Baking, cleaning house, and going to the gym are all on my list of things I never do, or at least don’t do with much zeal and zest. First off, I think baking takes way too long, house cleaning just sucks, and going to the gym is confusing and hard.

One, there is way too much equipment and too many options.
Two, I just don’t know where to start or what to do.

I’m certainly one of those kinds of people who gets overwhelmed by choices. Too many choices and I just shut down. (Which is another reason why I never buy cereal. Let’s be real, have you ever gone to the cereal aisle and seen all the options? It’s intimidating!).

This morning though, I decided to change up my routine by going to the gym. In order to make it happen, I signed up for the 6:15am class, a trainer called me to ensure I was coming, and I went. But here’s what different about the gym I went to. When you first walk in, for a brief moment, you might think it’s similar to your typical gym, but on a closer look, it’s different. Sure it has the treadmills, the rowing machines, and the weights. But the key difference is, you don’t just go in there and hustle on your own. That’s where similarities to entrepreneurship comes in.

Sometimes, entrepreneurship seems like going to the gym to me. There are many options, so many actions items, and I can easily get overwhelmed. Honestly, I took a two week break from blogging and I took a mini break from social media because sometimes it can get to be too much. As a solopreneur, while I want to do everything, the simple fact is, I can’t. So that’s where I need to pick and choose what to do in order to have the maximum impact on my business.

Lesson One: You need a plan or you need to work with someone who has a plan

When I went to the gym, I didn’t just randomly walk into a gym and sign up for a membership. I went to OrangeTheory Fitness Gym that specializes in classes with workouts guaranteed to give you the most bang for your buck. My 60 minutes class had a fitness trainer who guided me through everything, how to use the equipment, do the workouts, when to switch, when to push hard and when to cool down.

Just as a trainer is needed for your best workout, so I firmly believe a coach is necessary to help you grow your business. While you can certainly run your own business and grow it without a personal one-on-one coach, there is a degree of training you have to condition your mind to accept. Whether you’re reading books, listening to podcasts, taking online classes, or working directly with a coach, there are mentors you’re looking up to, to support your journey.

In case you are looking for a business coach I do recommend working with a coach who can give you a customized plan to help take your unique business to the next level. I work with Heather Osgood of Leap to Grow.

Lesson Two: Surround yourself with people who are taking the same journey

In the past, I used to workout at home with quick 20 or 30 minute workout DVDs. It was much cheaper than going to the gym and more efficient – no gas wasted on that 5 minute drive to the gym! However, I did not have an accountability system in place to keep my workouts consistent. I went from working out 5 days a week to 3 to 2 to 0. All because I didn’t have the encouragement from others on the same path to keep going. Once I got to the gym, I found it motivating to have a group of people to work out with. Even though we all have different goals, the fact is overall, we’re on same journey to fitness and an active lifestyle, and that’s enough of a catalyst to keep me going. Also, a little competition is never a bad thing!

While I’m lucky to have friends and family who are always supportive about my entrepreneurial lifestyle, it’s valuable to surround myself with others who are doing the same thing. While we can encourage each other to keep going, we can also share things we’ve learned, refer clients to each other, and actually get things done. One of my favorite things to do is cowork with other local entrepreneurs.

If you’re looking for leads on coworking, just Google “coworking in [insert name of city]”. You can also become a regular at local coffee shops or join a Meetup. Who knows, you may just meet your next client!

5 Lessons

Lesson Three: Go at the pace that’s right for you

At the gym, I was given a heart monitor to wear before the class started. That way, I could monitor how hard I was working out, and speed up or slow down as needed. Since the number of calories I burned was dependant on my heart rate, I didn’t feel like I had to keep up with or compete with the fitness buddies on either side of me. Which was a good thing, because I promise I was the slowest one in there!

With entrepreneurship, it can be easy to compare your 4-figure months to someone else’s 5 or 6-figure months. It’s self-defeating to realize there are other people killing it and making wild amounts of money when you feel like you’re struggling along. Trust me, I have my ups and downs as well. Sometimes it feels like everything could not be more perfect and I’m having the best month ever, and then the bottom falls out. Thankfully, those are fewer and farther between now, but as with anything, practice makes perfect. Remember that whenever you look over and someone just made $10,000 in one month and you barely got $1,000. You need to go at your own pace, otherwise, you’ll wipe out!

I recommend reading my blog post The Competition Myth to help you shift your mindset.

Lesson Four: Make sure you give high fives

Before class starts, we all slap high fives to get pumped up and encourage each other to do our best. And after class ends, it’s the same thing. Some days are awesome, you completely crush your goals and it’s amazing. Other days, not so much. Either way, you still need to get amped up and have that positive attitude to push you forward. I believe in the power of mindset to help propel you closer to achieving your goals. You give yourself so much power when you say “I CAN.”

In the Facebook Group: The Indie Marketer Hub we reserve Thursdays to celebrate our wins during the week. It’s an important moment to take a step back and realize how far we’ve come. Often times, we’re hard on ourselves and we beat ourselves up because we can’t see the massive change we’ve made in our lives. But when you take stock and pause to celebrate, you realize how much you have achieved and how much more you can accomplish.

Read 3 Ways to Cultivate a “Make it Happen” Mindset to learn how to start your day on the high five way.

Lesson Five: Take breaks

When everyone is working out and going for it, it seems like the wrong time to take a break, to just lie on the floor or grab a drink of water. When you’re doing a high intensity workout, it’s tempting to just keep going with it, but if you push yourself too hard, you’ll blackout. Trust me, I’ve been there, done that, and it’s no fun. Plus, there’s no shame in taking a break.

With running a business, it can be tempting to be “on” all the time. But the thing is, the only work/life balance you attain is the one you give yourself. Plus, if you push yourself too hard, you’ll end up burnt out, and what good will that do your business? I completely shut down from business to focus on writing during the weekends. But during the week, I’ll switch it up. You know, it’s actually not good for your body to sit still for long periods of time. Take a walk, meet a friend for lunch, walk around downtown, go on a hike, anything to give your brain a break and get you inspired to make big things happen.

What life lessons have you learned recently?

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