Transcript: 3 Challenges Every Entrepreneur Must Overcome
Hello, how are you doing today? So today we've got a very special episode, three challenges every entrepreneur must overcome. And boy, there are some doozies here. Since most of you listening have your own legal practice, you are very familiar with the struggles of creating a business. It may not have been what you intended when you went to law school and you may not have been prepared to go into business for yourself.
But here you are nonetheless. So when I started my very first business about five years ago, and I keep in mind I do this while being a full time lawyer. I had some unforeseen issues pop up issues that I really could not have seen coming. And I thought I was just going to start a business on the side to see if I could do it, right, like prove it to myself, maybe make some money at it. And it turned out that I was entering into one of the, if not the biggest personal growth stages of my life. And today I'm going to share with you the obstacles I faced when I was starting a business. And they are not things like getting a permit or a license or learning how to do things. These are mental struggles. They are mental struggles that largely go unseen by others and are not really understood by, you know, like a partner you might be with or friends who aren't experiencing the same thing.
They're not the obvious obstacles that you might have thought you would have had. And if you don't have your own practice and you're listening to this today, you may have experienced these on a more subdued level but if you don't address them then you're doomed to repeat the same patterns and not progress but if you have these issues and you don't address them when you have a business, when you're starting a legal practice, your business is not going to take off. You simply can't get things done. You will procrastinate, you will do nothing and you will take your business down with you or you're going to become so burned out by stressing your body that you're going to self destruct. There is going to be some repercussion. The whole point of me sharing these with you isn't to be all vulnerable with you. When you're listening to these, I want you to ask yourself if any of them resonate with you.
If they do then you know where your work is. There may be several of these areas that you relate to. I would start with the one that resonates most with you and ask yourself where you can self coach yourself or seek help with coaching. By self coaching, I mean really recognizing the thoughts that are laying the foundation for this for what's happening in your life. Really writing it out. Or you can talk it out with someone that you trust. I mean, these aren't necessarily topics of conversation you want to talk about with someone you don't trust or with someone who won't respond supportively or maybe even somebody who doesn't understand, like talking this over with a partner who doesn't understand what you're going through. It might be a little challenging for you. These are touchy topics that can cut to the core of who we think we are as human beings, right?
Like our identity. So choose who you speak with carefully. Now, as I was running my business, I recognize that there were areas of my life that needed tending to to make my business run smoother.
Before we dive into this podcast, I want to share something that can help you run your practice and your life smoother. It's called the busy lawyers quick start guide to getting five hours back each week. Each strategy will make your day today life run easier. Just start with one suggestion that I give you in this guide and you will notice a difference in how you feel each day. You won't be able to help but run your life smoother. Now you can download it for free dinacataldo.com forward slash busy lawyer. That's Dinacataldo.com/busylawyer.
And once you've downloaded that resource, come back to me because we have work to do here.
Got it? Okay, well let's talk about entrepreneur obstacles. So I believe that we all experience what I'm going to talk about all these emotions on some level and that they are never truly going to go away 100% we just learn to recognize them faster and faster and then we can more easily understand that it's just our brain doing what it does. Nothing has gone wrong. Then we move on or we coach ourselves or we seek coaching from someone else to get to where we are self sabotaging our efforts in our life or our business. So for me, I felt these obstacles really, really keenly on my first year in business and that's what really got me seeking coaching because I knew that others had these same struggles and coaching seemed to work for them. It seemed as if this was a really common thing I was going through even though it didn't feel like it at the time.
I could see that other people were talking about it and it made me feel like there was something I could do about it and there was, and it was different. My response was different than it would have been without the coaching because I was kind of just hiding. I was kind of trying to, you know, go back into the cave. I mean that's what our brain wants us to do, right? When we have all of these thoughts, all these fears I'm going to talk about because we, it wants to keep us safe. It wants to make sure we stay part of the tribe and we don't embarrass ourselves, right? So the very first thing I want to talk to you about is fear. All right? This fear of so many things, and I actually started my business because I recognized I wasn't starting it because I was scared.
Does that make sense? So I, I knew that I needed to follow my fear. I knew that that was where my growth was going to be. I knew that much from yoga. And that was really where I started, was looking at my thoughts, was yoga and recognizing, okay, I have this desire to start a business and yet I'm not following through. And I keep writing it over and over in my journals over the years, but I'm not actually doing anything about it. And when I actually stopped and asked myself, well, why wasn't I doing it? It was because I was scared. So I knew starting this business was something that was a central to my growth. I just didn't realize how essential it would be. And fear really runs through all three of these big challenges that I'm going to be talking about today. So in this little segment, number one, I'm going to call it fear, it is kind of broken down into four different subsections I guess.
So the first fear that I had was fear of being seen. It was a fear of putting work out into the world. So, and what I started with was writing a blog for my tea company and that moved into video and that's really where I started connecting more with people and they were coming to my blog and they had my video on the blog, right? So then I moved to becoming my brand. I actually have my name on the website, I'm not selling tea anymore. It's actually a coaching practice. And now I'm the face of my practice. And one of the things that really helped me with this was listening to other entrepreneurs. You know, there are people like Amy Porterfield who talks publicly about her struggle with video. Selena Soo, who runs the impacting millions coaching program. And that's something that I'm going to talk to you more about in the future and if you're a part of my email list, which you can do by downloading that Dina cataldo.com forward slash busy lawyer or anything else on my website, you will be part of my email list and you'll learn more about Selena Soo and that program if you're interested in really being seen in your practice and that is something that's been holding you back.
I didn't feel comfortable on video. I didn't like the way I looked. I didn't like the way I sounded. I really needed to practice this in order to feel more comfortable being seen and that was, that's something I'm going to get to with like how to get into this comfort zone. But that's the very first subsection, this a fear of being seen. The next one is fear of not being good enough, not having something important enough to say not being perfect. Right? And that's the, it shows up everywhere, right? Like whether you're doing a podcast, a blog, whether you're on social media. This fear of not really having anything of value to say is something that shows up a lot with people and it still shows up with me and I have to look at it and say to myself, okay, what's holding me back?
And it's always fear holding me back. It's always something like that and when you recognize that what you have to say is going to hit somebody just the way they need it, that is going to be what propels you moving forward is that you have something to say to someone who is just a step behind you. You don't need to be 20 steps ahead of someone in order to give them value. If you're just one little step ahead of someone, you will help them. The third subject subsection here is fear of what others think their judgment and their rejection of what we put out into the world, which is really the fear that what they have to say about you or what you create is true. And this has taken me some time to work through because I felt, and I don't know if this is true or not anymore because it wasn't really an objective belief.
I feared that I would be judged by my coworkers and that they would be like, “Oh, what is she doing?” And I know that there are some people who do that because I've seen that happen with coworkers for other people who have other interests that they pursue outside of the law. And I also know that it's true because I speak to other lawyers and they have those same, that same push-back from people. But what's really important is that we don't allow what other people to think, to matter to us so much that we don't put things out into the world. So that is something that is very common and that I hear a lot. And the fourth subsection of this is fear of failure. We are so wrapped up in being perfect and getting everything just right. And I know you're a high achiever.
I know that you are working hard and you want to create something really big in your life and deep down you wonder, can I make this happen? Can I do this? Is this even possible? This fear is something that's so common among all of us. But I think especially amongst people who are starting a business because it, you know, it doesn't feel good. It does not feel good. And part of what we need to do is push back. So all of the fears that I just talked about, they are all our reptilian brain saying, go back in the cave or you're going to be outcast from the tribe and you're going to die, right? Like it's actually telling us, Hey, you're going to die if you do this. Don't do this. And these are totally normal fears. It's up to us to create a purpose so strong that we are willing to move past those fears.
And it could be something as simple as “I know I'm meant for more,” right? Like I know there's gotta be something more out there now how I got past my fear, well I didn't get past my fear. I get scared and I do it anyway. And the more you do it, the less scared you get. And maybe the more you do it, the more you just recognize I'm going to do it scared and that's what I need to do. Right. And I knew that I needed to create more and do more in my life or I would be settling with the life I already had. I knew there was more that I needed to do and I needed to start doing the work to figure it out, not just try to figure it out and then do the work. Because that's backwards. We just have to start acting in the world and then we will come to where we need to be because if we just analyze it, if we just think about it, if we're just in our head about it, we will never get off the couch and actually do something about it.
We will never actually refine whatever it is that we want to do in this world or think that we may want to do in this world to get at the heart of what we were meant to do. So another thing that I did, just like practical things for some of these fears. So the fear of being seen. You know what I did? I got better lighting. I made sure I was dressed up. I put makeup on. I would practice it first like I used to I used to actually practice and like make sure, okay, am I saying everything? Am I doing it in a way that is attention grabbing? You know, because people have short attention spans and it gets boring if it's too long when you're looking at a video. So there were all kinds of things I did and I had to move up from to the video, right?
Like I started with a blog. There's no face behind that. It was easier for me to go back and make corrections. So just recognize that you can start where you are and then move your way into the medium that you want to choose. All right. The second challenge that entrepreneurs face is overwhelm and procrastination. And I really see these two as linked. It's funny because overwhelm is a feeling that creates the exact opposite of what we need to generate in order to get ourselves out of overwhelm. And when we're in overwhelm, we don't get anything done, right? We totally procrastinate because we freeze. We're in inaction. So procrastination is really us avoiding our feelings. Let me say that again. Procrastination is us avoiding our feelings. Any time you get that, Oh, that icky feeling where you know you should be doing something but you're not doing it.
There's a feeling underlying that you may not be able to put your finger on it, but if you sit with it and you recognize it and you see it, I bet you anything. It's linked to a fear, fear of failure, being seen of judgment, you name it. So just recognize we've got to get really comfortable getting uncomfortable. So fear is one of those fight, flight, or freeze responses our reptilian brain uses to keep us safe. And if we freeze, don't take any action, then our brain thinks it's keeping us safe. What happens when we're frozen? Well, we are disorganized. We avoid, we're in learning mode instead of looking inward to make decisions and decide on the right actions to take. So in other words, we'll listen to more inspiration. We'll try to learn something instead of actually doing something and taking action where we might fail and then we don't create what we want to create.
So how do I get past overwhelm and procrastination to get out of overwhelm takes deliberately seeing what we're doing and then being committed to changing our actions. It works okay. Also, it really takes recognizing and feeling that discomfort, that a feeling that you get when you know that you should be doing something else and you promised you would do something else and you don't do it, and we want to eat to ignore those emotions. We want to watch TV or clean or do busy work like suddenly cleaning the kitchen sounds like the most important thing to do ever. While it's not, it's us trying to numb out that feeling that we're getting when we should be taking action towards our goals. So we've got to sit with it and we've got to breathe through it and recognize that it's just a feeling and then let that buzzing feeling in our body just kind of dissolve and then take the next best action and then take the next best action, and the next best action.
Just keep taking those little actions until you are moving more and more and you will get a momentum. You will feel a domino effect here. It also takes building trust with yourself to get things done, doing the hard things, even when we don't feel like it. Building a business is just like any other habit. So for instance, going to the gym, you start by making it really easy for yourself. Maybe you go once a week or you prep everything the night before and then you tell yourself to go to the car and then you go to the gym and then you do the hard things at the gym and then you feel better and then you remind yourself to do it the next day and the next day until showing up for yourself in this way becomes a habit. And that's what I'm doing right now. When it comes to batching my podcasts, I make a plan to spend a day on podcasting.
I get it all set up. I sit down, even though I don't feel like it right then, I don't want to do it and I brainstorm or write anyway. The more I do this, the easier it becomes. We don't get inspired to go to the gym. Just like we don't become inspired to show up for ourselves and our business. We've got to show up whether we feel inspired to or not. I know you don't want to do it in there. You gotta go and do it anyway. You really aren't going to build that muscle, that muscle of trust with yourself. The third challenge that every entrepreneur must overcome is that thought that we might seem weak if we ask for help. Yeah, we have this belief that we should be able to do it all and that somehow if we ask someone for help, that's a sign of weakness and maybe this doesn't show up for you.
Maybe it does. It definitely showed up for me and it was something that I had to get over. So I see this third challenge kind of falling under the fear of judgment, but it's a little different than the fear of judgment I talked about in the first challenge that we talked about. So I wanted to speak to you about it separately. It's a fear that we're unable to handle it all logical. Right? Because we're not meant to handle it all were meant to make choices about what's most important to us in that moment. Sometimes that means asking for help, not sure about you, but for the first several years as an attorney, I felt, and really I think we were taught that asking for help was a sign of weakness. That if you couldn't handle your caseload, you clearly weren't cut out to be part of the team.
It was really frustrating for me because I felt unsupported and the key to overcoming this is to recognize that it doesn't matter what others think. It only matters that you take care of your needs. Now, you might be someone who has to take care of other people's needs all the time. I know I have a lot of people and beings in my life. I've got a dog and a cat that totally rely on me and I am taking care of their needs. It feels like all the time. Right, but you've got to look out for yourself or you will not be able to help them if you need help, ask for it. And it can be in any area of your life. It can be asking for more help at home, taking care of the kids, doing chores, running errands. It can be deciding that you've got to cut certain commitments from your life because it's causing you to suffer and more important areas of your life.
I mean, that's why I had to make a decision whether or not I wanted to run my tea company or whether or not I wanted to use that time focusing on my coaching business and my legal practice and making sure that those were commitments that I totally focused on. It could be changing the habits that are contributing to stress in your life, like not sleeping enough or making poor eating choices, both of which will make you sluggish and take energy away from those commitments that we're talking about. You are the only person who can evaluate your life and recognize what you need to do to create the life you want. Our thoughts about what others think. Hold us back in so many areas of our life when the only person's opinion that matters is yours. It took me a long time to recognize that I still bump into this belief that I should be able to do everything I want.
So every so often, and I just have to see it for what it is, it's a false belief. All right, I gotta take care of myself while my friend. Those are three of the big challenges that I have worked through to create business and my hope is that you resonated with some of that and maybe you can see an area of your life where you want to do more work to play bigger in your life and your legal practice. If you are ready to continue this work, I invite you to download my free busy lawyers Quickstart guide to getting five hours back a week. And it is going to help you create the bandwidth you need to do the deep work on yourself and your practice. I hope you have an amazing rest of your week and I will talk to you soon. Bye.