Everything is going great! Check me out! I am winning at this solo entrepreneurial thing!! I totally have it all sussed out.
I seem to be moving my business forwards with ease and regularly signing new clients. I am present on all my social media channels, I am networking, I am learning and developing, and life is going GREAT!
Or so I thought.
Then it happened.
I withdrew from everything apart from my clients.
That was a few weeks ago now.
At first, I didn’t notice what I was doing. I honestly did not see it happening. I was present on social nearly every day apart from Sunday, my day of rest. I had been growing my following, networking and putting in the work with developing contacts and spending hours writing the perfect content for blogs, news, groups, social, overthinking it, then overthinking it some more.
I had been considering what my intention was with my marketing strategy and I knew that I needed some time to think about it. In particular Instagram was becoming a problem because I was getting ever so slightly, obsessed!! Yep, you know it. That time when you have your day all mapped out and you just start to scroll and scroll and then scroll a bit more and like so many of you will resonate, a whole 2 hours have merrily passed you by!
And don’t get me started on Facebook Groups. I was in far too many of them. Trying to keep up to date with challenges, lives, content and commenting on posts to show I was engaged in the hope of someone connecting with me. I felt like an imposterevery time I went into any of the groups that I was a member of. And I came away feeling pretty damn crap. Like I wasn’t good enough, as if I could ever be as successful as all of ‘them’!!
This whole spiral had been building up, I knew that much, what I didn’t realise was that I wasn’t just slowing down I was, in fact, running in the opposite direction, away from the shiny lights of, what I felt, everyone’s Instagram perfection and the all-knowing experts of everything on Facebook! My marketing mind was baffled and confused.
Whilst I had made a half-hearted decision that I needed to review my business and marketing strategy, my goals and my focus, because despite posting content daily, showing up on Facebook and in my group and developing my connections, I knew I actually had no plan, no strategy and no focus. So, there was a small part of me knowingly and deliberately stepping back from what I was doing. Stepping back was a way not only to review everything in Elizabeth S Platt Coaching, it was also to ask myself a very serious question about being a solo entrepreneur.
My decision to slow down gave me some breathing roomto assess and analyse everything I was doing. Whether my posts on social corresponded with what I was doing in my Facebook Group, in my Newsletters and my Blog. If I was sharing the same message. Was there congruency with my values and goals. What was my marketing plan? What even was my business strategy?
Well, quite simply the answer was a resounding “I don’t know and no everything is not aligned!”
Once I had figured this out and been honest, well, quite simply I legged it. Yes, I ran the other way and stopped posting, stopped all posting on social media, my newsletter and Facebook Group, stopped contributing in any Facebook Groups, reduced my networking and hid. The only area I continued working on was the work with my current clients.
I was unsure about my business strategy, goals, marketing plan and I felt like an imposter, I felt I was not good enough, I wondered if I could in fact continue to do all the social media stuff, networking, business growth and support my clients and, and, and. The doubt came thick and fast.
Yes, the Black Hole of Entrepreneurial Overwhelm! I had fallen into it. It’s an actual thing. Well, it was to me.
After a few weeks of hiding, I then spent a couple of weeks trying to figure out if my niche was in fact my niche. I had battled with all the experts telling me I had to find my niche and stick with it.
“Why should I niche? I want to help everyone. Everyone deserves to live their very best life. Why can’t I merely serve and support them all?” I rebuked out loud like a petulant child!
I spent a bit more time thinking about and writing out my goals again and looking at my marketing strategy.
As I sit down to put into words the overwhelm that I now know I had, I choose to be honest and write about it as it was. I am not a multi-million-pound overnight success story or rags to riches – YET!! I am still in the early stages of my solo entrepreneurial journey. However, I do believe, where I have been and where I am now will be very relevant to so many.
I am not hiding behind more shiny tales of the perfect entrepreneurial world. I was not living in a shiny, all singing, all dancing, got it all sorted, entrepreneurial world. And that was the problem. I had been trying to and failing. I was comparing my journey to other people’s journeys. I already knew the logic of where I was, of course, was not the same place as the people I was following and comparing myself with. Yet there I was kicking myself because I wasn’t where they were. I was not being honest to myself and that caused my overwhelm.
So here I am, honestly telling you that there is overwhelm in the entrepreneurial arena and although I had hit it head on, I am also here to tell you, that once I called it out, and myself, I was able to rebuild, refocusand look at my business strategy. My strategy that is right for Elizabeth S Platt Coaching, not pinched, nicked, stolen, copied from anyone or anywhere.
By slowing down, I have been able to take time to breath and in breathing more slowly I have been able to think, and thinking has enabled me to be authentically unapologetically ME!
What have I come to realise over this past month? Well, the good news is, I am still excited by my original niche, despite the petulant child moment! I have always wanted to support and serve the most amazing women who hide behind their masks of feeling like they are not good enough, not worthy, imposters and the women who have survived trauma, acrimonious divorce, horrendous life challenges, bullying, mental or sexual abuse to truly become MAGNIFICENT and step courageously into their brilliant life. The life that these incredible women finally realise they deserve and the life these amazing women learn to confidently desire without any more apology! To support these women in setting and achieving their goals.
Upon reflection I was also able to see how far I have actually comein a relatively short time-frame and I am incredibly proud of myself. I have grown from a tiny seed to a beautiful blossoming flower. When I set up my business, I had no savings or investment to spend on IT, marketing, branding, business training or anything. I had to learn everything from scratch, beg, borrow, steal (well not quite steal). I read countless books, attended as many free or within budget seminars and conferences and invested what I was earning from my clients on areas of development.
I am sure there will no doubt be some people looking at what I have done with my website, branding, marketing etc and criticising, however, I also know that there will be others looking on and thinking wow, that’s incredible, built from nothing.
I slowed myself down. I have taken time to really look at my business objectives, to understand what is important to me, what my values are, my beliefs, my goals. To ask myself the question, again, “What is my WHY?”
In doing so I am now saying no to some things, cancelling payments of memberships, being a wise spender and wise investor, saying yes to other things and investing where I know I need to in order to move my business forwards and collaborating on exciting and relevant ventures!
I am immensely proud of what I have achieved, and that I have fallen into the Black Hole of Entrepreneurial Overwhelm and survived.
I am here to let those of you know, overwhelm happens, the feelings of not being good enough and comparing yourself with others might be a part of the process you find yourself in. However, it is just a feeling. If you tell yourself you can do it, you most definitely CAN do it and in telling yourself that, you can change the negative feelings into positive feelings. In the coaching arena it’s referred to as reframing. That negative emotion, feeling or thought you have, you reframe it around so that it becomes a positive emotion, feeling or thought.
I am still passionate about growing my business, supporting, serving and coaching the most amazing women into being unapologetically unique and magnificent.
I have had a blip. I am human. So, all in all I am pretty damn pleased with myself that I didn’t give up I just called my overwhelm out for what it was, climbed out of the Black Hole, dusted myself off and got right back on with it.
And that, my amazing friend, is all part of this exciting journey of being an entrepreneur! I am so pleased I am here. I am grateful that I get to decide my future and create my business and life for me in a way that suits my family and importantly, ME.
Being a solo entrepreneur can be tough and can be challenging, but I am here to tell you, it is worth it!
Author: Elizabeth S Platt