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- It’s a New Year, Entrepreneur! Get Unstuck.
- 1. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: A Personal Mission Statement
- 2. No Pain No Gain
- 3. Indulge Your Inner Child
- 4. Forget Fear, Perfectionism, and All That Other Crap
- 5. Embrace the Slow and Steady Approach
- 6. Don’t Wait For Permission
- 7. Get to Know Yourself Again
- 8. Learn Something New
- 9. Break the Pattern
- 10. Give Yourself Some Grace
- 11. Join or Create a Mastermind Group
It’s a New Year, Entrepreneur! Get Unstuck.
By 2050 it is estimated that nearly half of the world’s workforce will be independent workers and entrepreneurs. Why? Because life under corporate servitude is the worst.
You know what I’m talking about – that dread of being stuck grinding away at your desk until they wheel you out of the office with your little gold pocket watch from the company gift shop as a send-off.
And yet, even as our entrepreneurial spirit reaches new heights, there are struggles: we crave stability and security but still want to live the dream; we try to strike the balance between being our own bosses and not working 24/7; we want to make a difference and grow our ventures, but feel lost in how to do it.
Enter the rut.
The entrepreneurial rut is an insidious thing, sucking you in before you even know what’s happened. You wake up one day and realize that your drive has petered out, leaving you feeling empty inside. All of a sudden, life seems duller, less exciting… non-pulsating. And you wonder, why am I doing this?
In retrospect, it’s painfully obvious how you got there. It was a slow descent from the top of that mountain into a place of muddled motivation and direction – a place where your business becomes a chore rather than an adventure.
Well, here’s the good news: if you’re feeling stuck in your entrepreneurial endeavors, help is on hand.
Here are 11 ways to get out of your entrepreneurial rut before you suffocate from a life of predictable paychecks and die in your sleep at the ripe old age of 80 after finally retiring.
1. Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: A Personal Mission Statement
Here is something to consider: how much of your company’s development has been proactively driven, and not by market forces alone? For me, this question was pretty damn important – after all, if everything I did was market-driven then that would mean that every product I develop is done simply to make money.
While making money is definitely one of the top reasons why I started my company, it’s not the only reason – I care about more than just profit margins. And I bet you do too – somewhere buried in all that business jargon are your personal ethics, interests, and passions for life.
So ask yourself: what exactly is it that you want to do with your life?
What would you do if all of your material needs and most of your wants were free and unlimited?
The answers may surprise you…
See, we so often get caught up in the idea of starting a business or running a company – but “starting” and “running” are really just the means to an end, not the goals themselves.
So define what it is that you want to do with your life – this will help guide everything else in your entrepreneurial journey. And once you’ve got that clarified, get out there and get doing!
2. No Pain No Gain
Working on your business is almost never easy. It’s difficult, it’s time-consuming, and sometimes the last thing you want to do when you get home at night is work more – but guess what? You have to.
The worst thing about this though is that the resistance seems to come from all angles: there are distractions at work, there are chores at home that need doing, friends want to socialize – but instead of seeing these distractions as enemies that want to prevent you from achieving your goals, see them as tools that allow you to test your commitment.
The simple act of pushing through and working on your business is a clear signifier that you’re serious about your entrepreneurial goal – it shows you have grit, stick-to-itiveness, and a strong work ethic.
And that in turn makes you more likely to accomplish what you set out to do in the first place!
So when distractions arise, don’t see them as inconveniences: welcome them with open arms because they will provide you with a chance to flex your mental, physical, and emotional muscles.
3. Indulge Your Inner Child
We all have that little kid inside us – the one who wants to run around outside in the rain with no shoes on; who gets excited about painting for hours on end just because they can; who doesn’t care that they’re the only kid in school who likes to read comic books.
And yet we also have this other voice, the one that always says “you can’t do that” or “it looks weird if you do it like that” – as a result, we stifle our child-like zest for life and, in turn, our entrepreneurial growth. But stop and consider this: if you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self to do?
Surely it’d be something along the lines of “go outside more” or “play with that weird kid who eats sauerkraut” – trust me, you wouldn’t be in your current entrepreneurial rut if that little kid inside was still free to run in the rain and paint with wild abandon.
So let him! Let her! Let them all out, whatever weirdness is inside of you, whatever it is that makes you uniquely you – because when you do, there’s no telling where you’ll end up.
4. Forget Fear, Perfectionism, and All That Other Crap
The worst thing about being in a rut is the sense of frustration that comes from not moving forward – it’s easy to feel lost and confused because there’s this meaningless goal called “progress” at the end of the tunnel but there doesn’t seem to be a clear pathway from where you are now until there.
In fact, the only thing that seems clear is the absence of everything in between – no road signs, no milestones, no signposts whatsoever.
So stop looking for them!
Once you’ve deluded yourself into believing that these things exist, you’ll never properly engage with the world of entrepreneurship – you’ll start looking for answers, solutions, and fixes that don’t exist.
Which is why, sometimes, you have to just stop thinking about it all. Just get on with your life doing what you’re doing, testing things out; learning; failing; learning more; failing more; trying again; and ultimately – moving forwards.
Don’t expect progress to come in the form of huge leaps and bounds all at once, because that’s not how it works – it comes in small doses, one step at a time; it comes through trial and error; it comes through persistence; and most importantly, it doesn’t ever come if you don’t get out of your own way.
5. Embrace the Slow and Steady Approach
Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for doing things as fast as humanly possible – but if you’re in a rut, that can be very difficult to do because your motivation levels are at an all-time low. And that means you have to take it slow.
In fact, if you’re in a real rut – one where you don’t know what direction to go in or even how to get started – chances are, going all out and being super productive isn’t going to help because your lack of motivation is rooted in deeper issues than just a general lack of interest in the work at hand.
So slow things down. Find that sweet spot between being complacent and being completely overwhelmed by all the change, all the unknowns, and all the possibilities.
For me, this means taking a lot of time to think about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, and then I proceed methodically from there.
For you, this might mean something entirely different. The key is to figure out what works for you and then stick to it, no matter how slowly your progress towards that tiny speck of light at the end of the tunnel seems to be moving.
6. Don’t Wait For Permission
One of the biggest mistakes in life is waiting for permission to do something. People wait for a promotion to start a side business, they wait for a certain age to get married, and they wait until they have enough money in their savings account before travelling the world.
In fact, when it comes to personal growth and happiness – people seem to spend most of their time waiting around for something external to happen or change instead of taking action towards making things happen.
You don’t need anyone’s permission to take control of your life and to fill it with the kinds of events that resonate in your soul – all you need is an idea, a plan, and some perseverance in the face of adversity.
And when people try to stop you? That just means you’re doing something right.
7. Get to Know Yourself Again
You know the most important person in your life? That’s right: you.
It sounds counterintuitive, but it’s true – the only thing that will get you out of a rut is taking time to discover yourself and your purpose again. Reacquainting yourself with who you are, what you want out of life, and why you matter.
In order to do that, however, you have to stop – stop doing everything for a minute and just be. Meditate . Slow down your frenetic thought patterns and learn to control them rather than letting them control you.
Get outside . Regain your perspective on life. Stop living in the past or worrying about the future; live in the present, take each day as it comes, and see your life for what it truly is without any external pressures clouding your judgment.
Don’t spend time with people who drag you down; don’t make commitments that give you anxiety; and stop doing things you hate just because you feel like you have to.
That doesn’t mean you can’t help other people or contribute to society – it just means that before you take on any kind of responsibility, big or small, get back in touch with your inner self and remember all the reasons why you wanted to be an entrepreneur in the first place.
8. Learn Something New
Okay, I know this sounds like one of those cheesy self-help articles where the author says something along the lines of “introduce excitement into your life!” but stick with me for a minute here.
You’re in a rut because you’ve fallen into habits that are slowly killing your motivation and zest for life. One of the best ways to stop that from happening is to shake things up by introducing something new into your life.
So sign up for a class! Take an overnight trip somewhere you’ve never been before! Learn how to rock climb or speak another language or ride a horse – whatever it is that you’re scared of, go do it; learn more about yourself; and build your self-confidence.
I guarantee that once you start doing things like this on the regular, everything else in your life will come together like clockwork – because when you make learning an essential part of who you are, you’ll stop waiting for opportunities to fall in your lap and start creating them yourself.
9. Break the Pattern
We all have those certain things we do on a daily basis that we can’t seem to shake – but as they say, if you keep doing the same thing over and over again then you’re bound to get the same result.
So the next time you get into bed, think about what it is that’s keeping you there; then look at all of your other habits and ask yourself “how does this help me?” – chances are, they don’t.
At least not anymore.
Once you’ve identified (and accepted) all of the things that you’re doing that don’t serve you, it’ll be a lot easier to start gradually changing them – and when you do, it will literally feel like a breath of fresh air. Just make sure you prepare yourself in case the changes don’t happen overnight; sometimes, they take time.
10. Give Yourself Some Grace
If there’s one thing entrepreneurs are good at, it’s being tough on themselves – which is great until you start making yourself miserable in the process.
It can be really hard to let go of all of your hardships and struggles when everything still feels like an uphill battle – but the only way that you’re ever going to make it through is if you learn how to cut yourself some slack and stop holding yourself accountable (and beating yourself up) for everything that’s not perfect.
Slowly but surely, you’ll start overcoming obstacles and achieving goals; so don’t try to rush it – just breathe deeply, take one step at a time, and remind yourself that this whole entrepreneurship thing is supposed to be fun, not stressful.
Remember that everything happens for a reason – even if it isn’t always clear what that reason is at the time – and even when it’s hard to see anything through rose-colored glasses, I promise you this: your entrepreneurial journey will still have been worth every single challenge along the way.
The moment you stop being so hard on yourself is the moment your rut will start dissolving – because everything that’s not serving you will lose its hold over you, allowing room for new perspectives to enter into your life.
11. Join or Create a Mastermind Group
A mastermind group gives you the chance to bounce your ideas off of other entrepreneurs, ask for help when you’re stuck, and get support from people who are going through the same things as you.
It’s easy to become isolated when you work alone most of the time – but even though there’s nothing wrong with taking some time to recharge your batteries on your own, not having anyone else around can make it harder to come up with creative ideas and solutions.
If you’re having a really hard time finding people to connect with in person, don’t be afraid to try an online mastermind group instead – there are tons of them out there, and they’re a great way to connect with people who can help you grow your business.
Entrepreneurship is a challenging path to walk, no doubt about it – but in my experience, if you’re willing to face your fears head-on and open yourself up to new opportunities, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.
So if you’re stuck in a rut right now and have been wondering “how do I get out of this situation”, remember the three most important words in entrepreneurship – don’t give up.
You’re going to be stuck at times – that’s just part of the process – but if you keep working hard and stay positive, you’ll reach your goals sooner than you think.
I know it seems impossible right now, but I really want you to believe me when I say this: you can get out of your rut, and there’s a whole world of success waiting for you on the other side.
This blog post was written with my AI writing assistant, Jasper.
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