Believe it or not - I never planned on being an entrepreneur. In fact, I wanted to be an actress on Days of Our Lives. It was my lifelong dream. (Yes, really.)
To get closer to that dream, during college, I interned at a casting studio in New York City. One day, a woman came in to audition for a role in a pizza commercial. Coincidentally, her last name was the same as mine. Because of our unspoken bond, I was silently rooting for her.
At the end of the day, the producers ended up deleting her audition tape before they even heard her speak. All just because she wore an orange dress. That’s when it hit me: I didn’t want to pursue a field where your self-worth is 100% determined by what someone else thinks.
I changed course and earned my Master’s degree in English and writing from Bridgewater State University. During my graduate experience, I discovered online marketing and began to consider entrepreneurship a real possibility. I viewed it as a way I could still stay in the spotlight, but continue to be in charge - and not just of my own worth, but of my entire professional life.
Believe it or not - I’m also extremely empathetic. In other words, what other people do and say really affects me. That might even be the understatement of the year. It’s my default point of view to care “too much” about what other people think.
Being so in tune with everyone's emotions and thrusting yourself into the spotlight is a dangerous combination. And caring what people think can be detrimental to your success as an entrepreneur. So I knew, that in order to be successful on my own, I had to find a way around that. For me, the answer showed up by adopting mindfulness techniques and staying grounded
Here’s the cold, hard truth: you cannot be successful as an entrepreneur unless you learn to love yourself as much as you can and reply (don’t react) when times get tough.
Staying grounded can help you…
- not take yourself too seriously,
- laugh when you need to,
- take criticism in a way that helps you grow (not just take it personally)
- take responsibility only when you need to (not when it’s not actually your fault),
- establish boundaries with customers and clients,
- lead your team with confidence,
- and help people in a deeper, more intentional way.
Here are 5 ways I stay grounded as an entrepreneur:
- I meditate DAILY using the Calm app.
It's only 10 minutes per day, but it's been a life-changing way to stay present and not let my constant emotions and thoughts run the day.
- I take breaks.
Rather than work when stressed or overwhelmed, I try to break up work as much as possible. We need to be kinder to ourselves which is why taking breaks matters.
- I do NOT check my email at the beginning of the day.
I also do not keep it open all day - not in the background - not anywhere. I have NO push notifications for email or social media because those things are extremely damaging to how effective and focused I am. They contribute to stress and dramatically reduce my productivity.
- I make a to do list every morning of work-related things *and* personal tasks - like dropping off dry cleaning or making a doctor's appointment.
Personal tasks still matter and should not be ignored for the sake of the business. They are of equal (and sometimes, greater) importance.
- I delegate AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.
If you're starting out as an entrepreneur, I get that you're afraid to invest in yourself. But here's the deal, the more you invest, the more you can receive. Investing in someone to help you - especially if you're service based - is crucial. Time is your asset and having more of it to sell is just mathematically smarter. Delegate, delegate, delegate!
Liz Theresa, business coach and founder of LizTheresa.com, has been helping entrepreneurs find clarity and uniquely market themselves with confidence for the past 7 years through her strategic website design and clever copywriting services. She wants every entrepreneur to rise and be the star of their own business.
Liz lives with her husband James, a US Air Force Veteran, in the Boston area. When she’s not working with clients, she’s recording episodes of her podcast Liz on Biz, drawing her entrepreneurial cartoons (find these on her Insta stories!), or dancing like no one is watching (except they are) at Zumba class.