Reflecting on the Challenges of Being an Entrepreneur

Sometimes we just need to sit down and write down our thoughts. I find myself getting caught up in “well I haven’t blogged” or “talking about writing” instead of doing. So I’m going to type to myself and see what happens. Ha. I’m not counting my words with concern of 500-650 words in my blog, I’m not worrying about what category this fits in my blog content, I’m going to be honest I’m going to write about my experiences…

Last week was a mixed week of overwhelm and feeling of success. My challenges of starting a new business here are that it is a NEW business. I’m in my sixth year of working for myself but now I am in a new working environment, new industries surround me, new networking opportunities, and new ways of establishing business connections. The challenge for me is my joint business with my husband, Expat Connector and my Dutch business, Versterken Marketing. I want both to do really really well. 

I have to sit back though and remind myself that:

  • I’ve been in the Netherlands for a full six months. 
  • I’ve only been at my work space and started my Dutch business for five months.
  • I’ve only been trying to learn to speak Dutch for four months.

I can’t expect myself to have everything checked off already – they’re not simple check boxes in a to-do list. Each of those things takes work, confidence, and time. 

What I need to do when I have overwhelm is sit and work through time blocks. I need to pause, write down my thoughts, and connect with my business goals. I need to give myself grace, patience, and know that I can’t do it all in one week.

I find the weeks of business success I lack self-care and learning another language. Yet if I think about this week it was pretty great even though I felt overwhelmed, disappointed in time spent on language. I sit and reflect that:

  • I did well when I was at home being present for my kids
  • I pushed my comfort level and went to a language night with a classmate from my course for support
  • I had a two hour discussion (with English in it!) with my Samenspreek connect
  • I have a new social media client, I closed a sale!
  • I have a new prospect for a corporate client, I excelled at talking about my experience and how it relates abstractly and directly to a new industry – water technology
  • I have ended a potential contract with a prospect who I was doing a favor for rather than valuing my services, time, and worth
    It can be hard to put that aside and put a dollar value on it, but we must – we’re running businesses.

It’s about balance and not every week will strike the perfect balance. But think about your wins, your next steps (for the week ahead) and give yourself grace.

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