3 Ways to Manage the Ebbs and Flows of Business

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As a business owner, you’ll feel a rollercoaster of emotions that can not only change from day to day but even from hour to hour…

From feeling extremely productive to losing all motivation, from believing in yourself completely to doubting that you even know what you’re doing, from loving what you do inside and out to questioning if this career is the right choice for you, to name a few.

Oftentimes these quick changes in feelings from high to low when something difficult happens: a client expresses dissatisfaction in our work, the current month is far less busy than the previous month, you hit a roadblock, and more.

Despite how you may feel, or what you may be going through, it’s important to remember this: you’re not going to be in this position forever.

Things will get better, you’re already on the right path, and going through these ebbs and flows of business is normal.

However, just because it’s normal certainly doesn’t make it any easier. So, how do you manage these ebbs and flows as an entrepreneur, especially if it’s just you?

Follow these tips below.

Write Down Your Accomplishments

We’re our own worst critics, for sure. Especially during the height of social media when anyone and everyone only seems to highlight their accomplishments, we often wonder why we haven’t done more, what we’re missing, and how we can be better. During the times where you doubt your expertise, it can make you think that you haven’t even done anything great at all–which is far from the truth!

Writing down your accomplishments absolutely helps during the times where you face major Imposter Syndrome. These accomplishments can be as big or as small as you’d like. Whether it’s posting a video of yourself on social media for the first time when you feel uncomfortable being in front of the camera or reaching your income goal, everything you do deserves to be celebrated!

This especially helps when you come short of a goal that you wish you reached. Instead of feeling down about not making that one thing happen, you can remember the dozens of things that you did make happen. Your mindset and perspective will instantly shift.

I recommend dedicating a journal specifically for tracking your achievements and noting what you’re grateful for so that any time you need a good reminder of how awesome you are and what makes your life so wonderful, you can turn to this list at any time.

Supplement the Slow Times with Business Development Tasks

Anyone who really knows me knows that I always say the phrase, “Being busy is a good thing,” because that’s a personal belief of mine. That doesn’t mean that I’m a fan of the hustle culture, but most of the time (emphasis on most because this isn’t always true), being busy means that your business is continuing to grow and you’re getting new clients or customers, which is exactly what you want. So, for someone like me who loves being busy, I tend to worry if things become suspiciously slow…

Is there something that I need to change about my business? What do I need to do better? Where can I go to find new clients and ramp things up again?

Those are just some questions I think about during the slower periods.

It’s almost second nature to doubt your success when things feel slow in business, so how can you change that? Shift your mindset to realize that this quiet period is actually an excellent time to focus on business development tasks and work on your business instead of in it.

Oftentimes, being busy means that you don’t have the time to dedicate to business development tasks such as marketing, sales, product development, and more. That means that this “pause” gives you the time you’ve been yearning for to make these things happen! And, by working on items like this, you’ll actually find yourself busy in your business again because these are all items that focus on overall growth of the business.

In other words, keep your head high, think about how you can improve your business, implement those initiatives, and watch things skyrocket for you.

Remind Yourself of the Benefits of Being a Business Owner

I would never actually go to the corporate world after being my own boss for the past 5 years, but there have definitely been many times where I thought to myself, “Working for someone else would be so much easier.”

Although that’s true in some circumstances, I know that the benefits of having my own business far outweigh the cons, but it’s common to want to throw in the towel when difficult things happen, like when you can’t seem to make a client happy or you’re not making as much money in the moment as you need / want.

One thing that really helps when you’re facing this struggle is remembering why you went into business for yourself in the first place and thinking about everything that has been so wonderful about being your own boss ever since.

When I need a good reminder, this is what I think about:

The reason I started my business, despite always having the entrepreneur bug, was my mom’s diagnosis with brain cancer that made me realize just how short life really is and how much time we don’t have to wait to follow our dreams. Since starting my business, the benefits have been:

  1. Having a flexible schedule, like working longer days from Monday-Thursday during the summer so that I can take Fridays off to go to the beach
  2. Being able to make an endless amount of money because I can keep adding new clients on rather than being stuck to a salary at a corporate job
  3. Choosing who I get to work with and what I get to work on
  4. Experiencing amazing opportunities that would’ve never happened if I had a 9-5

And more. When I doubt myself, I pull out the list and say to myself, “Ahhh… that is why I do what I do.”

Balancing the ebbs and flows will take some getting used to, but implementing these strategies will help you to weather the storm known as entrepreneurship.

Ashley Mason is a marketing consultant, speaker, and founder of both Dash of Social and Student to CEO.

Starting her business at the age of 19, Ashley successfully grew it to reach six figures by the time she was 21 and now works for it full-time. Since then, she has been featured in prominent publications such as TEDx, The Huffington Post, Thrive Global, SWAAY Magazine, and more.

Passionate about pursuing entrepreneurship at a young age, Ashley hopes to inspires others to take that leap, just like she did.

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