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What to do when your business isn’t where you thought it would be at this stage

I’m coming to you from the passenger seat as we cruise through the endless prairies of eastern Colorado. The kids are playing games on their iPads, we’re loaded up with snacks and ski gear, and we’ve got the road trip tunes on shuffle. It’s a recipe for a fun, exhausting, crazy couple of days and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Learning to ski early is a gift I am so blessed to be able to share with my kids. I didn’t learn until I was a freshman in college, and I came home with bruised legs (22 to be exact) and even more bruised pride after that first experience. Now that I’ve been at it for over 20 years, I’m (mostly) a pro and can hang with the best of them, even on the super difficult terrain that I would have never imagined I could conquer.

That sense of confidence didn’t come overnight. It took a lot of tears, practice, a couple of minor concussions 😬 and multiple fights with my spouse who was just trying to help.

Let’s face it. Sometimes the journey just isn’t very pretty. 

What’s amazing about starting our kids on skis early is that they’re so much more resilient than I ever have been. What took me decades is taking them a fraction of the time. It brings up both an enormous sense of pride as a parent, plus a tinge of jealously that they ultimately have a head start and a seemingly easier journey than I ever had. 

Embracing your entrepreneurial pace & progress

Earlier this week, I was a guest on Adriana Fierastrau’s Negotiating Happiness podcast (watch/listen here). We talked about branding, limiting beliefs in business, and hit on several other parts of the entrepreneurial journey, including the utter discouragement that comes with seeing someone else who started later succeeding at a faster rate than you are. 

I’ve often gotten caught up in that comparison trap, and it’s a slippery slope that usually results in taking a ton of steps backward when I’ve been making lots of forward progress. It’s easy to take the tiny bits that someone’s sharing online and start telling yourself a story about what must be going on in their business that’s not happening in yours. But it doesn’t make you feel good. And it definitely isn’t productive. 

I was on a call with my lovely coach Megan Reed a few weeks ago when I broke down into literal sobs of frustration that I’m not where I thought I’d be in my business at this stage. Megan was super quick to point out allllllll the things she’s seen me achieve just in the past few years of working together. I can’t tell you how valuable that was in lifting me out of the funk. 

It’s a lot like the “badass list” that I recently read about in Be Seen by Jen Gottlieb. She recommends creating a list of whatever makes you a badass, whether it’s  big stuff like landing a promotion, running a race, conquering a fear of public speaking, winning an award, all the way down to the small things like helping a friend in a tough spot, saying yes to a new opportunity, etc. Then, you revisit the list often to remind yourself what you’ve already overcome and prove to yourself what’s possible. So simple, but so powerful. I already have a running list in my iPhone to refer to when I need a boost of confidence.

What do you think? Is a badass list something you’d try? How do you think it could help you when you feel frustrated with your pace and progress?

If you want to hear the whole interview with Adriana, go check out the replay!

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