How to be More Content as a Small Business Owner
Small business owners are often pressurized to scale and go big. But that takes a toll on their mental health.
Many bloggers, creators, and businesses are always talking about how you can make more money. While I have nothing wrong with makin money, that isn’t the only reason that entrepreneurs start a business. In fact, I might argue that if the only reason you are starting a company is to simply make money you are going to burn out quickly.
I started my business in 2018 as a hobby however it quickly turned into a way to experience more freedom within my own life by making more passive income. Passion is what originally fueled my fire, but after a couple of years I became overly obsessed with making more money that I lost sight of why I even started in the first place. Discontentment can easily creep in and take over. As I connect with other small business owners their stories seem to go the same way.
It can be so easy to fall prey to the hustle culture as an entrepreneur and lose sight of our “Whys.” Today, I want to share with you a few tips on how you can be more content as a small business owner.
1. Reflect on how far you’ve come
On days when I am feeling extremely discontent with where I am at with my business my husband always reminds me of how far I have come. I tend to get caught up in all of the goals I want to achieve and only look at all the things that I don’t yet have. I forget to look backward to see how far I have come and all that I have already accomplished.
My recommendation is to practice gratitude. I’m sure you can come up with at least 3 things to be thankful for that you did not have a year ago. Take a moment to be thankful for the progress you have made!
2. Reduce your time on social media
When I spend too much time on Instagram I become overwhelmed with self-doubt. As I scroll through my feed I get into a downward spiral of debating my validity as a business owner and even my own self-worth as I see where everyone else is at. Social media tends to be a highlight reel and does not always show someone’s full story. Even if I remind myself of that truth, it can be hard to resist the feeling of imposter syndrome as a small business owner.
It is good to take long breaks from social media every once in a while. Go for a walk, read a book, learn web design, call up a friend, or simply lay down and let yourself be bored for a moment. These activities will help refresh your mind, help you become more content with where you are at, and to stop comparing your situation to others.
3. Look for opportunities to be generous
I truly believe that there is nothing that cures a discontent heart like generosity does. Generosity is an anecdote for jealousy and envy which are two of the main roots to discontentment. It can help focus your attention on the fact that you already have more than enough and that there are others out there who need your help.
Find some time to volunteer your time, look for an organization to give a large sum of money to, offer to do a project pro bono, or take an afternoon to declutter and give away items in your home. Even though it can be hard to admit at times, the world does not revolve arond yourself. Contentment can be found when you are generous towards others.
4. Be okay with shifting goals
One of the biggest culprits to making me feel the most discontent in my business was not reaching goals by the time I wanted to reach them. Or in the early stages of my business I felt like my goals changed so often! I used to get upset with myself for this until I realized that it was a natural part of starting up a business. Pivots are important and expected as you learn more about what your target audience wants from you.
Whether you have goals to make a certain amount of money, launch a new project, save enough money for something new, or to reach a bigger audience just know that your focus may change over time and it may change more often than you’d like it to. But those are just the growing pains of getting a small business started.
Contentment isnt necessarily something you stumble upon. It takes intentional decisions in order to get to a place where you feel more content as a small business owner. From my own experience, it isn’t easy and it ebs and flows over time. Some weeks I feel more content than others. The moments when I feel the most content though are when I put these three practices into place. I hope that they help you become more content as a small business owner.