First things first: You’re doing amazing sweetie!
Building a Footwear Brand from scratch, especially on your own, with no external help, can be the most draining and trying process, however fulfilling it may be. Since my decision to embark on this journey, I have done everything single-handedly and many a times, I have come crashing down due to the pressure I put on myself to achieve my goals. It’s so easy for outsiders looking in to praise and commend you for your milestones and achievements, but hardly do they ever speak on the unseen, unshared moments every entrepreneur faces: The emotional burnouts.
As usual, I’ve decided to bare my soul and share my lows (and even LOWER lows) throughout this brand-building process, and some tools I’ve learned along the way to help me recover from these burnouts.
I know it’s pressing, I know it must be done RIGHT NOW, I know it seems like a matter of life & death, but it is very important to take a step back and acknowledge your achievements and how far you’ve come along the way.
When I get to work, I am undeniably relentless because I absolutely hate the idea of stopping/taking breaks before I see any task to completion. This is why more times than none, I am left physically and emotionally drained by the time I am done. Wanting to conquer a goal by all means is definitely a great trait for any entrepreneur, however, the only problem is that it leaves little to no room to truly celebrate your achievements as you progress. By the time it’s all said and done, you’re completely exhausted, and celebrations & gratitude suddenly require more energy & mental strength than you imagined. So take that break. Whether it’s stepping back from your tasks, delving into your favourite hobbies or simply meditating (whatever floats your boat), taking a break IS essential.
Sometimes you’re all wrapped up in your end goal, racking up your brain cells to keep going, so much so that you forget why you even started or why you even want it.
I’ll be honest. I’m resilient, I’m hard-working, but I’m human. I break down, I question myself, and all I wanna do is shut down when I struggle with mental blocks or picking up my shoemaking tools, however, that’s when I know a conversation with myself is definitely needed. As crazy as it sounds, I remind myself of the young pre-designer girl who obsessed over shoes she admired and would do anything to treasure the ones she had. I remind myself of how my love of footwear delivered me from one of the most taunting and lowest moments of my life, created moments very dear to my heart and how it shifted my path to something more purposeful, and slowly but surely, my drive would be restored.
It’s easy to lose sight of your dream when you’re living in the reality, but it’s the reason you even get up in the first place. So hold on tight to your ‘why’, have the courage to fail and try again as many times as you need to, but always be easy on yourself as you do. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but dreams do come true overnight. It just requires a lot of days (or years) to get you there, but you’ll definitely get there.
Whether it’s taking time to talk to God or a trusted friend, watching a few videos, documentaries or interviews related to your craft, reading a magazine, or doing something as little as writing down key words, inspiration can come from around you.
Every once in a while (even when you haven’t hit a mental block), it’s a good idea to stimulate your creativity and keep things fresh and flowing. Trust me, having archives to look back on when you face these challenges will definitely keep you afloat until you overcome this dreadful phase.
If you’re completely relentless and absolutely do not know how to take a step back for a quick second, it’s all good. No judgement. Just make sure to dissect your end goal into smaller, more achievable goals. This way you feel accomplished and are able to reward yourself more often, leaving you feeling refreshed and motivated enough to take on any subsequent tasks ahead of you.
I sincerely hope I’ve been able to help anyone struggling with these issues, if not, just remember: “This too shall pass”. If you’ve got any tips on how to overcome mental blocks and emotional burnouts, I’d love to read about them in the comments below.
Until next time,