When I scroll through my newsfeed on Facebook or Instagram, there are lots of glamorous photos of wellness entrepreneurs lounging on their laptops in their perfect apartments or doing inversions at sunset on a rocky beach. Yes, there is plenty of travel and major time spent on my computer as a digital nomad, but there is also a shadow side to the self-employed life that you don't see on social media. Let's talk about four challenges that no one likes to admit.
I just got back from a week-long wellness conference feeling very inspired from spending so much time with people. We walked together, talked together, and even ate three meals a day together! This may sound like a strange reason to be happy, but when you are a solopreneur, you make your own schedule, follow your own routine and spend lots of time by yourself. There are some days when I eat all my meals alone at my desk and the only conversations that I have are email ones. It can be very lonely to be an entrepreneur! Finding ways to connect with others via co-working spaces, networking groups and professional conference are essential to my survival.
2. Financial Worries
As an entrepreneur, I make all the financial decisions, raise all the capital, and pay all the bills -- which means that there's lots of money stress. Financial stress affects more than your bank account. It can impact your health and your relationships. According to the American Psychological Association, almost three-quarters of Americans are experiencing financial stress and nearly a quarter of us are experiencing extreme financial stress. Money problems are also the number one reason for divorce. In order to manage financial worries, I have to have a clear budget, a smart accountant and a good support team of mentors and advisors to keep me physically and financially healthy.
Sometimes I am so busy, that I forget to eat, exercise or unplug for a few minutes - and it never serves me well. Lack of self-care makes me anxious, exhausted and drains my creative juices. This is a common problem for passionate and ambitious people. Luckily, I am surrounded by amazing friends who say, "Hey, you need to take a break!" and then we go to yoga or the beach and get back to balance. For a long time, I resisted self-care because I wanted to push hard and get as much done as possible. This only leads to crashes and burnout. Pacing myself, setting boundaries and putting play-dates on my calendar are now an important part of my self-care routine.
4. Explaining What You do to Others
This is may sound crazy, but when I explain my online coaching business to some people, they look at me like I have three heads! Not everyone understands the entrepreneurial life. Some people (a.k.a. parents and grandparents) may think it's not a "real job" to work for yourself - but that's par for the course. When you are your own boss, you get to call the shots and define life on your own terms. I try to share as much as I can with family and friends about my work so they understand my business and how they can support me. When it gets lost in translation, I just reassure them that I am happily following my passion.
These challenges aren't meant to discourage you from becoming a wellness entrepreneur. No matter what kind of work you choose, there will always be obstacles. Not all entrepreneurs experience these specific challenges -- each path is unique. The best way to be prepared is to be informed and surround yourself with peers and mentors like the Women in Wellness Club who can give you real insight and support.