Dark Nights of an Entrepreneur's Soul and How I Shifted Mine.
Updated: Apr 16
Carving out your own path is as rewarding and satisfying as it is soul-grating, ball-breaking and hard. And then, there are those dark nights of the soul. You know the ones where your back's pushed into a corner, you can't see the wood for trees, and you've somehow mastered the ability to function with levels of anxiety that would poison a small rat?
Our lot is known to put in 50 and 75+ hour work weeks so we don't have to work a 40hour one. Isn't that how the saying goes? Heh!
We take risks, we find ourselves being brave - if only for 5-minutes at a time, and experiencing the pain that comes with failure, never mind public failure.
We make money, lose money... and continue to put one foot in front of the other because somewhere, 30 feet down into the guts beyond our stomach, we know; this is where we are meant to be. I reckon that life continues to throw bricks at us until we're long gone.
And I don't believe we get to learn how to prevent them or master how to duck in time.
I do think we get to do the work to make ourselves far better at rolling with the punches and better able at getting back up after we've gone down. That's for sure.
And as someone who has gone down 1001x at this point, (and that's this year alone- hah!) I've gotten pretty good at rolling with those punches and noticeably better at getting back up and shaking the bricks off.
Heck, I'm not sure I go down anymore... I wobble... and recalibrate, sure. But I do it with such palpable confidence, a stillness, zen that I have never experienced prior. And allow me to say that the latter is by far, my preference.
I was reflecting on how and why that's come about for me. I figured I'd share my wee ritual with you because as we both know, I'm not the only one riding waves out here.
It was a few months ago now that someone turned me on to Tony Robbins G3 exercise. Gratitude, God, Goals. The instant I heard it I knew I loved it.
"I'll have that I said to myself."
At the time, I had my own wee exercise going on and whilst I was enjoying the benefits of it, I was open to better and more refined strategies.
So I did what any bonkers gal would do and I committed to practising them both daily.
And I did. And wow.
Well, see for yourself:
A colleague told me 2 months back that three invoices that we sent out for payment had the wrong payment details on them - it had our account number but with 2 numbers inverted so not our account number. The several thousands of pounds due had been deposited into a bank account somewhere in the abyss. What's more, there was very little chance of us getting the money back in this quarter, or maybe even the year.
Cool as a goddam cucumber. I mean, I didn't even flinch.
Next? Last month I was informed that a contract I ended a year prior had a $4000 break clause. I was now being invited to pay that $4000 in full or face the consequences.
Calm as a baby after a bottle. I mean nothing.
Even I couldn't help but wonder what had happened to me.
I'm as resilient as the next Entrepreneur... sure, but this?
It was like I'd given up my ghost and swallowed that of a Sufi.
I have become incredibly good at focus and clarity.
I do it daily.
Every morning as a matter of fact before I leave the bed.
And I credit this wee morning ritual with the disappearing mountain experiences I've been enjoying of late.
Like most profound things, they are simple.
Practised daily, they are biblical.
Please note, I did not research or verify or vet this exercise... I heard it in passing, scooped it and used it as I saw fit. I am sharing the exercise as I use it here. Feel free to take it and use it as you see fit. Who cares if it's by the letter, if it feels right for you, then that's the magic.
1. Gratitude. What are you grateful for? What is going on in your 6 areas of life that you appreciate having or experiencing? I started with 3 minutes of gratitude each morning. I'm now up to 20 minutes... the results are that incredible, I increase the dosage and guess what, the results follow suit.
2. God. Create an experience, a feeling of God in your body. Again, it was suggested to create this feeling over a 3-minute period. I hold mine for about 6 minutes. I'm aware that my gratitude and God portion of the exercise are feeling similar if not identical now.
3. Goals. What are the goals you will achieve today? Visualise each one. Then watch yourself achieving those very goals. The feeling of seeing you achieve them before you get out of bed. That's the magic.
Please note, I heard of this one about 5 odd years ago. From where? dunno. Again, I took it and applied it as it felt right for me. Feel free to research the original, use mine, or just get inspired enough to create your own version.
Be: Who do I be today? I reflect on my days' activities and become very present to who I want to BE inside this day. A marketing genius, or someone mastering how to move inflow. It changes pending on my day/feeling.
Do: What do I do today? If that's who I Be, then what do I do? Facilitate business owners to experience the most successful marketing campaigns yet? Authentically hold mirrors for clients inside my leadership programs? A master of finding and sitting calmly inside flow?
Have: If that's who I BE, and that's what I DO, then what do I have today as a result of BEing and DOing? Happy clients who appreciate what I do. Unhappy clients, who get to experience ever-increasing degrees of self-awareness and personal growth? The best possible outcome of infinite possibilities because I move in, sink deeper into flow?
Each BDH day is different or not. Doesn't matter.
I end the BDH with an intention.
1 or 2 sentences and my morning ritual is complete. I hit the coffee button whilst I shower and start my day. Then sit back and enjoy the response I've adopted to the bricks life throws at us.