Last week, I took a small break to spend some much-needed time with my husband as he wasn't feeling too good, and he hadn't taken a break from work in a while. I sat back for the week, taking in the new things that were coming up in the entrepreneur sphere - courses, up-and-comers, programs and blog posts...
It occurred to me that there was something for everyone online, which is amazing. I am constantly pleasantly surprised by how great the internet is for making things happen for all of us. But I also realized something that was pretty much what ran me into the ground last year... There was a general lack of joy. I'm not talking about the happiness and freedom that comes with running a successful business - that's great and many people are amazing teachers at getting people there.
The joy I'm talking about was why I revamped my business and pared it all down. This joy doesn't talk about 6/7-figure businesses, about what next big thing you have to do to become more visible, or the perfect technique for running a webinar... This joy is simply about you.
Because so little is said about the ugly days. Not the sweatpants-wearing-workdays. Those are commonplace and awesome for entrepreneurs and online business owners. The ugly days are the days where there is a business lull and you're scrambling for clients, or the days when you don't even know what the heck you're doing and you want to go out and grab the first job you can find, the days you believe the lies about your incompetency, the days when you don't want to talk to clients because your anxiety is through the roof, the days when you just don't know what to do and who to turn to.
I got the success I thought I wanted last year. A good income, constant clients, a beautiful home, great acquaintances... But I lost the joy of running my business. The days that run me rugged drove me into the ground. I didn't know what to do next. Everyone seemed to be much further along than I was. I didn't know how to keep up with the new changes, social media platforms, products. I was just going with the motion and didn't feel the love for my business anymore.
The truth was, a joyful business is one that not only earns income and impacts others... It is one that also fills you up instead of draining you. I'm not talking about drained as in the 16+ hours you work because you just get going. I'm talking about being drained creatively and emotionally, being so tired that you end up not doing anything else at all because you just can't and don't want to.
Truth #1 :: There is no room for comparison.
A joyful business is being comfortable with where you are at and where you are going. It is a commitment to staying contented even when things are going a little less rosy, and blooming where you are planted instead of being distracted of what could have been. And it is hard to keep this commitment. Because a joyful business focuses on all the insides and none of the outsides. No highlight reel. No big money. No attention-grabbing headline. Just a simple, quiet joy that keeps you going even when it gets tough. That lets you know you are on the right track, even when you've hit a bump. That reminds you that what you are doing has purpose, even when no one seems to be watching.
Truth #2 :: You can't follow someone else's path.
A joyful business is being true to what works for you, even if it is unconventional. It is a decision, again and again, to do the things that work for you, even when the entire (online entrepreneur) world seems to be going in the other direction. We all know that chasing the next shiny thing isn't good for us... But subconsciously we think the more difficult option must work better because so many other people get success from it. Running a joyful business means just choosing the simplest option that works for you so you can get things done, even if it is a different way.
Truth #3 :: It has nothing to do with money.
When you focus on your joy, it is unlike any other "focus." You don't get more clients, necessarily or directly. You don't get more visibility or fame. You don't get more money, per se. But a joyful business constantly fills you up, so you don't need to always find something to light a fire at your behind to get you going, you have inspiration to give. A joyful business doesn't run you ragged or require 16+ hour days, so you won't always feel busy and neglectful of all the other aspects of your life. The beautiful balance between doing what you love and living your life will create more genuine results than chasing money and following formulas ever would.
Your Small Great Task
Are you running a joyful business? If not, what is the one small thing you can do today to make it more joyful?