It’s a weird time of year. We’re well past the New Year, New You energy (be honest, have you stuck to any of your resolutions?), and the school summer holiday is already on the horizon. If you’re feeling a little stuck, you’re definitely not the only one. Those inbetween-y periods can sometimes cause us to lose focus, and over time, we start to feel a little defeated, uninspired, and a bit down in the dumps. It’s a totally normal phase on the rollercoaster that is being a small business owner — but it doesn’t feel great. We chatted to the community to gather their tips on breathing some new life into your business. Read on to hear what they had to say.
Go somewhere new
After a couple of years where we’ve all spent a lot of time indoors, it’s no wonder we’re craving some adventure. There’s nothing like a week away in the sun to make you feel reborn, but the good news is that you don’t need to get on a plane in order to reap the benefits that a change of scene brings. “When I’m feeling in need of some new energy, I get out of my neighbourhood and go somewhere I haven’t explored before,” says Louise Rowland, writer and author of The Girls Book of Priesthood. “It might even be taking a new bus route, or getting off at a different metro stop and seeing where my footsteps take me. It’s all about serendipity: I always get inspiration from something unexpected. By going somewhere else on the map, you’re also rerouting your brain in a way. You don’t have to spend hours and hours. A coffee and a walk often does the trick!”.
Expose yourself to different viewpoints
Sometimes, despite our best intentions, we can find ourselves in a bit of an echo chamber. If you feel like you’re following the same people as everyone you know, attending the same events, and working with the same clients, it might be worth exposing yourself to different viewpoints. You don’t even need to leave your house — listening to a podcast by someone you haven’t heard of before is a great place to start. Don’t feel like you need to stick to the female small biz owners genre: we’re great (!) but there’s a lot of amazing info out there. Try Guy Raz’s business podcast How I Built This, or take a free online course in a field you haven’t explored before. Coursera offers endless free courses — The Science of Wellbeing, delivered by a Stanford professor, is particularly great. You can also check out Found and Flourish’s roster of events. From a book-writing workshop with Alison Jones, to our Founders Clinic hosted by The Ask, there’s something for everyone.
Chat to a professional
If you’re really feeling low, it’s a good idea to book a session with a therapist or a certified business coach. They’ll have seen many people in your position, and will be able to point you in the direction of further help. “We often associate visiting a therapist with problems in our personal lives, whether that’s relationship struggles or difficulty in handling our emotions. But it’s important to remember that therapists can also help with work issues, too,” says Molly Fitz, a mental health writer. “You can book an appointment for anything from imposter syndrome and burnout, to overwhelm and social anxiety. If you’ve been feeling low for a while, it’s worth speaking to a mental health professional who can determine how best to help you.”
Reach out to others who understand
On that note, when you’re feeling a little stuck, speaking to others who’ve been there can really help. At Found and Flourish, there are endless ways to get involved with the community. We host our monthly Hugs & Brunch event, we have a Coffee Roulette which pairs up members for a virtual coffee, and you can find IRL co-working sessions up and down the country. If you’ve got friends who also work for themselves, organise a coffee meet-up where you can share your frustrations with the group and gather their advice — and make sure you’re there for them when they need help, too.
Help someone else out
“I get energy from helping people and I get really excited when I chat someone else through a business challenge,” says Dana Publicover, founder of sales communication agency Publicover & Co. “Any time I can chat with a friend or someone I’ve met through my work and help them unlock something that gives them a sense of what they should do next, it always leaves me feeling super recharged.” After all, it’s scientifically proven that helping someone else makes us feel good, too. “Most of the time I get a great idea for content while I’m doing it,” says Dana. “It’s about unblocking myself by unblocking someone else!”.
Give it time
At the end of the day, ups and downs are part of life. It’s not always sunshine and rainbows, and we can’t expect it to be. One of the best ways to get excited about work again is to give yourself time. Don’t force anything — try to fill your days with little activities that bring you joy. A fancy coffee from the local cafe every once in a while, or a new stationary set can be a great little pick-me-up. Make sure you’re working with clients who you enjoy working with, and who value you and your work. In time, you’ll find your groove again — and until then, extend yourself some self-compassion.
Feel like you need some community in your life? Freelancing can be lonely — we get it. At Found and Flourish, we’re all about supporting each other while learning the skills we need to thrive in life and in business. Join the community here.
About your author
Phoebe is Found & Flourish’s resident Business blogger, she is London-born and Frankfurt-, Paris- and Amsterdam-raised. Combining her Master’s degree in Entrepreneurship with 10 years writing for international publications, she’s the founder of BURO155 and Wellby, helping female entrepreneurs achieve their business goals through strategic online content. Phoebe is also a writer, and has written for outlets including the Huffington Post, the Guardian, the Next Web, For Working Ladies and Restless Magazine.
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