Advice for Life

Breaking / Carousel / Entrepreneurship / Parenthood. / SS News / August 6, 2014

SincerelySyreeta_AokiBoutiqueIf I could give an aspiring or young entrepreneur advice based off of one of the most important lessons that I’m currently learning, it would be this:

Be kind to yourself.

As much as you believe that your purpose is to grow the business, the reality is: the business’ purpose is to help you develop and grow. Anything that you dedicate your time and energy to should bring about some positive change or evolution in you. Right? Because when its all said done, whether it’s a business, marriage, career, parenthood–whatever–it’s in your best interest to make sure that whether you stumble or succeed, the end outcome is you being wiser, smarter, healed and ultimately happy.

So, it’s in your best interest to grow through them all.

It took you however many years to grow into the person that you are today. How do you feel about yourself? Has the growth thus far been worth the journey?

The process of building a successful business is no different than what it took for you to become who you are. Have you ever heard people refer to their business as a baby? I’m both a parent and an entrepreneur–for all intents and purpose the comparison is an accurate one. They both require similar amounts of energy, time, money, attention, check ups, etc. And the minute you think you finally have things figured out, the “baby” goes through growth spurts and faces challenges. Which then requires that you adjust (and readjust) as needed to ensure that it matures and succeeds.

That shit doesn’t happen overnight.

Ask the parent of any 18 year-old child if the day of their kids 18th birthday was an easy benchmark to arrive at. Ask your village if you were a walk in the park to raise–if you didn’t require them to give of themselves in ways that changed them forever.

Growing is painful as hell, if you didn’t know.

It really sucks when you’re in the thick of it, trust me, I know. But in all honesty, you’re the only one who can determine how you’re going to get through it. Walking blindly in denial? Wrapped tightly in the comfort of your ego? Hidden in a cloak of fear? Riding a wave of hope? Standing on a rock of strength? How do you deal with the growing pains of life?

It may take a while to realize that you have a pattern when it comes to “how you deal”–that you tend to react a certain way when challenges both seen and unseen rise in your path.

It’s easy to beat yourself up or get lost in your own confusion and frustration. It’s easy to let the words “why me?” slip out your mouth. It’s very easy to fall into a negative or doubtful mindset about your capabilities and the odds.

As much as the parent believes their purpose is to “grow” their child, the reality is: the child’s purpose is to help the parent develop and grow. The parent is the one responsible for the world that the child will face and how they are introduced to it; the successful preparation of the child for the world that they will live (and hopefully thrive) in depends largely on the preparation and growth of the parent.

So be kind to yourself. Hold yourself accountable, absolutely. But don’t get stuck on parts of the process that so many of us do. You know, “comparing plates”, biting off more than one can chew, and bitterly swallowing failed expectations and hopes. These are all things that will internally eat away at your morale, perspective, image and esteem. When you’re kinder with yourself during the process, your baby of a business becomes better because of it. And you gift yourself the chance to really enjoy the steps of your baby’s growth…it becomes a reflection of your own.

You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to think your “baby” hates you because it just won’t do what you want it to do.

Stop trying to change it and instead change yourself…

And be kind to yourself as you do.

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