Being in business is hard folks…

Nov 8, 2010

Hate to burst your bubble, but having your own business is hard… VERY hard at times.

I’m not sure what I expected when I got into business, but at times I wonder if I made the right choice! 😉

Actually for me I wouldn’t have it any other way as the benefits by far outweigh the challenges (I need my freedom)… but at the same time I think we need to be really clear with people that being in business can be hard work. It’s not just a walk in the park, and if you are expecting to simply “make money doing what you love” you may be in for a bit of a rude awakenining when the rubber hits the road.

You see, being in business is the ultimate self-growth journey… we are challenged in ways that we never expected, it brings to light all of the stuff we don’t want to face and requires us to step up and grow up (alot like raising kids, but that is another post.)

What have been my toughest moments this year? Let’s see…

  • Letting go of my “safety net” of OBM clients – I officially stopped working as an Online Business Manager for my last 2 clients in the end of 2009. That meant that I no longer had that reliable monthly income, I was 100% responsible for making my own money now through my training programs, eek!
  • Having to cancel my live training event earlier this year due to potential issues with being a Canadian doing biz in the US – that was a costly lesson to learn (5-figure costly) not to mention giving me a bunch of sleepless nights.
  • Realizing that how I do things is up to me – there isn’t anyone out there who is going to tell me what I should do and make those decision for me (which means I have no one to blame but myself…gulp!)
  • Spending alot more money in support of my growing biz – between hiring my team (who i adore!), travelling to events, getting legal docs in place, etc. I have spent alot more on my biz this year than in the previous 5 years combined… and it is scary at times.
  • Working months on launching the THRIVE Hiring System and realizing after the fact that we missed some key marketing components (and as a result didn’t hit the numbers we wanted from the launch, big time bummer!)

As they saying goes – what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger right? Even though it sucks at time I know that is true… the more we experience in business the more we build our “getting through the tough times” muscle. Overall this year has had many more highlights than lowlights – it’s been my best year yet from a financial and fulfillment perspective and has set the stage for some REALLY cool stuff in 2011 and beyond. It’s all good.

What has been your toughest challenge this year?


  1. Margaret Gill

    Thanks for the honesty Tina = I bought into the whole coaching hype 10 years ago that promised 4 hour work weeks and million dollar pay checks – “just think it and it will happen” – no one told the whole truth back then that overnight success that’s at least 10 years.

    I’ve been determined to constantly let my people know its bloody hard work and takes time and you firstly got to get over your not good enough stuff, grow personally, then learn to be ok at the front of a room, create you own IP and attract enough people to sell it to and THEN learn all the expensive lessons that go with every new thing you have to deal with each day!

    Then once you get that sorted, you get a new idea for a project and the whole thing starts again

    I’ve learnt that no matter what others do to you … its all about you and what you have to learn about yourself and grow from … to ensure it never happens again. It’s exhausting but it still beats a job!

  2. Raven Howard

    WOW Tina, I have to say—this is a blog of fresh air! I totally love your honesty and fearlessness! You totally rock and I can’t wait to read the follow up post re: How much you have accomplished in such a little time by becoming the front and center Business Owner 😉

  3. Heike

    My biggest challenge was realizing what happened to me end of last year and finding a way through it. Just as my business started to get traction and I felt it was on the brink of taking off, the big dark shadow of major depression crawled into my life and ate me and everything around me up.

    It was a horrific experience because I didn’t understand what was happening to me. I always thought that depression makes you sad and with positive thoughts you don’t get it. I didn’t know that depression makes it hard for you to walk, get out of bed, do the cleaning, reading your emails, doing anything at all.

    Every walk into the garden was a major effort with the foggy cloud in my head that I needed to rest every few minutes. I forgot a lot, couldn’t focus on anything for longer than a few minutes and didn’t even want to do the things I usually love doing. Every email overwhelmed me and I broke into tears at about every task I had to do. I didn’t go shopping anymore, didn’t clean the house, didn’t really go outside… until I saw a new doctor.

    I am doing much better now, have gone back to the gym, clean the house, work on client blog websites, etc. I’m still not perfect, but I’m relieved I can function. It all takes time. I had no idea that depression can be so debilitating.

    • Anonymous

      Big hugs Heike! Very tough to do anything when you are feeling that way… and so glad to hear that things are looking up for you. I know you are a rockstar, let me know if I can help with anything?

    • Margaret Gill

      I had the same thing when my dream fell apart – I just didn’t know what it was and thought I “needed to pull myself together” – depression is highly misunderstood and highly debilitating but most of the greatest creative people in the world deal with it – a wise mentor taught me “as low as you can go is as high as you can go” and I’ve found that the darkness always brings light – its about the only thing to be glad about. Its something that takes one day at a time and good on you for working through it.

      • Heike Miller

        The sad thing is that depression still has a stigma to it. When I told my mom the diagnosis she asked: “Heike, don’t tell me you are crazy!” That really upset me, because having depression has nothing to do with being crazy, it’s more like suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. And telling the sufferer to “get their act together” doesn’t help either because they don’t want anything more than getting their act together themselves. It’s a weird illness, that’s for sure, but maybe one can appreciate the good times better after experiencing it.

        • Alison Bergblom Johnson

          I think it’s ridiculous that psychiatric disability still has a stigma – and it certainly does still have a stigma. There are many ways around the limitations depression might impose on one. One can take meds, follow doctor’s orders, be in therapy, and request accommodations so one can work. (I just wrote a post about how a VA can be an accommodation itself.) These are the first steps to fighting stigma.

  4. BayAreaVA~Margaret

    As someone who got laid off and tried to start her VA business, it was finding clients that understands that Im NOT an employee and the ups and downs in income has been wearing a lil on the nerves.

    • Anonymous

      You remind me Margaret that we are truly still “blazing the trail” when it comes to being virtual support professionals – alot of biz owners don’t yet understand how we work and the value in hiring us (vs. employees). Still part of the challenge in our industry indeed.

  5. Smoore6613

    Thanks so much for your honesty, Tina. It’s hard to lay yourself open and I appreciate hearign about it.!

  6. Tmason222

    Thanks for sharing all of the REAL challenges. My toughest challenge has been that I have had to “give up” at least temporarily, my business. I couldn’t make a profit and had financial and emotional challenges with the business I started in 2003. I needed to take care of things and re-focus on what I REALLY want and am doing.

    • Anonymous

      Kudos for taking time to take care of you and refocus on what you really want. I’m a believer that we actually need to revisit that at least once a year. It’s pretty easy to get swept up in the things we are doing and wake up one day and go “I don’t want this anymore” (been there done that myself)


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How Scalable is your Business?

Take our 5-minute Assessment to find out if your business is ready for the next stage of growth (and if not, what is missing…)