Ask for What You Want
The longer I own a business, the more I learn about myself. I've always considered myself to be a go-getter: someone who doesn't take "no" for an answer. And yet, the lifestyle of entrepreneurship has the ability to beat the determination out of even the strongest individuals. I'm just over a year and a half into my business and just over two years of living in Colorado, and more than anything, I've seen myself go through waves of emotion in regards to feeling in control. Some days I wake up on fire for my business. I can't wait to brainstorm new marketing ideas and hold team meetings and pour over my data reports. But other days, I find myself wishing that I could just "leave my work at the office" when I see my friends going out for drinks at the end of a long day. Owning a business is like having a siamese twin; it's difficult to go anywhere or do anything without hearing another stream of work-related thoughts flow through your head. You feel me, entrepreneurs?
The word tenacity is typically used to reference determination or persistence. However, when I googled the definition, the first one to appear was: the quality or fact of being able to grip something firmly; holding together firmly. That's ironic, considering that business owners are required to be tenacious, yet some days I literally don't feel like I'm holding anything together. Everytime someone says, "Wow, you seem pretty young to be doing this," I politely smile and shrug, while inwardly screaming, "I PROBABLY AM, I REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M DOING, HOPE I DON'T FAIL, HOPE YOU CAN'T TELL I'M A BASKET CASE!!!" (and scene).
It's difficult to feel like you have it all together when you can't control the outcome. Oh sure, I can build relationships with clients, improve my craft, and do community marketing until I'm blue in the face, but there are no guarantees in entrepreneurship. Some of my biggest promotional efforts have generated little to no return, whereas certain periods of time have been a massive boost in sales, even when it's against the trend. I love learning what works and what doesn't, but I should probably get the words "progress, not perfection" tattooed on my forehead.
What I have learned throughout the good seasons and the bad is to ask for what you want. Truthfully, you can't control the end result, but you can control your approach. Entrepreneurship is all about risk vs. reward, and since the risk is inevitable, you might as well ask for the reward. If I didn't persist beyond what was comfortable, I would never have my studio in the first place, so I've adopted the same mentality when it comes to running my business.
As one of my favorite Pure Barre cues goes, "You can't have change without challenge." There's no way you can skirt the challenges of entrepreneurship, so instead of practicing an avoidance mentality, run with confidence towards the thing that scares you. The worst thing that can happen is that you ask, and you don't get the reward. But, if you don't ask, the outcome is already decided for you.