Quit your business and go get a job.
I shiver when I read the title of this article but it needed to be said. This is not the article that I was going to write today. But it is the article that I feel compelled to pen so here goes.
Sometimes it is better to quit your business and go get a job. Almost daily for the last week, I have talked with smart, passionate, capable women who are closing their businesses because they have burnt themselves out and their health has been impacted negatively. I am so frustrated by this.
These are women who have important work in the world. These are women who are confident of their capabilities and they are also the same women that I was begging no less than two years ago to slow down and get clear about why they started their business and how they could create it to be supportive and sustainable. I don’t blame them for not taking it seriously. Let’s be honest we are not taught to take care of ourselves or to consider well-being and longevity in our career goals. We have been taught to hustle, to take abuse, and put ourselves last.
So here we are 2 years later and many years into their businesses and they are shuttering them. They have lost money, earning power, health, and their confidence. Let’s be real, they would have probably been better off staying in their role as an employee getting benefits paid time off, and a steady paycheck.
It kills me to see that they traded their health and sanity for their business. It kills me because it does not have to be this way but there are some unseen and unspoken reasons why they were ripe to create this outcome.
- They did not take a deeper look at why they wanted to start their business in the first place. They said that they wanted money and freedom but that was not the only reason. They wanted to feel important, they wanted to prove themselves, and they wanted recognition. But they did not ask themselves how they would achieve these desired feelings and outcomes.
- They only planned for marketing, product and business strategies. They did not create a plan for how to BE in their business in a way that was emotionally satisfying and sustaining.
- Each one of them had some kind of trauma that they had received assistance for in the past that returned and impacted their business in various ways.
- They did not take into account the importance of mental health management as a key component to the success of their business.
- They did not create boundaries as part of their business plan to their own peril.
I saw an article the other day that said that women do not have a self-care problem, that they have a boundaries problem and I concur.
I say this all of the time in just about every talk, and interview I give and on social media constantly. We do not drop our baggage at the door when we start a business, we bring it with us unless we take steps to examine what bags need to come with us and what is just extra stuff to leave behind.
We all have baggage. You are human. All of your experiences in life will inform your business, so you MUST be clear about where they are helpful and where they can be a hindrance.
This is where my DIY friends will say I will take a look at it, read a book, fix it, or any other response that puts the responsibility of it on their own shoulders to find the answers. This is where I implore them to bring fresh eyes, new energy and outside assistance to their dilemma. Their desire to DIY their solutions is part of the ongoing challenge. They don’t ask for help, they hold their challenges close to their vest and try to solve them with the same brain and the same shame that created it to start with.
Whew. If this is a soapbox I am ok standing up here. This cannot happen. We have got to do better. The stakes are high. When women have financial freedom they have options when women have options they have power and when women have power the whole world changes for the better in my opinion. We need more women who have all of these things. But please don’t let it be at the expense of your health and success.
If you are unwilling to do a deep dive into why you are starting or keeping your business, and if you are unwilling to ask for help and have boundaries for days. Please consider getting a job that will give you the consistent money you need or consider that there is a different way to do business. I say this with love but I hope you will choose to have a business that is emotionally sustainable as well as financially successful, you deserve it.
If you want to learn more about how to do this please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or read some of my other articles to learn more.
Are you curious about how trauma could be impacting your own business? Download my Trauma & Entrepreneurship Assessment here.