When it comes to life after divorce, there is so much to learn. If you thought life right before divorce was a big pill to swallow, then load up on another glass of water because life after divorce, when you’re an entrepreneur has little to do with hustle and grit, but more so with mental reestablishment.
When you’re in business for yourself, there is already this massive amount of weight on your shoulders. You wear 27 different hats if you’re a solopreneur going at it alone, and each day brings about its own set of challenges and wins (if you’re lucky). If you thought the finances were feast or famine when you were married and had spousal support, then what the heck is it when you don’t have ANY more support? Fickle maybe? Now granted, if you’re like me and you have kids, then there IS child support, but that’s usually never enough to cover the children in their entirety, and as most would argue, the custodial parent who has custody of the kids should contribute beyond the daily support they already give. I get it (I think). That’s exactly what I want…to be able to provide for my children myself. But being in business after divorce requires more than just money to be sucessful. It demands you to do a reset…mentally.
When you’re married, you usually (in most cases) have the support of your spouse in your business. They are there to congratulate you on the new client (which means more money for the household), and they are usually there to here you whine when clients aren’t being the most dreamy clients ever. But not having a spouse anymore takes that away completely.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned in reestablishing myself as an entrepreneur is that all of this divorce stuff has changed me, which in turn has changed my business. I am not the same business woman that I was prior to getting divorced and I don’t think I planned for that at all!
Most of us plan for the financial part of being in business (well we try to plan as much as we can), but we don’t plan for the mental stuff that we have to go and GROW through while being an entrepreneur.
In my previous article, I talked about what no one told me about divorce. This article could have easily been titled, What No One Told Me About Being An Entrepreneur AFTER Divorce! But I wanted this article to focus more on helping you reestablish yourself so here are the three things I believe are critical to you as the business owner to not only survive after divorce, but also thrive in business and ultimately, your new post-divorce life.
- Give yourself time to accept your new life. When you try to transition from the old you to the new you, don’t do like I did thinking you could just change addresses or last names (I actually kept my last name) and start up again immediately. Getting divorced is like experiencing a death. Heck, what am I saying? It is a death. It is death to a relationship that once existed and no longer does. And guess what? There is a very realperiod of grieving, and when you try to ignore that or move past it too quickly, it will hit you all of a sudden at the wrong time; which most likely could impact your business in a negative way. Regardless of WHY you got divorced or who initiated it, give yourself time to accept your new life. That means take some time off from your business (if you can) to grieve. I would even say talk to someone who can help you process your thoughts. But give yourself real time. Trust me!
- Revisit your purpose and dreams. In this journey called life, we go through all sorts of transitions. I remember when I moved from Mississippi to Texas after college, my mission and purpose was to find a well-paying job in my field of journalism. Over time and after several transitions to new positions, I eventually got there, but right when I did, I realized that my dreams had changed over that time and I never revisited it. I went from job to job looking for more money and each time I got it, I felt like I was still looking. Hello? More Money, is that you!!! LOL! It wasn’t until after the birth of my daughter that I revisited my purpose and begin journaling…which eventually led me to write two books and start my life and business coaching business. But while I was going through the divorce and even after, a shift was happening and I didn’t immediately revisit my purpose or my dreams. I tried to do business as usual and guess what…everything unusual happened in my business. This forced me to take a moment to revisit my BIG WHY. I had to consider what was my new dream and was I in alignment with my purpose. Ask yourself, what is my purpose TODAY, not when I was married or before I had kids but what is my purpose now. Our ultimate life’s purpose will always be intertwined in what we do, but we have to take a moment to revisit it to make sure that what we are doing today, is keeping us moving forward toward the purposeful life God has for us.
- Do a brain dump and make a new life/business plan that you love. If I could tell you how many ideas, thoughts, hurts, pains, struggles, and moments of nothing but tears I have had since my divorce became official, you wouldn’t believe it. So many times when you’re in a business like mine where you are helping others, you fail to realize that if you don’t help yourself first, you’re not going to help NOBODY! One of the best things I did for myself was a brain dump. It helped me to get rid of all the negative or fictional thoughts I had in my head about my ex-husband, what people were saying about me, what I was saying about me, what my family thought of me, what my kids felt about it, and everything else in between. There was so much stuff going on in my head that I would literally just be on overload for months at a time. And nothing would actually get done because I didn’t know where to even begin to unpack all that I was thinking. Then a good friend of mine said you just need to do a brain dump. Just dump everything out of your head onto paper. And WHAT A RELIEF it was to do that. So much STUFF came out. It was like a THOUGHT DETOX because I was about to burst if one more new thought tried to squeeze its way into my brain. It was therapeutic and helped me to really get a better understanding of why I couldn’t create; why I couldn’t coach at 100%, and why I couldn’t move on to what was next for me. I thought I had let go and moved on, but while my body was no longer in the same place, and my marriage was officially no longer, I still had not truly MOVED ON. And there is nowhere you can go until you decide to MOVE ON. Doing the brain dump exercise helped me and I want to encourage you to do it as well. Every thought that is floating around in your brain right now…dump it on paper either electronically or manually. Just get it OUT OF YOUR HEAD! Once you’re done, you’ll have a blank slate to create a new plan for your life and your business. Somethings may stay in your business and in your life, but there is nothing like getting a fresh view and clear outlook from a space of mental clarity to move on to what’s next.
Being an entrepreneur is hard enough. Don’t let divorce deter you from being who you are meant to be and do what you are meant to be doing. It’s okay to reemerge in your business as fresh as ever! Those whom you are meant to serve will welcome you with open arms.