed about finances. But if you want to stop experimenting and build a successful business, you have to get over that fear of commitment and go all in.”
I was very grateful for his feedback. I felt immediate resistance to getting job, but I was more than ready to have a successful business. At the same time, the term “fear of commitment” didn’t feel quite right to me either because I knew I couldn’t really commit to something that didn’t feel right. And I wouldn’t know if it felt right unless I tried it.
Hence, the experimenting.
So this is my suggestion to you - if you don’t know what you want to do in your business yet, keep experimenting.
I think for many of us mutli-passionate entrepreneurs, there are a bunch of things that we are interested in but until we find a way to marry all of our passions in our life (not just in our business!), we’ll always feel like something is not quite right.
So I encourage you to take some time and explore the ways in which you can participate in the things you are passionate about or interested in. It doesn’t all have to fit into one business. There’s more to life than just business, right?
Allow yourself space to experiment
If you don’t know how you want to put all your passions together just yet, I encourage you to keep experimenting. But an important piece of experimentation is to allow yourself breathing room to do so. Desperate experimenting has a different energy than curious experimenting. Guess which one will attract paying clients?
Consider keeping a job to bring in income while you experiment as it brings not only financial stress relief, but also mental and emotional stress relief. If you’re constantly stressed out about money, your creativity will not be allowed to flow freely. If your creativity is not flowing freely, you’ll be hard pressed to figure out a way to build a life and business that feels fulfilling and uplifting. And what does this do? It wastes more time, money, and energy in the long run.
If having a traditional job makes you feel really awful, can consider how one of your passions or skills might be useful to someone you would like to for. Or maybe a type of person you would like to work for. This is called moonlighting or freelancing. Consider even browsing around on Fiverr or Thumbtack to see if any of those jobs jump out at you.
Forgive yourself often
Too often do we shame ourselves for not finding “our thing” or “not making enough money” or “not being successful enough” faster. But this shame just sucks up our energy and creativity.
And again, if our energy and creativity are being sucked up by shame and guilt, building a life and business you love will be that much more difficult, time-consuming, money-wasting, and energy-draining. Do yourself a favor, and when you notice yourself engaging in some shame talk, let go of those thoughts, observe them go through you, and remind yourself of all the ways that you are on the right path towards your bigger goal - to live a fulfilling life.
Use a different measuring stick
As aspiring entrepreneurs, comparisonitis is a KILLER. One click on your phone and you have access to endlessly scrolling pages of people vacationing in exotic places, couples proudly holding up the keys to their new home in the background, and big red bows on their shiny new cars.
But remember that everyone has a different measuring stick for success, and you get to choose what yours looks like. The best thing you can do for yourself is to draw your own measuring stick. How do you want to define your success?
Remember that the whole point of redefining what success means to you is so that you can feel more successful now. If you feel more successful now, you’ll act think like someone who is already successful, which does nothing but bring more success into your physical reality.
So if you define the top of your measuring stick (success) as having 100 people show up to your webinar like Amy Porterfield did when she first started (this is true!) and that makes you feel excited, motivated, and inspired, then that’s the right definition for you. But if it makes you feel crappy, be sure to change it! Customize the top of your measuring stick to what inspires you to move forward now.
Maybe for these next few months, the top of your measuring stick looks like waking up each day looking forward to working on your business. And maybe in another few months, it’ll change to looking like having 50 people sign up to watch your webinar.
And I mean everything. Constantly search for reasons to celebrate. Keep a google doc of all of your celebrations, so when the going gets tough, you have an entire list of facts to bring you back up.
Surround yourself with supportive people who love you
I can’t even begin to tell you how crucial it is to have a community of people around you who are willing to celebrate with you and listen and encourage you when you’re disappointed to frustrated.
Isolation is unfortunately all too common amongst entrepreneurs. We think we have to have it all figured out and we forget that even the top earning super famous entrepreneurs out there started somewhere too.
Having a supportive community around you can save you so much heartache and wasted time and energy working on a project that maybe the market isn’t ready for yet.
I’d love for you to join my community!
When I first started, I found myself isolating myself more and more. I pulled away from family members who were worried about me, friends who didn’t “get it,” and other people at networking events because I felt like they were all very dismissive of me. I pulled away from people trying to protect myself and my fragile self identity Instead of going out and searching for those I could connect with, support, and feel supported by,
By the time I did start opening myself up to connecting with other like-minded people, I wished I had done it sooner. Part of my mission with my brand here is to build and cultivate a supportive community of dabblers, so to speak, so we can all love on each other when we’re celebrating and especially when we’re feeling kinda down. Subscribe below to join us!