Overwhelm stymies more self-employed service providers than almost anything else. Part of it comes from having to provide not just your service, but also run the business part of your business.
In this article, I explore aspects of overwhelm that receive little too attention and that may well be causing you far more stress than needed. Very often overwhelm in a business or entrepreneurial context means that you do not have adequate or the right support. That’s what we are delving into today.
Energy around support is one of the biggest issues I personally have experienced in my business, and that I have witnessed in my clients—both as a business mentor and as a Soul Healer. When I say “energy around”, I am referring to all of the different stories and ways of feeling that people have in relation to support. I’ve written a series of articles about support – and what may be causing your resistance to it, and how that is creating unnecessary stress and overwhelm for you. This first article focuses on energy and beliefs around support can inhibit you in a business context.
Let me give you some examples.
In this context, I am using “support” to mean your team. For service professionals in stage one, you will want first and foremost a bookkeeper, and some type of assistant who can help you with administrative tasks. This assistant, whether virtual or in-person, needs to be skilled in computer- and web-based applications that you use—or need and want to use—in your business. Having someone take over at least a portion of the administrative tasks is critical for even the beginning business owner to focus on what she needs to do—outreach and inviting people to work with her.
What I’ve found is that this can be very hard for people. Entrepreneurs are a wily bunch! Many times the drive that led you to want to work for yourself—your desire for independence and more control over your life—can get in the way of you asking for and receiving the support you need to make your business work.
What this means is that you want to be in charge of what’s happening in your business. Now that part is fine—being in charge. It’s when you translate that into equaling I have to do everything, or I have to have my hands on everything. Otherwise known as the I-will-do-it-on-my-own-disease!
This can be particularly dangerous for those of you who are like me—just technically savvy enough to be able to get started on your own, but not in love with the technical side so that doing it becomes a drag. It means you do it all, or try to do it all, don’t ask for help, don’t delegate, and may even think delegating is a sign of weakness. Either that, or paying someone else to do something you can do is not a good use of your resources.
Actually nothing could be further from the truth. Your best use of resources is for you, the principal of your company, to be doing what only you can do—which is guide the outreach (marketing) and do the invitations (sales) for your company. And of course fulfilling on your offerings—doing your healing, coaching, teaching, or counseling work.
I know, I know, you may not be thinking of your business as a company, particularly if you are in stage one. You’re just you, offering your service. But you know what—your business actually is a company, even if it’s just you. And the sooner you begin treating it like a company and a real business, the sooner it will begin acting like one.
The other scenario is when you are creative, intuitive and right-brained, and organization and technology are challenging for you. Then you try to avoid all of it, and just see if you can get along without either. This usually means you are limiting your growth very significantly because very important aspects of your business are being left undone. But because of your beliefs about support—you don’t reach out for help. You tolerate making way less money than you could, and in the worst case you try to make a virtue out of not being business-like and just getting by (c’mon, confess. . . ).
When really, the best solution is to hire someone to do those tasks for you. Find someone who has strong left-brained skills, and who loves to support right-brained people so that everyone can do what they do best. In order to do that, you have to be willing to receive that person’s support, to make more money so you can pay them, and to believe in yourself enough that you can do that.
Just tonight I ran into someone I know in Whole Foods, and she was sharing with me that she’s having the hardest time because she’s just not that organized and the “business stuff,” as she calls, it eludes her. She’s a very talented healer, and even a great promoter. But she’s tolerating being way less successful than she could be because she doesn’t have anyone to help her. When I suggested that she hire someone to help her with that part of her business, she looked at me like that was the strangest idea she had ever heard!
Receiving support was not even in her frame of reference.
Now underneath the (seemingly reasonable) attitude of “do I have enough money to hire someone,” and even, “I like to do it myself so I can be in control of what happens,” is something subtle but very powerful. So powerful that you may not realize it’s there, even though it’s orchestrating your experience from beneath the level of your conscious mind.
To find out what that “something” is – and what you can go to change it, read “Why You Resist the Support You Need” here on my blog. Do not delay because the truth is that “something” not only costing you more money that you can imagine right now, it’s also costing you a whole lot of your time, energy, and freedom as well. You deserve better, don’t you think?
Stay tuned for next week’s article, when I share with you about what that “something” is—and what you can do to change it! Because the truth is—that something is not only costing you more money than you can imagine right now—it’s also costing you a whole lot of your time, energy, and freedom as well. Until next time.