As a therapist, I LOVE working with entrepreneurs.
Starting and running a business will automatically bring up and amplify an individual’s internal world (which means the good, the bad, and the ugly).
Entrepreneurs who walk through my doors are usually ready to do the inner work and want inner change NOW because their inner struggles are right in front of their face and impacting their businesses.
Here are some of the common topics that I see come up for entrepreneurs.
What is Success?
As an entrepreneur, it’s very difficult to measure “success” and define it for ourselves.
In school, success could easily be measured by grades. When working for others, it could be measured by meeting job expectations, raises, and promotions.
As an entrepreneur, it’s not so clear. Is it the amount of money we make? Is it the lifestyle we’ve created for ourselves? Is it happy employees?
I’ve thought about this a great deal myself and wrote about it in my blog post What Defines Success. I also help entrepreneurs find their own definition of success.
Is Happiness Possible?
Running a business is incredibly demanding and stressful. It can be difficult to feel happy under the weight of so much pressure. Many entrepreneurs also wonder how to find the balance between staying happy in the present, while still pushing for more growth.
What does Balance Look Like?
When you run your own business, there is always more you could be doing. Since you set your own schedule, it can be difficult to know when to step away. Many times, my clients have struggled with balance throughout their lives, but it becomes especially apparent as they start their own business.
How do I Constructively Handle Conflict?
Conflict inevitably happens. In our personal lives, we can choose to avoid conflict or muddy our way through difficult conversations. In a business, avoiding conflict or handling it poorly has real costs - from financial losses to losing clients and professional relationships. My clients want to know how they can constructively handle conflict with their customers, employees, and other business relationships.
How do I Maintain Boundaries?
The majority of my clients are women entrepreneurs. In our culture, women are raised to “be nice” and “get along.” In business, this can result in loose boundaries. For example, an entrepreneur may clearly define boundaries in a contract, but then a client asks for more than what the contract stated. The entrepreneur may want to prove herself, and decides to deliver on the request - instead of maintaining a boundary. I frequently work with clients on how to set and reinforce boundaries without the guilt.
How do I not Tie my Self-Worth to my Business?
It’s easy for an entrepreneur to tie her self-worth to the success of her business. I typically see this in clients who tied their self worth to their grades and achievements throughout their younger years.
While there is nothing wrong with pride in the work we do, it can quickly get in our way if it is the only thing that defines our worth. When our self worth is attached to our business, a business mistake or low profit day can drastically derail us and send us spiraling.
How do I Face my Money Fears?
Our beliefs and stories related to money become dramatically apparent when running a business. They can impact how we price our services, how we handle our budget (or ignore it), how we set goals, and more. I work with entrepreneurs to rewrite their money stories.
While all of the above concerns can be deeply uncomfortable to experience, the silver lining is that an entrepreneur is aware of them. When we have awareness of a problem, we can start to change it. And that's why I love working with entrepreneurs. They are ready for change.
In addition, working with entrepreneurs is rewarding because therapy helps an entrepreneur's business and internal landscape. As they experience internal growth, they also approach their business with more with clarity, confidence, and power.
If you're an entrepreneur and feel your personal issues are impacting your business, this is the perfect time for therapy.