You're familiar with this, right? Starting a business is just like having a baby...
Business Pregnancy - You've decided it's gonna happen. You're going to take the jump. You're going to start working for yourself! You've been thinking about it for a long time and you're actually going to do it. It's exciting, and you're thrilled. Maybe sometimes a little nauseous. Overall, though, you are really looking forward to finally "getting there" and having your business baby.
Business Labor - This is when it's actually happening. After waiting and planning and saving money and getting things ready, it's time. You've put your money where your mouth is. You've bought all the shiny fancy things and set up the room. You have all the equipment. You spent all that money and time getting ready. Nesting is done. And now... you're doing it. You're starting your business.
But at the labor stage, there's a lot of waiting. The waiting isn't fun. It's painful. Sometimes, intensely painful. Sometimes, intensely worrying. In fact, it starts feeling worse. And worse. You suddenly want to bail out. Maybe this was a mistake. Maybe you can just tell them you're done and changed your mind.
At one point, you literally think you are dying.
After intense, searing pain, and unbearable tightness, your business leaves your business birth canal and...
Business Birth - Relief! You get the clients you've been waiting for... you get the contract you wanted... it actually starts to happen! You have a business! Angels sing! The clouds part to sunshine! You are AMAZING! You can do ANYTHING!
4th Trimester Business - Okay, maybe not anything. The 4th trimester is when it gets hard again after it felt better. You're still healing and a little wobbly. You're working harder than you thought you'd have to and are exhausted. No one told you how freaking HARD this was going to be. Everyone made it seem SO EASY.
Things aren't going the way you had pictured: clients are cancelling after a session with you, or maybe call and then don't book. The first rush of clients you had are still coming, but you NEED MORE. This is exhausting! Things are not as fun as you want them to be!
Business Infancy - Things start leveling out some... there are ups and downs... but overall you're getting the hang of it. You're still crazy anxious at times, but less and less so. You have built a support system around you that helps to normalize that no one actually knows what the fuck is going on and you're just doing your damned best. Things are feeling more predictable, more manageable, but still scary at times.
You still have bouts of "I suck at this" but you're starting to understand that these feelings come and then they go. That everyone in your place feels these feelings. The feelings themselves start to be less scary.
Business Childhood - Things level out... everything settles down. In fact, at some point, you might think about taking more vacations away from your business... and maybe even doing things outside of work that are unrelated to your business kid. You might even think about having another! ;)
We all go through these stages. And though we never know entirely what to expect... you can always expect change...reach out to your fellow members to make sure you are getting the support you need on your practices ups and downs!