Sooner or later every solopreneur runs up against some emotional roadblocks to growth that threaten to hold their business back. Two common roadblocks are not feeling like you’re ready to make a big change or give up control over part of their business’s operations, and feeling like you don’t have the money (or aren’t comfortable taking out a loan) to invest in products or services that their business’s future will rely on. Even if you know that both steps are necessary to keep your business growing and thriving they are HUGE mental and emotional humps to get over. So what’s a solopreneur to do?
The Top Five Emotional Roadblocks to Growth
In working with artists, makers, and small businesses run by one or two people there are five common emotional roadblocks to growth that I see time and time again: Getting Stuck Before You Start, Problem Fixation, the Info Tornado, Misunderestimation, and Letting Go is Hard.
Emotional Roadblock #1: Getting Stuck Before You Start
If you find yourself feeling stuck again, overwhelmed by all the things you think you need to get ready in order to keep going, hit reset and break your next step down again until you’ve gotten to a task that you can do right now, and then do what comes after that, and after that. Just watch out for your perfectionist streak (I know you have one)!
Emotional Roadblock #2: Problem Fixation
It might sound overly simplistic, but the very act of changing the task from undoing a negative to achieving a positive will make the job seem more exciting and less hopeless.
Emotional Roadblock #3: The Info Tornado
The best way to break out of the Info Tornado is to not get sucked into it in the first place. When you have a question don’t just hit up Google and read everything that comes up. Go back to the sources of information that you’ve found useful in the past, be they blogs, forums, podcasts, or actual people(!). If you’re already in the Info Tornado, you need to hit reset. Make sure that the answers you’re looking for are still the same ones you started out with. Then hit up your trusted sources, and trust your instincts.
Quite often the difference between one source and another is that way that content is presented and not so much the information itself. So find sources that make sense for you, and don’t get caught up in Fear of Missing Out on Info. You’ve got plenty!
Emotional Roadblock #4: Misunderestimation
Many people running a business of their own are apt to play things safe—they don’t want to become one of those stories in which the entrepreneur bet everything on their business and then lost it.
But I’m going to make a bet with you: you aren’t considering anything for your business right now that will make or break you. And if you’re already running a business, you are proving every day that you have what it takes.
The core fear here is of making a short-term investment that might involve financial debt or extra work in order to achieve a long-term benefit of more profit and growth. So how can you overcome this fear of risk?
First, you need to do your homework (while avoiding the first three Emotional Roadblocks to Growth). Second, you need to go into the project with someone you trust, whether its your partner in life, partner in business, or the expert who is working with you to achieve your goals. Fixate on the positive outcome, not the current problem. And don’t underestimate yourself: you are running a business, and you have what it takes.
Emotional Roadblock #5: Letting Go is Hard
Don’t Bust those Roadblocks Alone
I know that the biggest challenge I face in running my business is myself. For one thing, there are only so many hours in a day and so much of me to go around, and the business doesn’t get to take all of either. For another, I have my own emotional roadblocks to growth that sometimes stand in my way. Just remember: there is no reason why any solopreneur needs to, or should want to, go it alone. Breaking through these roadblocks is a lot easier with some trusted help, so build your network and keep on rolling down that road.