Let me open up a bit about running a small business and what’s going on inside my brain.
Running a business is hard. Even after 12 years, it is still hard. I fail at it every day. I don’t listen well enough to my clients, I don’t meet the expectations of my team members, I do things I shouldn’t do, I say things I shouldn’t say, and it can feel like that’s all my fault. But I am not giving up. Not now, not ever. I keep failing and learning, failing, and learning. Growth, it turns out, often comes from my discomfort derived by failure. Add a global pandemic on top of it and it becomes all the more challenging. I remain cautious in regard to keeping my family safe from the virus, without totally abandoning all forms of life and routine within my community. I’m stressed by the financial burdens placed upon me and those around me to perform with an unfortunately slow economy. I’m deeply concerned about the mental state of many people struggling, but not being willing to share with others. If you are struggling mentally, please call me. I’d be honored to talk with you.
Now on social media, I’m crushing it, right? I run a successful small business, I’ve got 3 beautiful, healthy kids, and I’ve loved the same woman (imperfectly) for almost 9 years. But the truth is, it’s still hard. There are many nights I lie awake and I can’t turn my mind off. Too many work demands, concerns about my team members during the COVID environment, thinking about dividing and conquering the next day’s schedule with my wife, and so on and so on. It’s in those moments when I turn to prayer, to allow myself to refocus on God who is in control of it all and submit my plans to Him.
I’m not writing to say this for pity or sympathy or empathy, but for reality. Because some of you are trying to build your own small business and feel alone. Some of you are a single parent and trying to work from home and raise your children with no help or end in sight. Some of you are single and hoping for the perfect match to appear physically in a virtual world. It’s hard, it’s painful, it’s confusing, and seems like the cycle will never stop.
People often expect more from me than I can deliver, or at least that’s how it feels sometimes. But I’ll keep working, and I’ll keep getting better because that’s the only way to move forward. It’s time to roll up our sleeves, pick up a shovel, and get to work. It’s time to be responsible for ourselves and our actions and show some of that “American grit” that we all have deep down inside of us.
You can do this, too! Find people who encourage you and don’t break you down. Seek wise counsel. “A friend loves at all times, but a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17. If you need help, exhibit some humility and vulnerability and reach out to someone. Others don’t know what you’re going through until you let them in.
The truth isn’t always as pretty as it may appear. Be vulnerable. You’re not alone.