Overcoming The Darkest Days of Small Biz Ownership: Lorenz Sell
Meet Lorenz Sell, founder of heartbeat.com, an organization with a mission to empower people to be successful doing what they love. Lorenz and his team believe that a world where all people can make a living doing work that is meaningful to them is a better world. Heartbeat is a small business with a beautiful mission; a small business with a beautiful mission that was born out of its founder’s darkest day…
Lorenz’s Darkest Days Of Small Business Ownership
It is said that “Everything will be okay in the end, if it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” When I read this quote, I’m convinced that it was specifically written as a sentiment toward the tenacity and resiliency of small business owners. We all have bad days. But, for a majority of small business owners, those bad days often evolve into very long periods of darkness – where everything goes wrong. Everything. When you’ve put your entire being…your entire life…your entire world into an idea, how do you learn to appreciate these darkest of days? How do you convince yourself that it’s worth it to keep pushing through?
If you were to ask Lorenz, he’d give you a simple and straightforward answer: “Have faith in yourself and stay true to yourself. No matter how bad things get, no matter how crazy things go, if you stay true to yourself, you’ll get to where you want to be”
And, Lorenz, has become an expert at handling dark days.
Lorenz had an idea, he had a passion: he wanted to make the world a healthier place; a world where people are at peace with themselves and each other in all aspects of the mind, body and spirit. The best way he thought this could happen was through a social network and marketing and platform for wellness professionals – a lot of whom were working as one-person businesses, struggling to accomplish the same concept of achieving personal peace. The idea seemed like a win-win for all who would be involved. For three years he worked to bring life to his idea, and gave up everything in the process – even getting to the point of having to living out of his car.
Within a couple of years, Lorenz was connected with an individual who would become his cofounder, and things appeared to be looking up. But reality wasn’t quite done with Lorenz.
“I brought this person on thinking that he was going to really help me turn things around. And, at first, it seemed like we would! We introduced the theory to the public and got fantastic feedback. But, when it came time to deliver the product, we couldn’t agree on anything. There was a constant struggle between us over what the vision of the company was, what the product should be. And then, when we gave into each other, we had a hard time releasing the product – a rough version went out but wasn’t picking up steam. There was a huge disconnect between what we thought and reality.”
The two founders had a bitter blow-out. Lorenz was told by his co-founder that he knew nothing. That everything going wrong with the company was his fault. As if this wasn’t enough, reality had yet another blow for Lorenz. As the two parted ways, it became clear that the partnership agreement had not been structured in his favor, and Lorenz was to lose the majority of what he had worked so hard to create.
“As I sat and watched everything fall apart, I was shaking to the bone. I was so anxious I couldn’t sleep for weeks. All of my insides had revolted against what was going on,” said Lorenz. “It was devastating. I had always believed that if you poured your heart into something, it should work out. And, here I did that, and I was nothing but a complete failure. I was scared”.
Healing…And Moving On…
Because you put so much of yourself into it, creating a business is a very emotional process. As Lorenz learned, the emotional strain is oftentimes bigger than the physical reality, because overcoming fear and letting go of fear are so tightly tied to our emotions. Anyone who plans to start a small business must expect battle with the entrepreneurial-emotions-giant . But you have a great weapon to bring to this fight: your mindset. Remember that, despite the many super-hero attributes you possess, you are human. Remember to be a little soft with yourself every now and again.
“There’ve been times that I’ve had trouble breathing. And, I had to give myself some space to heal…I had to give myself some leeway and compassion,” said Lorenz. “You have to remember to give yourself that space. Spend the day in bed. Just step away from people for a day or two. Let yourself heal, whatever that means to you. Then, just get up and go do it! Never give up!”
Using Your Greatest Weapon To Battle
Tough times are inevitable. Things are rarely going to work out exactly the way you imagine them. But if you stick with these fundamental ideals, you’ll be able to get to where you should be:
- Celebrate your highs and acknowledge your lows, but check yourself if you feel that you’re going too far at either end. When you look at the big picture, remaining as neutral as possible on both ends will help you keep your sanity and resolve.
- We all insist on learning lessons the hard way. But, you must always be true to yourself. Many people fail to meet and live their dreams when they compromise themselves.
- Life likes irony. There will be times when you go all of the way and give it your best shot, but a particular aspect of your plan doesn’t work out. You haven’t failed. The irony is that you’ve had a success, it’s just not the particular one you set out to achieve. You’ve learned. You’ve gotten stronger. And you know where to go and what to do to keep progressing. Life is not always going to be rainbows and unicorns. You need to be able to see your successes, in whatever form they may come to you.
- Keep faith that if it’s not ok; it’s not the end!
Keep these thoughts with you; and you too will get to the point of being able to make a living doing what is meaningful to you!