“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise.”
-Rudyard Kipling, “If-“
from Rewards and Fairies
Although the context of Kipling’s famous poem was amidst 19th century military and political tensions in Great Britain, this work is one of my favorites and strikes an uncanny resemblance to how it sometimes feels to be an entrepreneur. I know with school just around the corner for a lot of us, this can be one of the most exciting yet terrifying times of the year filled with lots of new changes and also plenty to get organized. It’s hard to believe I have been in business for over half a year now, and each day it gets just gets sweeter! I don’t mean to lead you in believing that life is just a field of dandelions when you start running your own business, but I will tell you that the reward you get after pushing through the rougher patches is totally worth it. But for the times when it’s a little harder to stay focused, I wanted to provide a little encouragement and let you know you can keep your head even when everyone around you may be losing theirs.
1. Remember the plan.
I could probably not live or at least not live well
if I didn’t have a planner. This year I am trying out my new Day Designer
which, so far, I have fallen in love with! It’s a little big, so it’s not always on the list of what’s physically in my bag
. But even though I don’t take it with me everywhere, each night I usually make it a point to review the day I just had and think about what went well and what I can improve on tomorrow. Already built into this planner are several spots for mapping out big and little goals alike which help keep me on track and excited for the future ahead. Now I realize maybe you don’t want to invest in a planner quite this expensive (I got lucky and found one super cheap at Target
, another reason why it’s basically my favorite store). But the concept is something you can translate into your own life on some sticky notes or a sheet of blank paper. Start listing out three big goals you have for yourself for just this year in various areas of your life. Next, map out the little goals that can get you there. Finally, each day before you face the world, think about the three or four things that are most important for you just for that day. It might be things you want to accomplish or ways you want to approach situations. Stick to your plan, and you’ll be amazed at how much you grow individually and with your endeavors.
2. Stick to your guns.
Kipling says, “If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too.” It sounds so poetic and even heroic on paper but way harder to master in real life. For me, at least, I know it’s so easy to get caught up with what other people want or are doing that you lose the ability to organize and differentiate their thoughts and desires from your own. I think we all kind of dream of a world where we are perfectly confident in ourselves and don’t have to fight the temptation of comparison. This is huge in my industry because photography is so visually oriented, and other photographers’ work is so readily accessible online. The other day I watched a video blog from the super talented and influential wedding photographer, Katelyn James. She talked about defining success and how destructive it can be to play the comparison game. It was encouraging to hear from someone who has been in the industry for much longer than me say that she still struggles with this all the time! I think when it comes to sticking to your guns, it’s important to focus on what you love. So much of what you do is a testament to your individual personality, and that is what makes life so exciting! You might not get it right all the time, and it’s important to laugh at yourself when that happens. But if you want people to notice you your work, find your little niche, something no one may be paying attention to right now and invite them to wonder at it with you! There are plenty of entrepreneurs in the world, but there is only one of you!
3. Learn to love the waiting.
This goes along so closely with the previous point. You might be super talented, very organized, and even the most enthusiastic little entrepreneur in the world. But if you aren’t patient, let’s just say, God will have a lot of lessons to teach you in the process. I think the key to understanding this part is the idea of seasons. Each and every one of us is in a season of life. And that’s a big reason why comparison is such a thief of joy because each of us are at different places that just simply aren’t comparable to one another. The season that you are currently in is a result of several factors such as your career, age, dreams, etc. God uses these times to mold us more into his image and impress his heart upon ours. It’s so easy to get discouraged while we wait. But something that has helped me is focusing on the lessons I’m learning and how they are specifically preparing me for the season ahead. The thing about seasons is that they change and won’t be back once they are gone, so the best thing you can do is squeeze out every ounce of opportunity that is right under your nose! That means sometimes drawing a line between your dreams and real life can be a beneficial thing to do for your psyche.
That’s all for now! Check back next week for “Keeping your Head: Part II,” when I’ll reveal my last two tips on how you can better organize your life and your mind to make the most out of your small business or any of life’s little endeavors.
And if you haven’t already checked out the new series I launched earlier this week, you should totally make your way over to take a peek at what’s in my bag!
Until then, stay sweet, friends! You’re doing great things.