Mindset

Ep 107. How to Proceed in the Midst of Confusion

confusion
I'm Ashley!

My mission at The Purpose Gathering is to help driven momtogs like you level up, so you can build a sustainable business AND a fulfilling family life. I do that through authentic brand photography for mompreneurs and my signature program for mom photographers: Side Hustler to CEO.

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One of the hardest things about being an entrepreneur is being in charge of all the decisions.

Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed with the endless decisions?

Do you ever feel like there’s just so much pressure with every decision that you make, and you’re just so concerned that you might make the wrong choice? If this resonates with you at all, this blog is going to be extremely encouraging for you. It’s one of those things that I feel like is often not talked about and we often shy away from sharing, when we’re struggling with confusion don’t feel like we have all the answers. But in all honesty, entrepreneurship is an up and down roller coaster.

There are times when you aren’t sure what you should do next and that’s okay.

As I have walked through these past two years, things have been incredibly confusing for me at times.

I think a lot of you can share the same sentiment because of what happened with COVID and the pandemic and a lot of things changed for people. A lot of perspective shifts happened; a lot of priorities changed. Things got confusing for me when I couldn’t meet in person anymore. Remember, The Purpose Gathering actually started as an in-person meetup group for mom business owners and when COVID hit, everything had to pivot online and it just kind of fizzled.

I still had my photography business, but people weren’t hiring photographers and my photo booth company took a big hit as well, because that was all wedding work. It was a really pivotal time in my business where I was extremely confused. I can tell you that each decision that I made was not made with the utmost confidence.

So, over the past two years I started this podcast.

I launched my first online program once and then retired it.

I launched a membership community and retired it and then launched my group coaching program the Side Hustler to CEO, which at the same time, pivoted this podcast to speak specifically to mom photographers instead of just mom business owners.

Over a really short period of time, a lot has happened and a lot of things have changed for me. I can remember writing in my journal, and just starting the sentence with I am so confused.

I feel like confusion is just one of those things that is part of being human, but also really important aspect of being an entrepreneur.

Because that means when you’re confused, that there  are more than one option available and I think that it can sometimes be exciting, when you have a lot of different options, but also really overwhelming.

So, today, I want to share with you three ways that you can proceed in the midst of confusion. I just hope that after listening to this episode, you just feel incredibly encouraged and inspired to take action in the midst of confusion.  As we go deeper into the episode, I also want you to answer this question so that we can begin a dialogue and get to know each other. So, the question of the episode is, where in your business are you feeling the most confused right now? You can start the conversation with me over on Instagram @thepurposegathering.

Step #1: Be Okay with Experimenting

When I was first kind of introduced to this concept, it was mind blowing for me. Because it allowed me this freedom to know that just because I made a decision today didn’t mean that it would be my decision forever. So, I want you to have that same encouragement and that same empowerment that when you make a decision, it’s could be for just a few weeks,  just a few months, or it could even be for a year, but it doesn’t mean that it’s forever.

I also want you to know that if something doesn’t work out, it doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. So, if you are still in that experimenting phase when it comes to niching down, and really finding the type of photography work that you want to be known for, be okay with that. If you haven’t found a marketing strategy that really resonates with you, be okay with experimenting in some different places. There’s just so many things that happen in your business, so many decisions that we make. So many different avenues that we take, that are all part of this experimenting process.

Step #2: Silence the Noise

I think so often, we run into confusion, because there’s too much input coming into our brain, in other words,  information overload. It could be podcasts, YouTube, it could be other people’s opinions, Facebook group advice or a mentor that you have, or just a business bestie that you’re talking to. I want you to be really specific in silencing this noise when you are confused. Because you as the CEO, need to be able to make decisions for yourself and if you are constantly waiting on approval from other people, or confirmation that it’s the right decision, you will constantly second guess yourself, and you won’t be able to step into confidence in your role as the CEO if you invite too many opinions into your decision-making process.

It’s also so important that you learn how to trust your instincts.

So, when I am ever faced with this confusion, where I am just overwhelmed with which direction to go in, there’s just so many different areas in which I could plug into and connect and it’s like, where do I put my focus? It’s in these moments that I need to just get quiet. For me personally, it’s important that when I’m feeling confused, that I check my relationship with God. It’s so important for me to make sure that I am drawing near to him, and that I am leaning on his strength, because this confusion can take over. This really gives me this renewed sense of perspective and allows me to be in tune with what’s important to me and my business and the calling that God has on my life.

So even if you are not a religious person, I think you can still do the same thing in your quiet time and reflecting and journaling and just talking through, what are the things that are going on in your mind? What are the things that you’re confused about? Make a list of all of the different options and all of the different variables and start to process through those. What are the things that you are most afraid of? Those are all things that I think are so important when it comes to trusting your instincts and being able to sort of navigate through this really trying time.

Step #3: Don’t Stay Frozen or Stuck

Often when we are feeling confused, and we don’t know what direction to go in, we just freeze.  I want to clarify here that it’s okay to pause and reflect before you make a move.   Obviously, I don’t want you to be careless, but I also just don’t want you to wait too long. I don’t want you to feel like you have to wait for this perfect sign that this is the right path or this is the right step.

I want you to be able to confidently make these decisions and know that sometimes when you move your feet, the action comes next. So sometimes it just takes a little bit of momentum, it takes a little bit of forward movement for you to be like, okay, this is not feeling right. And maybe I want to take a few steps back. Maybe I want to pivot a different direction and I’m going to take a few steps there and I’m going to see how that feels. So, it’s important to not stay stuck.

There are certain people in this world who will always let fear and confusion hold them back. They will always allow other people’s negative beliefs about them to take over. But I don’t want that to be you and because you take the time to listen to podcasts, I am going to bet that that is definitely not you. But I think it can be a little bit of a slippery slope.

I think comparison can become a huge component when it comes to confusion, because we’re looking at what everyone else is doing in their business.

Because we see a certain strategy or we see this certain thing working for someone else, we automatically assume that it should be working for us. When we try it and it doesn’t work, we automatically assume something is wrong with us. I just want you to be really careful when you are in this confused state that you are paying attention to who you are looking at for inspiration. Who are you looking at? Who are you listening to? Because all of these factors play a huge role in the next step that you take.

ACTION STEPS

So, before we close today, I wanted to recap the three ways that you can proceed in the midst of confusion.

  1. Be okay with experimenting. Know that the decision you make today does not mean it has to be the decision that you make forever. There’s always room to pivot and grow and it’s okay to be in the experimenting phase.
  2. Silence the noise. Be very particular about who you’re listening to, the opinions that you are asking. The advice that you are applying and be sure to trust your own instincts.
  3. Don’t stay frozen or stuck. Move your feet. Proceed sometimes when you don’t know if it’s the right step or not. You’re just going to take a step and see what happens. You are not going to be careless about it, you’re going to have the pause and reflect moments, but you’re not going to wait for a clear sign every single time to take this step. You’re just going to take the step and allow your business to grow and flourish as you continue to grow and flourish.

I hope that you have found value in this blog. And think about that question: Where in your business are you feeling the most confused right now?

As always, Mama, I am here rooting for you and you are not alone on this journey.

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My mission is to help fellow momtogs (mama photographers!) experience success in business and in motherhood. As an Arizona brand photographer for mompreneurs, I’m passionate about capturing authentic images that show off my clients’ unique personalities so they can connect with their ideal clients. And as an online business coach for momtogs, I LIVE for helping mamas experience incredible transformations that help them build a business they love, without sacrificing their precious time with their littles.

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