Chapter 2 – Stop Hating Your Business

This one sounds simple, but it is amazing how deep these feelings may lie.  After all of the challenges, all of the sleepless nights, all of the insane hours we worked, we may be harboring some secret (or not so secret) resentment towards our business.  We may hate our business a little for putting us through so much.  Especially if you have had a pretty hard ride, these are not unusual feelings to have.  However, these are not doing you any good, and the sooner you can deal with them and let them go, the better.

The problem with harboring these feelings is that nothing good can come from them.  If even subconsciously you hate your business, you are going to work to sabotage it one way or another.  Now, this may not be direct sabotage.  It will more than likely take the form of complacence and negligence.  Of course you will not work as hard as you can to save something you hate, that is just common sense.  However, if your livelihood depends on this monster, it is worth it to forgive your business and move forward.

If you have had a hard ride, realize this is not your business’ fault.  It might not even be your fault.  Most likely, it just is.  This is just the way your business had to turn out.  And especially if this is your first business, you really had no way of knowing this.  Each business has its own unique path, and although as a business owner you do get to steer it somewhat, you cannot change your business’ path.  Your business was going to get here one way or another, and at least to some extent, you are just along for the ride.  Your job is to work to create the opportunities for your business to be successful, always working with (rather than against) where it is going.

So, the important thing to do is to stop and accept where you are.  You are where you are for a reason, and you cannot change the past.  All you can do is accept it and move forward the best you can.  Trying to fight the past is a losing battle.  You cannot change what has been, you can only influence what will be.  Your business is what it is because that is what it is supposed to be.  Your business had taken the inputs it has been given and has given you the output you see today.  Don’t like it?  Well, change the inputs.  You will get something different by doing something different.  It is just as simple as that.

Also realize that you did not always hate your business.  There was something you connected with once, even if it was just an idea.  There was once something so powerful that it compelled you to build what you have now.  Reconnect with that energy.  Remind yourself what you like about what you are doing.  Remind yourself of all the things you are doing now that you wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.  Maybe you have a freer schedule now.  Maybe you escaped a horrible boss or a terrible company.  Maybe you can just be glad because you don’t have to sit in a cubicle anymore.  Chances are you have a lot to be thankful for.  Sure, a business can be a relentless task-master, but it also obeys your commands.  And by reconnecting with what you appreciate about your business, you will remind yourself why your business is worth building and worth taking good care of.

Get excited about your business.  Be proud of the fact that you are doing something different, perhaps something that other people said couldn’t be done.  Be grateful for what your business has to offer, especially all of the opportunities to learn and grow.  By running a business, you know things that most employees don’t.  You know how the business world, a world that influences everyone, really works.  You have dared to step into the void, and you made it.  Be proud of yourself for what you have done.  Chances are it was no small feat to get your business to where it is, so realize your part in getting your business to where it is today.  You and your business’ success are inseparable, so be proud of all you have accomplished.

Do you walk into your business and resent the culture there?  Well, change it.  You have the unique ability to set the tone for the entire place.  And, if you don’t like the atmosphere, what tone are you setting?  Chances are that you are just seeing your own reflection around the place.  Especially if you resent your business, your spite will be palpable almost everywhere.  Realize that your resent is poison, and decide not to spread it around anymore.  Decide to lead by example.  Decide to inspire your employees by being the kind of person you always wanted to be.  After all, no one is telling you how you have to act.  Why not seize your freedom to act how you really want?

Positivity begets positivity.  When you love what you are doing, it is infectious.  Everybody wants it, yet few people have it.  Be one of the few.  Use your freedom to craft the business and the life you want.  No one is stopping you.  And, if you don’t do it now, what are you waiting for?  The life you want happens because you decide to make it happen, not because you simply wait long enough doing things you don’t want to do.

Love what you do, and your business will love you back, over and over and over again.