Moving forward even when it feels like I’m being pushed backwards.

My company has been an idea for a long time. In fact I’ve been writing blogs for a website that didn’t exist for over a year. But it wasn’t until Q4 2019 that I got really serious about turning this idea a reality.

I finished my website at the end of January, wrote an e-book (I haven’t really launched it yet) and scheduled my first event for early April. I was also starting to build my dream client and create a course. Then came COVID. I suddenly had to move my first event to a virtual event and seriously wondered if launching a business was a good thing to do right now.

But because my infrastructure costs were low, I kept at it. I kept moving forward even while, my husband and I faced hurdles with our existing businesses. We laid off staff, we closed a physical location, we have watched some customers slow down and need extended terms or lower rates and other close their doors for good.

I will admit that some days I feel positive. I feel that we are taking advantage of this slower than normal pace to work on our systems and build stronger companies (all of them). My husband and I have found a good rhythm of working from home, in the same office, together (early on, we didn’t think we could make it work!). We have discovered how much productivity is achieved when you are not driving from appointment to appointment. We are enjoying our home and carving out time to work on it. I’ve even picked up scissors and glue and am learning to make paper flowers.

But other days……. everything feels so hard. Stock for our customers is limited, suppliers haven’t yet got this all figured out. Customers want discounts and breaks. Managing staff remotely required more intentional relationship building (the irony in that is not lost on me). Some days, it feels like the losses will outweigh the gains. Some days I wonder if it’s a waste of time to try to build a stronger company when we might not survive. And then, I wonder is building a business in all of this still something I should move forward with?!

Then on even different days… I wonder what the new normal will be. Have we pivoted enough? Too much? Will we be able to compete in the new normal? Will the world be all about amazons and not about small businesses? I believe that the customer experience will become even more important in the new normal, but maybe I’m wrong. I believe that intentional relationship building will be more needed than ever as it will be a long time before we gather the way we did before. But again, maybe I’m wrong.

You don’t need to own a business to understand how I’m feeling. You likely have these same days. Days that you feel like you are running with the wind and others where you feel like the wind is enough to hold you in place regardless how fast you run. And finally there are days where the wind is so strong that it’s pushing you backwards.

What is weird is that regardless of how I am feeling, regardless of how hard it feels, or how easy, how fast or how slow… the world is always moving forward. Today always turns into yesterday and tomorrow will always become today. I guess I have to choose whether to move forward with it or to fight it.

The other things that is amazing is that no two days are the same. Because tomorrow will never be the same as today. I will have changed, the world will have changed. Maybe just a little, maybe in such a small way that I won’t even notice. But after a period of time, I will notice. I’ll notice that I’m different, the world is different. Right now, some of the changes are very noticeable but there are other changes I likely don’t see… yet.

Thing brings me to the realizations that even when the wind feels so strong that I feel like I’m being pushed backwards, that’s not possible. The world only moves in one direction, forward. Each day I’m moving forward. I then realize that everyday, I have a choice. I can move forward with the world, or I can fight it. Everyday I have a choice to make myself better or not. Every day I have the choice to make the world better or not.

I can’t change the direction of the world… I can only change the my choice and how I choose to move with the world.

I choose to keep moving forward, even on the days where it all feels hard. Even on the days where the wind is so strong that I feel like I’m being pushed backwards. Even on those days, I’ll do my best and keep moving in the direction of forward. That means, that even if I’m wrong in my beliefs, I just have to keep moving. I’ll just have to adjust when I can see more clearly.

I’m curious, do you think the only way is forward?

“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk then crawl. But whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”

Martin Luther King Jr.