Starting a business is a serious undertaking, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be a negative experience. The process of breaking out on your own is certainly a life-changing decision, and like any such decision, it will have its ups and downs. If you know what to expect, though, you can help to prepare yourself. If you’ve already passed through the first stage of emotions, the Busy Stage, then you are about to begin with the next phase of emotions, the Second Thoughts Phase. Below you will find some of the things you’re likely to feel during this second phase of entrepreneurial emotions:
By starting your own business and leaving your old life as a traditional employee, you’ve likely completely displaced yourself from everything you used to know. Many first time entrepreneurs say that they struggle to find their new identity. Where once they were an employee being told what to do by someone who they trusted to lead them, now they themselves are the leader. And where once they were a skilled multitasker, now they may have trouble deciding which tasks to even start.
This can leave you with the sense of being uprooted and disconnected, but luckily, these feelings can be combated. For many people, this process is far from easy, but it is a necessary step on the road towards complete independence. In order to conquer your feelings of loss, you’ll have to completely embrace your new role as an entrepreneur. Understand that at this point, there’s probably little chance of going back, so your best bet is to simply continue forward. Keep your goals clearly in the forefront of your mind, and you should find your place soon enough.
Mixed signals are also common during this stage. Not only will your friends and family start to come down off of the initial “high” of helping you with your startup, but you yourself will probably also start to shift into a different mindset. Now that you’ve run through the initial enthusiasm, your optimism could start to dwindle, being replaced by doubt. What you’ll experience during this stage is phrased perfectly by entrepreneurial experts Arbarnel and Freeman: “You now know enough to realize just how much you don’t know about what you want to do.”
In order to push through these internal mixed signals, you’ll have to do some serious soul-searching. What’s the true issue here? Is your business really not living up to your expectations, or do you just have self-doubt issues? By taking control of your emotions and focusing on the facts in front of you, you’ll help to balance out your purpose.
There will be times during your startup that you will consider quitting and retreating back to your old life with your tail between your legs. But for the majority of entrepreneurs, these feelings pass, and, in their wake, you’ll find yourself doubly committed to your venture. The trying times during the process of starting your own business are certainly not easy to face, but, once you do, you’ll have a strengthened relationship with your business.
By preparing yourself for the emotions of the second stage, you put yourself in a position to better cope with the negative emotions and use the positive ones to your advantage. For a preview of the emotions of the next stage (Stage 3- The Self-Doubt Phase), see this article.