In this episode, I dive into the “shiny” factor of business, and why it’s so harmful to entrepreneurs just getting started when ALL they see is the highlight reel, and not the real story. So many of us feel the emotional rollercoaster of highs and lows in business, and I give you a few pieces of advice on how to hold on during the ride.
Hey, what’s up guys, this is Julie and today I want to talk about this stuff. Nobody talks about when you begin your laptop life. So you know, I don’t know about you, but if you go onto Facebook and you scroll on your news feed for like five minutes, you’re going to see ads for all kinds of business opportunities and they’re all going to be flowery. There’s usually pictures of Paris involved, maybe the beach, maybe Pina Coladas. At least some really good makeup. Everything looks so shiny and new, especially like if you’re in the coaching and consulting space. It seems like everybody is making millions of dollars and you were the only one who has not yet cracked the code on the laptop life. And it’s such bullshit. Now, this is not to say that you don’t want to put your best foot forward or you don’t want to.
When you get out there and you start doing your own advertising for your own business, that you don’t want to give people the best stuff you’ve got because of course, you do. But uh, the majority of people who are advertising the laptop life are only showing you half of the Pie. They’re not showing you all the other stuff. And I feel like, you know, on the one hand, I want to encourage all of you listening that the laptop life is absolutely 1000 percent the only kind of life that I will ever live. On the other hand, I feel like if I don’t as an expert or a guru or whatever is set the expectation for what it actually is like you will think you are crazy and you will think that it’s not working for you when it absolutely is an, all of us just have the same issues.
We just, some of us just hide it better than others. So for, first of all, I want to tell you that when I started my laptop life, it took my kids probably nine months to even figure out what the hell I was doing. I had gone from a stay at home mom to work at home mom. And as you can imagine, nobody liked it. And the amount of guilt that I felt as a mother was extensive because they would say to me, Oh, you’re just always on your screen now. Oh, you just, you don’t have time to do fun things was with us anymore. I mean, and I had like younger kids and older kids and it was like nine months of saying the consistent message, which is I now work here at my office. In fact, at the time that I started, it wasn’t even an office.
It was like a spot in the dining room, so they just couldn’t understand. And so if you feel like you’re really, your family is really struggling to, to get this through their heads, especially your kids, like nine months was how long it took before they finally started to get it. Then the husband, and this is like an ongoing thing. Like I, I see a lot of entrepreneurs with really supportive spouses, but it is very difficult if your spouse is not an entrepreneur, they don’t know what it feels like truly to have the buck stop with you. And so when you’re in a, in a traditional job, right, you can leave, you can clock out, you can go home. And even if you’re in the kind of position where people may call you after hours, the whole ship doesn’t go down. If you don’t answer your email, right?
There is, there’s buffers in place. When you start a laptop life, business, and online business, it is very hard to convince your spouse or maybe it’s your parents if you’re like, you know, hanging out with them on the holidays or whatever to convince them that you are literally the end of the road. The buck stops with you. That, yeah, pulling out your cell phone on Christmas morning is probably not a great idea. Or you know, you need to step away from the table at dinnertime because you know there are some financial emergency in your business. It’s very hard to convince the people that love you around you. Why you, why you have to answer these calls or why you have to answer this email. And of course, there are ways to like put, put things in place, right? You can hire VA’s, you can hire customer support team, you can put email autoresponders on, on the weekends, like there’s all kinds of things you can do, but when you’re just starting, when you’re really like bootstrapping, getting to your first, you know, 10 to 100 k, there’s not a lot of room in the budget and the buck just stops with you and in, in those really, really young businesses, there’s not a lot of standard operating procedures in place. And so if you feel like there’s something wrong with you or wrong with your business that your family or your spouse doesn’t quite understand why you have to take these calls.
Like that’s normal. I, I still, it’s still even with customer support team and standard operating procedures in place, there are times when I have to just answer the call. That is the cost of being an entrepreneur. I mean the beautiful benefit of it is that I can, yes, I can decide when I’m going to work and when I’m not, but it is a baby. You know, it’s a baby business and you can’t just not get up in the middle of the night and feed that baby. And so if your family is really struggling to understand that the best thing you can do is create as much opportunity in your life to make them a priority, knowing, build it into the expectation that there will be times when you’re on vacation or when you’re at the family table and you have to step away and as long as you build in an expectation and you leverage the times when it’s not stressful and make them a priority, they will adjust and they will adapt.
The next thing that nobody talks about in building a laptop life is the mind game that you’re going to play with yourself. And there’s a meme that goes around on Facebook and it’s like, I love being an entrepreneur. I hate being an entrepreneur. I’m amazing at this. I’m ready to quit. The highs and lows when you start a business are extreme like it. You may start to wonder if you have bipolar. I know I did. I was like, how can anyone freaking day I can go from like, I love my life too. I want to kill myself in like an hour’s time. And this is like across the board. So my advice to you as you, as you’re building your business is to remember this conversation that I’m having with you right now and to not make any decisions about your business that are longterm decisions when you’re either in an extreme high or an extreme low.
So what happens for me is like the eggs. When I’m in the extreme lows, I usually just repeat to myself again and again. Okay, today I feel like crap today. I want to burn my business to the ground. Today I think that all my offers suck. Today I think that I’m just the most boring human on planet earth. And I in that moment I remind myself that this is a low. This is all you have to say. This is a low. I’m not going to feel this way forever. This is a low. I’m not going to feel this way forever. I guarantee you you’ll come out of it. And if you make a decision to like kill a product or change your business name or like run off into the sunset and do something completely different, you’re going to regret it because of this is a low and you’re not gonna feel this way forever.
Now the same thing is just as dangerous in a high right in a super high when you’re just like, you think you can take over the world and you agree to launch a new course or you agree to take on a new project or you decide that you’re going to whatever, build a brand new, whatever. You’re going to probably come to regret that because you were in a super, super high. And so maybe it was just like enthusiasm sorta took over. And so when you’re in a, when you’re in that high, it’s much harder to not make decisions because you’re in high, right? So you think you can do anything. So in those highs, what I do is if I have ideas or I have stuff that I, that I get so excited about, I write it down and I tell myself this is a high, when the high ends, these ideas will still be here.
Okay. So it’s like this way I am not writing them off because I’ve had some great ideas in my highs. Right. And you might too, but I am writing them down so that when the high ends I can go back to them and I can be like, all right, well that, that, that was sounded like a good idea at the time, but like let’s maybe refocused this or maybe it’ll, it’ll stand the test of time because the really good ideas they will persist even when the high goes away. So that’s the second thing. Just remember that it, that you will feel an extreme high and extreme low sometimes within the same hour of the day and you have not contracted bipolar disorder. This is just the entrepreneurial life. And so these two things like my family spouse, adapting to it and then my own mind adapting to it was these things like they sound fluffy.
It’s like when we start a business or growing a business, we just want to know about like the tactics and the finances and all kinds of stuff and that’s all fine and well, and we can dive into that. But these two things here, your family response and your own mindset, like if you don’t set those expectations correctly from the get-go, man, the minute you hit like an actual hiccup, like a financial hiccup or a customer sport hiccup, you’re not going to be equipped to deal with it. So I just remember the more consistent and repetitive you can be with your family and with yourself, the faster you will acclimate to this kind of lifestyle and you will know, that the highs are amazing, that the lows suck so bad. But that the middle of the road, it starts to get easier and easier as time goes on. So, thank you guys for listening. Please, please, if you enjoy this podcast, share it with people. Leave a review, subscribe, and I will talk to you again soon.