I was once told that changes are for the brave of heart and as I move into the new year I get to remove from my life that which is no longer working; my fears and doubts. After all 2017 gave me, I can certainly see how true is.
For the past 8 years I ran I very successful business with my business and life partner. As in every relationship we had our ups and down but we still managed and continued to grow and innovate our business. We had loses and lots of wins. Running a business with your wife or husband can be one of the most rewarding experiences. As you are both working towards a common goal, you understand each other's lingo and get to pretty much enjoy all the perks of being a business owner together. Let’s be honest, relationships are already hard enough, but now combine that with having not only the normal disagreements but also having different perspectives on how to run a business.
Early on in the year things took a turn and I no longer had a business partner or someone there to be supportive. Trying to separate feelings and maintain civility did not work out anymore and I was on my own, so it was time for a change. During all this time I felt completely capable of running my business, expressing my ideas and putting in the work to run and grow my business, but I never thought things would change so much. More than a simple transition, learning to run a business on my own became a challenge for me. I doubted everything, as if for a moment I didn't know who I was. I lost all motivation and even though I had done my due diligence of registering my new business and setting up all the necessary steps to continue, I just couldn't. I felt stuck and honestly a bit depressed. Suddenly it was as if I had forgotten how to run a business, how to be the independent, strong, motivated woman I am.
On top of everything, you can imagine the craziness and all back and forth when it came time to split the business. Many business relationships were losts, hence, my income was affected. Good clients left and others questioned if either one of us were even capable to continue doing the work. There were even times when because of the disagreements and not wanting to go back, there was sabotage to put me further into despair. It was a long and exhausting process. Even though you are doing business with a loved one, partner or family member you never know how things can turn out. This experience has taught me to make every business relationship as clear as possible and never fully put all of your trust into another person. It doesn't matter who it is with, its always better to have it written in stone and never relinquish complete control. Above all, never assume the other person will do the right thing.
I had a constant fight with myself, It took me months to get back on my feet. The transition was hard. Learning to run a business by myself without the other half. I spent nights telling myself, “I’ve had enough. It was time to get up and move on. Put my business hat on and get back to business.”
After many days of doubting myself and my ability to do this on my own I finally sat down and decided to write it down on paper. Putting it on paper made it easier for me to see what I needed to do in order to get there. I pulled out a piece of paper and divided the sheet in two. On the left side I wrote down my doubts and fears and on the right side I wrote down my strengths. I felt as I was running a SWOT (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) analysis not only on my business but on myself as an entrepreneur. This little exercise made me realize I have everything I needed to run and grow my business. My fears and thousands of question stopped me from doing it before. I shook it all off my head and got back on track.
I still have days where I have no idea how am Ii going to do this. But I know I have all the tools I need. I've done it before, this time I will only do it a a little different.
Never let a situation determine who you are. All the knowledge you have is yours to use. No matter what you go thru in life all you have learned will always stay with you. Let your fears aside and do it. Do it over and over until you get to your goal. I lost almost half a year trapped in my fears and doubts instead of spending my time on working on building back my business. There has to be time to heal, but as we know, time waits for noone and before you know it, you have taken so many steps backwards that it just becomes extra hard to get back where you were and moving forward.
And yes, changes are for the brave of heart.