We all know that owning a business comes with growing pains. And there’s this myth that those hard patches end once you’ve gotten through the beginner phase. But that’s often not the case. Hard seasons come and go throughout your tenure as a CEO and business owner, and being unprepared for those seasons can leave you struggling to keep pushing.
In this week’s episode, Kristen is talking about what to do when it gets hard and how the thoughts you have about those hard seasons can either crush you or move you forward.
Here are a few highlights:
- Why you must make the decision to lean into the difficult
- Mindset – what are you making the hard season mean
- The importance of reflecting back on your why
- Kristen’s own struggles with growth through difficult times
This episode isn’t meant to discourage you. Quite the opposite. Being an entrepreneur comes with risk and heartbreak and all other sorts of hard stuff. But it can also be the most rewarding ‘career’ you’ve ever had. Being prepared for what’s ahead and leaning into the hard instead of ignoring it or waiting it out can bolster your confidence and help you decide how your hard season is going to look.
Looking for a way to maximize your sales this upcoming holiday season? Then now is the perfect time to download your copy of Kristen’s new Monetize and Maximize Holiday Guide. Inside you’ll find simple and effective strategies designed to turn the last quarter of the year into your best. Click here to buy now.
Thanks for listening! Do you have a question about network marketing? Kristen can help! Drop your question here, and she just might answer it live on the podcast: https://Kristenboss.com/question
Connect with Kristen:
If you’re ready to learn the simple process of running your social selling business online, you have to check out Kristen’s live group coaching program! The Social Selling Academy: www.thesocialsellingacademy.com
Do you have a business full of customers and almost no builders? You’re in need of a reboot! Learn the three skills you can learn that will completely change your recruitment game. Check it out here.
Transcript of Episode #133 When it Gets Hard:
Kristen Boss (00:05): Welcome to Purposeful Social Selling with Kristen Boss. I’m your host, Kristen Boss. I’m a mindset and business coach with more than 15 years experience in both the product and service based industry. I believe that social selling is the best business model for people wanting to make an impact while they make serious income. This is the podcast for the social seller who is tired of feeling inauthentic in their business and desires to find a more purposeful and profitable way of growing their business. In today’s social media landscape, in this podcast, you will learn what it takes to grow a sustainable business through impactful and social marketing. It’s time to ditch the hustle and lead from the heart. Let me show you the new way.
Kristen Boss (00:48): Hey friends. Welcome to another episode of the show. Today we’re going to talk about when things get hard, when things feel frustrating, when it feels like nothing is going your way. We’re going to talk about what to do when you’re in a hard season of your business. Notice that I didn’t say if it happens, it’s when it happens. And I also want to preface and say it’s not a one time thing. There are hard seasons at every level of your business. It’s not a, Okay, I’m going to have a hard season in the beginning because I’m a beginner, and then all those lessons are going to be behind me. And it gets to be easy from here on out. No, if you’ve been in business for any length of time, if you’re new, awesome. So glad you’re here, glad you’re showing up for yourself. You’re probably very aware of how hard it is because you are having to learn so many new skills and in the beginning you’re failing a lot.
Kristen Boss (01:41): That is the most painful part about beginning. But we tend to have this idea, this illusion that once I’m a beginner, once I master that, once I’m over, that it gets to be easy from here on out. And that is just not the way it works. And if you’ve been in business for any length of time, maybe you’re a veteran, maybe you’ve been in business for 10 years, maybe you’ve been an entrepreneur for a long time, you have probably noticed by now that there are hard seasons. And I’m not talking days, sometimes it’s months, sometimes it’s years. And I want to talk about what to do and how to view the seasons when it’s hard because you’re going to face them at every level in your business. And I was just thinking about this the other day. I was thinking about how, I’m going to date myself for a second here.
Kristen Boss (02:29): I had a Nintendo when I was a kid and a Super Nintendo that was very fancy. And I remember I loved playing Super Mario or Mario Brothers, pretty sure it was called Mario Brothers. And I just remember every time, you know, you would work through these levels and you would like advance your skills through the levels. And I remember at the beginning I could get through level one, aside from like when I was brand spanking new level one, I, you know, died a million times and I kept falling off the cliff or whatever once. But once I figured out how to work through remote and that, you know, I even remember like lifting my arms up to jump and thinking that that would help the character jump. No. But once I figured out the basic mechanics of the game, I was able to move through the early levels relatively fast.
Kristen Boss (03:19): And then as you remember, like I think it’s like every 10 levels, there’s a boss that you face, which is funny because that’s my last name. And the boss would be like this, you know, skilled villain that you would have to defeat in order to unlock the next level of the game where you would, you know, be able to experience an advanced game. And so I remember at the beginning I could move through the early levels really fast, defeated the boss. You know, sometimes I died a couple times with the boss, but eventually I figured it out and I moved on. And I remember the more I advanced in the game, so did the villains I faced, so did their skills, I had to hone my skills and I had to get better and better the more advanced the game got. And I actually think that’s a really great analogy with business.
Kristen Boss (04:07): Sometimes I think I see entrepreneurs and business owners with this, like I’ve arrived mentality of like, I’ve figured that out and thinking that at some point in their business, I’m not sure, I think everyone has a different data point in their business. I think some people think once I hit six figures, then it’s going to be easy. Or once I hit a million dollars, then it’s going to be easy. But that’s not how it works. That’s not how life works. In fact, there’s just a different level of hard at every level of business. So I want you to think of like income levels. There’s a huge boss that you have to defeat at every level of income you want. And it is hard. And sometimes you will be stuck at a certain level for years. Does it mean that the game sucks? That you suck and that you’re wrong and that maybe you should play a different game?
Kristen Boss (05:00): No, this is just part of the game of entrepreneurship. And the further you advance, the harder it gets. And I think it’s the opposite of how a lot of people see business. They think, Okay, well once I hit a hundred K, it’s going to be easy. And then they’re surprised when it’s hard. They’re surprised when it requires a different level of skill. They’re surprised when it requires more than they thought it would. And this is when I see people get entitled, like, shouldn’t it, shouldn’t I be there by now? Why is this so hard? Why haven’t I figured this out? I should be making more. I should be further along. Not necessarily not unless you’ve acquired the skills in order to get to that next level. And where I see people kind of get stuck is I see them stay at the level they’re at because they’re frustrated.
Kristen Boss (05:50): Then they feel like I, no, I should be at the next level no matter what. And after a few frustrating, defeating losses with the boss, this is when I see people look elsewhere, this is when I see them looking at other options from a place of believing that it’s easier somewhere else, that the grass is greener, that it’s not going to be as hard over as there, It’s going to be just as hard, but it’s going to be different. It’s going to be a different kind of heart. You’re still going to find that you have to defeat a boss over there too. That’s going to require skills of you. It’s going to require new things you learn about yourself. And you can choose to be upset about that, or you can choose to lean in. So when it comes to when things are hard, and maybe you’re in hard right now, maybe it’s been hard for a year, maybe it’s been hard for two years.
Kristen Boss (06:44): Here’s a few things I want you to do. When you are in this place of hard, notice your narrative. That is step one. Notice your narrative. What are you, what are you telling yourself about the hard? What are you making the hard season mean? Are you surprised by it? Do you think you should be over it by now? Are you in a posture of waiting out the hard, just waiting for it to get better on its own instead of you realizing I have to get better in order for this hard to change, but I see most people waiting out the hard waiting for it to just magically get better or waiting for a different circumstance to come along so it gets easier, but it doesn’t, You’re going to be waiting a long time. This is when I see people plateau waiting for, you know, the referral or for an ad to show up, like waiting for their business to happen to them, waiting for success to happen instead of asking themselves what do, what is required of me to advance to the next level?
Kristen Boss (07:41): What is required of me? And of course, it’s going to cost you something. It’s going to be painful and it’s going to be something you don’t want to give up. Not talking about your mental health, not talking about your emotional health, not talking about your wellbeing. Sometimes people go there and they think, Well, you know, I’ll just sacrifice sleep for the next two years. No, that’s not what I’m talking about. It might be your ego, it might be some money for a time. It might be saying no to something you really, really, really want right now in favor of growing your business and keeping your business in the most healthy place. It might be waiting on building that home for another two years that you’ve been wanting to do so bad. Maybe it’s waiting on quitting that nine to five a little longer than you are comfortable with. Maybe it’s waiting before you go on an expensive trip. But this is where I see people, people get frustrated and they want to have their cake, they want to eat it too. They’re like, I’m here. I should, I should be further along and I should be able to enjoy all the things I want.
Kristen Boss (08:43): Ask any massively successful person who has made 7, 8, 9 figure businesses. They will tell you they delayed their gratification. They waited in favor of their future because they’re like, Nope, I don’t. I can wait on the house, I can wait on the car. I can wait on all those things because I’d rather develop my skills. I’d rather grow my assets. I’d rather grow my business and wait for that later. But this is where I see most people, they just get impatient and they just want to upgrade their lifestyle as quickly as possible. They just want to get through it, whatever it is. So I want you to notice your narrative with the hard season. What are you making it mean? Are you surprised by it? Are you waiting it out? Two is, you need to get back and engage with why you’re doing this. You need to reflect why is this important to you?
Kristen Boss (09:32): Why are you doing this work? Why is it meaningful for you? Because if you don’t have good reasons, if you don’t have a compelling reason to show up when it is hard, when it is frustrating, when it is emotionally exhausting, when nobody is thanking you, when there’s no accolade, accolades, when there’s, when it’s not a winning season, what is compelling you to show up and try and try and try again? Because if you don’t have a compelling reason, you’re going to quit. You’re going to stall, you’re going to stagnate or worse, you’re going to look elsewhere. This is when I see people compare and despair and they look for the easy bus button elsewhere. They think over there it won’t be so hard over there. I won’t have to make these hard decisions over there. I won’t have to deal with that. And what you’re looking at is circumstantial differences.
Kristen Boss (10:16): You might be like, okay, over there might be a different set of circumstances, but guess what? Anytime you want to massively grow your income, massively grow your impact, no matter what the circumstances are, there is still hard waiting for you. There is still a boss, a a boss level that you have to overcome. And there are new skills that are definitely required of you. I know for me, all I wanted to do was to be a coach. I just wanted to coach people. And I woke up every day and I was so compelled to help people that I pushed through some of the most insane resistance in my personal life. Every, literally when I started my coaching business, my personal life was so painful, everything was falling apart. And I remember people actually from the outside looking in in my life, I remember people offering to like be like, Hey, can I bring you over a bottle of wine?
Kristen Boss (11:13): Are you okay? I’m like, barely. Barely. Okay. But I still showed up because my, my reason for showing up was that compelling to me, where over like it, it helped me override all of the resistance I was feeling to doing something that felt hard where there wasn’t a lot of reward. You know, a lot of people, I do have people asking me because I grew my company very quickly. They’re like, Wow, it feels like it happened for you overnight. And like, well, how many people do you know would spend a year coaching people for free and researching and posting and not making any money for a whole year? And no one hiring them, no one thanking them. It being quiet and it being hard. How many people do you know would work hard for a year? I think it was even closer to 18 months.
Kristen Boss (12:02): How many people do you know would invest 30,000 before they made their first thousand and they would work for a year without making a dime? How many people do you know would do that? Very few. But that was, again, my reasons were so compelling that I was willing to, I was willing to sit in the hard because I knew where I wanted to go. And when the hard was happening, guess what I was telling myself? Yep, Sounds about right. I’m trying to do, make big moves in my life. So of course there’s going to be big obstacles in the way of me getting there. I didn’t make it mean something was wrong with me or that I sucked, or that it wasn’t meant to be. Some of you think when you hit your level of, you know, where you’ve been stalled out for a while, where it’s been frustrating and you’ve been in the hard for a long time.
Kristen Boss (12:55): Some of you are telling yourself, this is evidence that it just was never meant to be for me. And then you walk away instead of, this is my invitation to learn new skills. This is my invitation to grow in a way I’ve never had to grow before. And so for me, again, I woke up every day. I was like, I just want to coach people. All I wanted to do was coach people. I didn’t, I didn’t plan for, I couldn’t have imagined owning a company. I did not wake up one day and said, I want to own, you know, an eight figure company. I want to do that. Are you kidding? Actually, if you would’ve told me that when I started, I probably would’ve shut down and been like, No thanks. I’m walking away because there’s being a coach and then there’s being a ceo and coaching came very naturally to me.
Kristen Boss (13:47): And I grew that business very quickly. And then I started a company and then I had to become a ceo. I had to become a decision maker. I had to hire a team. I had to create company policies, I had to build systems, I had to build tech, I had to manage teams, I had to manage people. And now, you know, it’s not about making money for me anymore now, now I’m thinking about the company and I’m bringing in revenue because I get to pay people, which is amazing and wonderful and beautiful. But guess where all of my growth was? All of my growth was stepping into becoming a ceo. All of my growth was stepping into massive leadership decisions. And I will tell you, it felt like I died a million deaths becoming a ceo. Because I had to learn skills I never had to learn before.
Kristen Boss (14:31): I had to learn painfully, I had to figure it out. And also, I made sure to be in rooms and have mentors of people that did run eight figure businesses. Of people that did have companies. I, I got around CEOs, I didn’t go to school for it. I had to figure it out. And so for me, I was like, all right, this is what’s required of me to reach the next level. And I will tell you, every level of income you want will have a different level of obstacles and conflict that you will have to overcome to get there. And in fact, we think it’s going to be easier as we get better. It just gets harder. Maybe you didn’t know that. Maybe you’re like, well damn, there wasn’t my idea of, you know, making a million dollars and it get getting to be easy for the rest of my life.
Kristen Boss (15:17): It doesn’t. Not not if you wish to live your life in an unconventional, radical, impactful way. There’s no easy button. I wish there was. I wish I could tell you there’s an easy button, but there’s not. And someone was like, Well, when someone asked me once, they’re like, Well, when does it get to be easy? When do I just get to kick back on the beach? Not have a worry in the world and you know, just live off of all my hard work. I’m like, that’s called retirement. And as long as you are an entrepreneur, you are choosing to actively engage in the emotions of uncertainty and risk all the time. If you don’t want to deal with or feel uncertainty or risk, then maybe what you actually want, if you want certainty, work for somebody else. Because somebody who’s working a company, I’ll give you a great example.
Kristen Boss (16:08): So I, as the CEO of my company, I assume all the risk. I’m the one that I have to, I have all my employees and contractors to pay, and they have set pay, they get paid no matter what is happening in the company. I am the one then that is assuming all the risk in growing the company, growing the business. But my employees, people that work for me, and I, by the way, I have the best team in the world. I’m shouting you all out. If you’re listening, I love you guys, you’re the best. But my team, they have, they have a certain measure of certainty. They know they can just show up to work. No matter what is happening in the company, they get paid. Whereas for me as the ceo, I’m absorbing all the risk that comes with running a company. If something is going wrong, if we’re having a customer support issue, if there’s a PR issue, if there’s any of those things, I’m the one solving the risk because it might affect the bottom line.
Kristen Boss (17:03): So I assume the risk. So when people are like wanting something safe, wanting something certain, they’re tired of solving problems, I’m like, then maybe entrepreneurship isn’t for you because there’s no such thing as like set pay, risk free absolute certainty. It’s a line if anybody sold, sold you that they’ve been lying to you. I know that sounds really tough, but I’d rather you know what you’re in. Like you can’t bring your nine to five mentality to entrepreneurship. You can’t bring your salary mindset to entrepreneurship. And I see a lot of people doing that and it sets them up for disappointment and frustration and borderline entitlement. This should be easy for me. I had so much success in corporate or success over there. Why isn’t this easy for me? This shouldn’t be so hard. Why is, why can’t we get out of this sooner faster instead of embracing, literally embracing, this is business, this is what I’m doing and here are my reasons why, and I’m so glad I’m in it.
Kristen Boss (18:02): You don’t have to be glad that you’re in the hard. The hard is hard no matter what. I think holding space for the hard, and I’m certainly not talking about toxic positivity and being like, tell yourself that you’re thankful for the hard no. Sometimes the hard is horrible and it’s so emotionally painful, but it’s part of the game. I know that when I’m in the hard, I know, nope, this is part of the game I play and this is the obstacle in order for me to reach the next level. But this is where I see most people tell themselves it’s easier elsewhere. And they move elsewhere. They get out of their momentum and guess what happens? The lesson is waiting for them elsewhere. It’s a different set of circumstances, but it’s the same lesson. They bump up, bump up against, I see this with coaches, I see this with service providers and I see it in network marketers.
Kristen Boss (18:49): It’s just like, okay, you can try and you can go and grab another set of circumstances, but it’s still going to be you. You’re bringing you with you and you’re in entrepreneurship. There’s no such thing as certainty. You’re going to have problems over there too. There’s no such thing as problem free entrepreneurship. Man, I wish there was. That sounds amazing. So again, notice the narrative you’re telling yourself, evaluate what’s working, what’s not working. Revisit your compelling reasons for doing this. Why is this important to you? Why is it meaningful for you? Because if you don’t have compelling reasons to show up, your reasons for quitting are going to be a lot more compelling. Your reasons for going elsewhere, a lot more compelling, your reasons for, you know, checking out and taking a break. This is where I see people saying, I need to take a break because it’s been hard for a long time and they’ve been waiting for the hard to change on its own.
Kristen Boss (19:44): Instead of them engaging in the hard and saying, Okay, what is my lesson here and what do I need to learn in order to get through this and overcome it? But most people wait it out. They feel emotionally exhausted waiting it out because the whole time they’re experiencing the hard, they’re telling themselves, This shouldn’t be happening. I should be elsewhere. I should be further along. Something’s wrong with me. Maybe I shouldn’t be here. So not only is it, are we dealing with just the hard set of circumstances now we’re making it harder because of the stories we’re telling ourselves. And now we’ve created a difficult emotional experience during the hard season. So now we’re compounding things. And then I see people emotionally depleted from the hard season because they don’t know how to navigate it, they don’t know how to frame it in their mind.
Kristen Boss (20:28): And that’s when I see them check out and say, I’m going to take a break for the next year. And then, you know, when they come back, however long later, they’re defeated to see, you know, my company lost momentum. I’ve lost trust with my team, with my audience, and now I have to rebuild it. And now it’s harder, right? And then I, then I either that’s when I see them either look elsewhere or they quit entirely or they just stay stuck. But you get to decide what your hard season looks like because you get to decide how you show up in your hard season. You can’t control the hard, you can’t control the circumstances that have been handed to you. But you can 100% control your thoughts, your feelings, your action, your behavior, your who your mentors are, where you’re investing and how you handle it.
Kristen Boss (21:19): Your hard doesn’t have to be happening to you. It can be happening for you, but most people are too busy feeling like hard is happening to them and they just want to get out of it. And I want you to ask yourself in this hard, I want you to think about what is my lesson here? What are my lessons? If we’re to take it back to the video game, being like, okay, well what skills am I going to need to acquire in order to overcome this level to advance to the next? And sometimes it’s more than you are willing to pay what it will cost you to advance to the next level. This is where I see people say too much. I don’t want to pay that. I don’t want to have to pay for those skills. I don’t want to have to pay to work on myself. I don’t want to have to pay to heal those stories.
Kristen Boss (22:05): I don’t want to have to invest in my leadership, invest in my team, maybe learn new skills that I haven’t had to learn before. I don’t want to have to hire somebody to do something. This is where I see people say, I don’t want it. So if you’re not willing to pay the cost of advancing the next level, then don’t complain. If you are staying at your current level, the only reason I have been able to grow and scale as quickly and build the company I have today was because I kept choosing the hard, Like not, it wasn’t happening to it. I chose it on purpose every time and every single obstacle. And believe me, oh my gosh, this year guys nearly killed me. Not literally, but it was, it has been the hardest year of my life and in business. And for me, I had to decide over and over, this is worth it.
Kristen Boss (23:02): And I looked for my lessons with every hard obstacle I was given. I was like, okay, what is this teaching me? What is this teaching me for my future? How is this shaping me for the next, How am I going to be better out of this? I’m not going to let this best me. I’m going to be, I’m going to make it better me. I’m going to improve it. I’m not going to be better. I’m going to be better. And it’s, it’s that mindset that has served me. Did it all, Did that, Did the mindset magically make it all go away? No, I still had to do really hard things. I didn’t make really hard decisions, but it was worth it because my reasons were compelling. So if you were in your hard I, I just want to encourage you to lean into the hard engage in the hard stop waiting for it to go away. Stop waiting for it to get better on its own. It’s not. You’ve got to show up, you’ve got to engage. There’s a lesson for you. If you learn the lesson, you get to take that with you until you hit the next level and the next level of hard. But when we have really compelling reasons, the heart is always worth it. We’ll catch you in the next episode.
Kristen Boss (24:14): That wraps up today’s episode. Hey, if you love today’s show, I would love for you to take a minute and give a rating with a review. If you desire to elevate the social selling industry, that means we need more people listening to this message so that they can know it can be done a different way. And if you are ready to join me, it’s time for you to step into the Social Selling Academy where I give you all the tools, training and support to help you realize your goals in the academy. You get weekly live coaching so that you are never lost or stuck in confusion. Whether you are new in the business or have been in the industry for a while, this is the premier coaching program for the modern network marketer. Go to www.thesocialsellingacademy.com to learn.