5 Emotions You’ll Feel After Starting a Business

When you get past the start-up stage, you’ll feel several emotions – good and bad. Here are five common emotions after starting a business, plus reasons you as an entrepreneur need to deal with your feelings.

“Most people don’t weather a major transition like making the move from employee to entrepreneur quickly or easily,” write Karin Abarbanel and Bruce Freeman in Birthing the Elephant: The Woman’s Go-For-It! Guide to Overcoming the Big Challenges of Launching a Business. “Instead, they find it disorienting: feelings of being uprooted, a sense of unexplained ennui, or even depression isn’t uncommon.”

Starting a business is exciting and scary – and it’s crucial to be aware of and work through your emotions. Otherwise, as an entrepreneur explains at the end of this article, you’ll being to reek of desperation. And clients don’t hire desperate people.

If you can’t think of a business to start, read 30 Home Business Ideas – Plus “How To” Guides.

5 Emotions After Starting a Business

Self-doubt. “Was this really a good business idea? Should I have borrowed so much money to start a business? Will I fail? Will the business go bankrupt? What if my business vision was flawed? What if my mother-in-law was right?”  Those are common questions entrepreneurs ask after starting a business. Self-doubt may begin to creep in, making you wonder if it was a mistake to start your own business.

Fear and regret about the timing of your start-up. You’ll probably have questions about the economy and market: “Was this the right time to start a new business? Will I get enough traffic, customers, clients? Should I have waited another year – or should I have started my business five years ago? Can customers afford to buy my products or pay for my services?” Fear is one of the most common emotions after starting a business, especially if you’re in debt or have family relying on you to pay the mortgage.

Grief and longing. A common emotion after starting a business is longing for your old job. You may not necessarily want your job back, but you may miss your old coworkers. You might even miss the routine of going to work every day without all the emotions a start-up brings – and you certainly miss the regular paychecks! Let yourself grieve the loss of your old job, the loss of the security your old job brought, and the loss of your work friends.

Disorientation. “If the emotional process of releasing your old corporate identity overlaps with your start-up, it can be very challenging to say focused,” writes Abarbanel and Freeman in Birthing the Elephant. “In the case of a firing or a layoff due to downsizing or outsourcing, you may find that it takes you weeks or even months to absorb what happened, accept your sense of loss, and identify your transferable assets.” This feeling of disorientation and even shock is connected to the previous emotion you feel after starting a business: grief and loss.

Mixed internal emotions. The first few weeks and months of starting a business are exciting and invigorating, but those emotions begin to decrease. Other, more negative, emotions may start to fight for your attention. For instance, you might find yourself wavering between fear and optimism, regret and positivity, happiness and dread. Feeling mixed up and confused are common emotions after starting a business.

If you feel these or other emotions after starting a business, deal with them as soon as possible.

“The worst thing you can do is run your business out of a place of desperation,” says Ali “the E-zine Queen” Brown in Birthing the Elephant. “Then you’re going to give off vibes of being very needy – and people don’t want to work with needy people. They want to work with successful businesses. So, even if you feel desperate, keep your chin up and your game face on: say everything is wonderful and business is great!”

If you’ve always dreamed of starting a bakery, read Tips for Starting a Food Truck Business.

Resources for After Starting a Business

5 Emotions After Starting a New BusinessAn excellent resource for entrepreneurs starting a business is Birthing the Elephant: The Woman’s Go-For-It! Guide to Overcoming the Big Challenges of Launching a Business. Whether you’re a new business owner or you’re getting ready to start your own business, you’ll find it extremely helpful and supportive.

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries.

Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business that Works by Melinda F. Emerson and Michael C. Critelli.

If you’re think you’re too “old” to start a business, read Career Change at 40 – What You Need to Know. Start dealing with potential emotions before they mow you down!

What do you think – what emotions do you feel after starting a business? How do you deal with them?


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