Navigating the pressure to go 'all in' as an entrepreneur // Pressurized Soulpreneur series: pt 3 of 6
In this episode, I'm going to discuss what is typically the second major inflection point in the journey of a soulpreneur in deciding to go all-in as an entrepreneur. And how to navigate that pressure that you'll face at this point in your journey.
This is the third episode of a six-episode podcast series, called the Pressurized Soulpreneur, that starts with Episode 46 - How your human design pressure centers impact your business. If you’re all caught up, let's dive in.
I quit the last corporate job that I had without any sort of plan. I knew I wanted to start a business but I didn’t have a clear idea of what my business was-who I served, how I served them, and what made my services unique. I just had this dream that I wanted to start my own business.
And before I jump into this story, I do want to acknowledge the immense privilege I had, and still have, that I benefited from in this situation as a white, CisHet, able-bodied female, one who lived with a partner & had the security of knowing I wouldn’t ever end up homeless or without basic necessities.
I think that's important to acknowledge because, as I reflect on my own story. There are many decisions that I made that were much easier knowing that I had this privilege and that others in similar situations might not even have the opportunity to consider such a decision because they don't have the privilege that I inherently have, so this acknowledgment is super important given this story that I'm about to tell.
But back to the story: I felt like I had hit a dead-end in terms of the career path I was on. I hated what I was doing, I hated who I worked for, and the stress of the job was impacting my mental health more and more every day.
I knew there would be a day when I hit my limit, so I started saving as much of my paycheck as I could, and as hard as I tried to push that quit date out as much as I could, it was fast approaching, as my stress was increasing day by day.
There was a huge turn of events at my job that I won’t go into now, but it became clear that my expiration date had arrived, and when I did resign, it came with a wave of relief that I would finally be able to take care of myself and my health. Moreover, I figured out how to manage my stress sustainably, and, at the time when I did resign, I did have a small cash safety net but no idea what I would do next.
That is where my entrepreneurial journey truly began. I had inadvertently gone all-in on my business.
I slowly started picking up OBM clients, and within a year I was fully booked out. That’s my soulpreneur origin story. A relatively "typical" origin story that you’ve probably heard a version of many times before.
But the truth is, if I were to do this all over again, I would do things differently when it came to this inflection point. I don’t regret prioritizing my mental health. I don’t regret taking my career into my own hands in a way I had never done before. I don’t regret my priorities.
But in some ways, I do regret going all-in on my business so early in my journey. I can’t change that now, but as I said, if I were to do it all over again now, that is something I would do differently.
Because what you don’t see in the quick overview of my story, and what you don’t see in the origin stories of many other online entrepreneurs, is the behind-the-scenes of that journey. I just casually glossed over an entire year in my story, from quitting my job to being booked out. So, what happened in that year? Yes, I took incremental steps to build my business and client list.
But what isn’t or wasn’t told in that story is:
The financial stress that I experienced that was equal to, if not more harmful, than the stress of the job I left.
That I took on multiple part-time jobs unrelated to my business, which funded the marketing and start-up costs of my business.
How I very seriously considered going back to full-time corporate work and even accepted a job offer (only for the company to rescind it a few days before I was scheduled to start, but that’s a different story for a different day).
Even though my business was at a place where it was consistent, I still had the urge or felt the call to go back to full-time work to stabilize myself financially.
I also didn’t mention that during that year-long, “Zero to Hero” journey is the fact that even though I started my own business to create more freedom in my life, I was working just as many hours each week on my business, if not more, than I was working at that job I quit for “freedom.”
Another thing that's glossed over, is the impact of this decision on the most important relationships in my life and the extra work that I had to navigate those road bumps in those relationships.
I want to give you all these very real and tangible stories of what was happening behind the scenes in that magical year of going from nothing to fully booked out specifically because there is so much glorification in going all-in on your business.
There is a lot of advice out there that says you should burn all your bridges so you can focus on doing what it takes to succeed or put yourself out there so that all your energy is focused on this one thing because, “where your attention goes, and energy flows.” And I see person after person taking this advice, desperate to make their entrepreneurial dream work. And while some succeed, many, in similar and different ways to myself, suffer trying to make it work.
They suffer trying to make this business dream work and this beneath-the-surface stuff that I'm sharing right now is not talked about often (especially not as often as the glorification of actually leaping itself).
This is why I want to shine a light on this key business inflection point through the lens of this pressure we experience, through the head and root center of our human design.
Before I even get into more of the details of this, I'm not saying you shouldn't go all-in. I'm just sharing my experiences and learnings with you because many of you, if not all of you, are feeling this pressure to go all-in on your business or have already made the leap.
And, TLDR or long story short: What this inflection point comes down to is truly your willingness to take on risk in relation to your ability to manage it. So how do you calculate your risk tolerance in this situation?
First - Understand what you need to feel safe, even if your business is experiencing ups and downs
It is about creating a situation that maximizes the potential of your business on a solid enough foundation of safety and trust that works for you and you alone, as well as you and your family, those people that need to be involved in this decision, ultimately, as that is what you're here to do and as you take steps forward in your business.
It's about balancing and mitigating risk or mitigating pressure. Well, not pressure, but the risk of taking the leap with a solid enough foundation and feeling secure and safe enough with the foundation you’ve built.
Secondly- Understand how your body and mind react to and manage stress & pressure
It’s an important thing to think about or to ask yourself how your body handles stress. When your security, your way of being, and your way of living are at risk, handling that stress in particular is more correlated with your root center and the pressure that your root center experiences.
But also, how your mind navigates that stress during what can be an emotional roller coaster of highs and lows as you're building your business and how it manages the emotions to avoid the high highs and the low lows. Compile on and add more stress both of those things are important and need to be considered as you make this decision. That's also correlated with your mind center and the pressure that your mind center experiences.
It's important to figure out or to ask yourself if you're putting yourself in a situation where the stress of insecurity and the lack of safety is going to inhibit the growth of your business.
Insecurity stifles creativity, and that is what this decision ultimately comes down to
No matter how much time and space you give your business, if you're constantly in a state of fear of insecurity, it stifles creativity and stifled creativity stalls your growth, distorts your attraction field, and your connection to your audience and soul mate clients. The decisions made in a state of fear are rarely aligned with intuitive decisions, which means you could inadvertently venture down a path that is not right for you as you seek safety.
To know if you handle this risk and stress better than others, it depends on you and no one but you to know this about yourself and to check in with your intuition to assess this for yourself. Everyone is different than you. This is something that you need to understand about yourself before you make this decision.
I thought I had an extremely high-risk tolerance, but it turned out that taking this risk had a significant impact on my sense of safety and security. I struggled with it for over a year. I even had a sustainable number of clients and revenue coming into my business, and I was still feeling that fear.
I was still feeling insecure because being an online business; your revenue fluctuates every month. Even though I was financially okay, the fluctuations were also causing me a big level of stress and causing more stress than I had ever anticipated before I decided to make the leap into my business.
There are certain elements of your human design that handle the pressure, stress and risk a little bit better.
Some examples for you:
People with profile lines 3 & 6 might be better equipped for this type of risk, as well as people with a defined heart/ego center.
People with line 1 are far much worse, as do those with an undefined or open G center that is still de-conditioning.
I’m not here to say you can’t go all in or shouldn’t go all in, but I invite you to make sure you’ve at least seen and considered all sides before you make this decision.
When faced with this pressure to go all in, here are some of the ways you might experience it starting with the human design head center:
As you remember, is the pressure to ask questions to get answers, the pressure for ideas and inspiration, and then the pressure to figure it all out with your mind.
Here's what you might experience at this point in your journey:
You will probably be or are already constantly bombarded with the common trope of just going all-in on your business, which might influence you to believe that it's the only way you're ever going to be able to succeed. The only way you're ever going to find success in your business is if you focus all your energy and intention on it, and this can especially impact anyone with that open or undefined head center or open or undefined Ajna center so the top 2 centers of your chart.
If you have those open or undefined traits and hear that constant chatter about going all in, you might be influenced by that more than others. Depending on whether your head center is defined or undefined; you will experience this pressure differently. It might be a constant force of pressure or it might be in those high-highs and low-lows, intense and then non-existent, depending on your environment and surroundings. You might experience the questions like:
a) You might find yourself stuck in a question loop-asking "how long will it take for my business to take off if x/y/z" or "What is the best way to do this to speed up my progress?"
b) Alternatively, you could hyper-focus on identifying the best practices, habits, and processes of other successful businesses and attempting to replicate them for yourself, even if they are misaligned.
c) You might catch yourself hyper-focused on your financials and bank accounts, willing them to move in a more secure direction and feeling despair if they don’t.
d) You might catch yourself developing "shiny object syndrome" as a way to save yourself if things aren’t going exactly to plan.
The pressure in your human design root center, as you remember, is the pressure to take action, which you might experience as:
a) You might take the leap and go all in before you are truly ready or before you’ve reflected on what your risk tolerance truly is.
b) You might follow that "shiny object syndrome," spreading yourself too thin in an attempt to diversify and mitigate the risk that comes with going all in.
c) You might confuse nerves of excitement and readiness with those of fear.
d) You might want to invest in a bunch of "business in a box" programs or courses that will teach you everything you need to know about creating a profitable online business and will dig a big hole for yourself before you even begin.
If you're approaching this inflection point in your journey, here are some important considerations and action steps.
I've gone through a lot of how you're going to experience this pressure, and if you're at this stage, here are the steps that I recommend you take or the steps that I wish I could have told myself to take at this stage.
It's important to check in with both your mind and heart. Your head center and root center when you're feeling this pressure or you're about to make this decision.
1. Get honest with yourself about your risk tolerance.
a) Check in with your mind and your heart. You’ll experience that Root center pressure that you could mistake the nerves of excitement and readiness for those of fear.
b) If your business isn’t making enough to replace your current income already, imagine how you would feel if you had more cash going out than coming in for at least a few months.
c) How would you feel about managing fluctuating revenue and customers each month?
d) How would you feel if a launch failed?
How would you handle that kind of stress? The next thing to really consider or to just know and to remind yourself of the point is that you don't have to go all-in like the trope says nothing or all.
2. Your commitment to your business doesn’t have to be “all or nothing”
You don't have to be all-in on your business or nothing. There’s a wide range of things, like a middle ground that you can be in.
a) As you grow your business, you can also have full-time, part-time, or multiple income streams. In fact, in many cases I recommend it.
(b) What small changes can you make right now to free up more space on a solid foundation today for your business & other values/priorities?
c) Create a situation or environment in which you can live indefinitely if necessary.
d) How do you find joy and excitement in the journey?
e) How can you express gratitude for where you are now?
3. Decide a jumping-off point that aligns with your goals & risk tolerance (if one exists)
Another thing that was really helpful for me and really helpful for a lot of people that I work with is to decide your jumping off point, if there is one.
What is the point where you feel comfortable going “all-in” by releasing other income streams? Is it a certain revenue. Is it a certain amount of cash saved up in your bank account? Is it being at a certain place in your business? What if you're taking baby steps towards going all-in on your business at some point or you do want to go all-in right now but it's just not the right time?
What is the jumping-off point? What is something objective that helps you know that you are ready instead of just winging it and continually putting it off into the future without an idea of when it will happen.
4. Have a backup, or fall-back, plan
Another important tip that I have for you is to have a backup or fall-back plan for after you decide to go all-in. It’s important to have an idea of when you know that something will need to change, like timeframe or bank account? And what will you do about it?
It’s important to feel comfortable with this situation that you're in and know what you're going to do if you get to the point where things aren't as comfortable for you anymore. No matter what have gratitude for the journey, no matter what it is because it’s YOUR journey.
You don't have to go all-in because that’s what you think you have to do or you’ve heard it’s the only way. But DO go in if and when you feel clear & confident that it is your next step.
Going “all-in” on your business might be for you know deep down that it is the best way to motivate yourself and to allow your business the space and creativity to bloom. But you have to know that you can do it in a way that doesn’t also frazzle your nervous system.
Listen to your intuition each step of the way to know what your next aligned step is and use your alignment cues, your signature & not-self, to check your alignment along the way. Fear is what drives that mind & root center pressure just trust, surrender, and following your intuition is what keeps that pressure in check and helps you in your soulpreneur journey.
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