How being an entrepreneur is like a road trip
Guest post by Maggy Sterner,brand & business coach
After eight hours, three cups of coffee, and a bag of Twizzlers, I’d completed the first day of My Big Road Trip Adventure: a cross-country solo drive from Washington, D.C. to Portland, Oregon.
I wasn’t even sure I would make it out the door of my apartment. It all felt too daunting. My covid cocoon isolation had gotten to me.
But I’d said I was going. I chose the date (April 5, 2022). Nobody did it to me.
So I went.
Remember to breathe
We’ve all gone through the wringer for the past couple of years. In March 2020, the world shut down and we were tossed into a scenario nobody had anticipated.
Fortunately, I’d been running my business as a brand & business coach via Zoom since Zoom was launched.
Unfortunately, I don’t thrive in captivity. I need freedom and mobility to feel alive.
After two years, I couldn’t take one more second of being in my very pleasant apartment, work-work-working, living on Zoom, not traveling.
What I discovered once I got going is this: A road trip experience is just like being an entrepreneur. They share the same qualities and types of experiences:
Pick a destination, it’s your choice
One way to guarantee you don’t get where you want to go is to not know where that is.
My target was Portland. But I headed south – not west – and people were like, “Uh, that’s not the way to Portland.” I know. We get to choose our own path to the place we’re going.
I’ve gone down side trails with my business, cooked up ideas for things that were out of alignment with my values or my superpowers.
My motto is: Everything goes into the pot, keep stirring. There are no mistakes.
Follow your business’s GPS – your brand statement – if you get lost
Get your a$$ out the door
Hit the “go” button. I could make all the lists I wanted about what to bring and my itinerary, but the going is the whole point.
I felt so alive heading out into the world, not knowing what was going to happen next.
For your business, you’ve got to be visible – nobody can see invisible things, especially not the people who need precisely what you offer.
Show up by networking, on social media, do speaking engagements, produce your own or be a guest on podcasts, writing a book, and giving away a free worksheet.
If you say, “I need to … ” or “I should do …” – stop it. It doesn’t matter what you do. Do what’s fun.
You’ll veer off course
Now I know I never need to visit Marfa, Texas again. Ever. I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t done it. There are no mistakes, just plot twists.
I’ve spent way too many hours focusing on things that weren’t important to my business. I went down roads that didn’t serve me or my business. But that money’s gone, it’s already happened, so move forward.
Get a grip, reel yourself in, pick a new direction.
When an engine light goes off in your dashboard, that’s a clue something big needs your attention
Just as I pulled into my first hotel on day ONE – literally, the very moment – a yellow light went on in my dashboard: Either my car had gone into submarine mode (that’s what the symbol looked like to me), or uh oh.
The “engine lights” for your business can be a lack of consistent income (your bank account is the “engine light”), spending too much time with clients who are not a good fit (you’re feeling drained instead of joyful), you’re working all the time and burned out (have fun!)
Road angels are everywhere
I hit a patch of hiccups during my first week. Dashboard light, computer shouting, “I HAVE NO MORE ROOM FOR ANY OF YOUR STUPID FILES!”, balancing work time and drive time, no place to have a client call.
I found what I call “road angels” everywhere: the geniuses at the Apple store in Knoxville, Tenn; The desk guy at the hotel who said, “I can’t give you a late checkout but I have a conference room you can use.” And then he made it nice for me.
My friend who found me a mechanic in Austin, Tex. Sean turned my fear of a $2k bill into $126.17 by cleaning one dirty filter.
The hottest of all my hot tips
Ask for help. Don’t hesitate. We’re not here to suffer in silence.
I said this a lot, “I’m wondering if it’s possible to have . . . “. The only possible answers are “yes,”, “no,” or renegotiate.
Ask for what you need. None of us can do this entrepreneurial (or life) road trip along.
Road angels are everywhere.
About the Author
Maggy Sterner is a brand & business coach. She helps coaches, consultants, creatives, and healers learn how to talk about what they do so the right people say, “OMG I need you!” And then they make da monies.
FACEBOOK: Pitch Power ® Business page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pitchpowerbusiness
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