Saturday, January 16, 2016

Discouraged

In the fall I began a business that provides services to non-native English speakers who came to the U.S. as adults. I help with communication skills, American social skills and American business culture. It's going well, but any new business takes considerable investment of time and money before it becomes financially solvent and successful. One of my challenges in getting Welcome Dialogue off the ground is that I fill needs people don't realize they have. I offer to help people speak clearer English when they think their English is fine. I offer to help them make friends when they don't realize they're lonely. I offer help getting along with co-workers when they have no idea their colleagues have problems communicating with them. Et cetera. It's frustrating to have to convince people they need me before I can even start to impress them with what I offer, all of which, of course, happens before they consider hiring me. It's slow work.

In my discouragement, I emailed a new acquaintance who also has a one-woman business and is also a coach. Sally Eames of Corage Coaching helps people who feel stuck in their jobs or overwhelmed by their lives or discouraged about career goals. She has a similar challenge of getting people to even see that they need her. People think, "Sure, I hate my job (or don't know what to do next, etc), but I'll figure it out. I'm fine." And then two or three years later they're still at that job or stuck in that same place. Sally is helping me through my period of discouragement and in return I'm telling friends about her. Maybe you can use her services or know someone who can. 

In the meantime, here's what you can do to support me, if you want. Please like my Welcome Dialogue Facebook page. I'm trying to get to 100 likes and am currently in the 60s. Also, if anyone knows of stories of individuals who successfully started a one-person business in an area that didn't exist yet as an industry, I'd love to hear them. I need a pep talk right now because I seem to have added challenge to challenge: I'm starting a business from scratch and it's not even the kind of work anyone has ever heard of. I often hear, "What a great business! I love that. I've never heard of anyone doing that." If only I could get paid for coolness.

Now I'll email more of my self-employed friends for moral support. It's an uphill climb and I benefit from the input of entrepreneurs who are also in this struggle.

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