The Noisy Passenger Series: Stop Struggling With Your Mind and Get Back to Your Business
As entrepreneurs, we know that there’s much more to running a business than just having products or services and selling them to our clients and customers.
We also know there’s more to being an entrepreneur than just the aspects that are visible - branding, copywriting, marketing, sales, customer service, etc.
In addition to all of the balls we must juggle to keep our businesses and brands running on the outside, we also deal with a myriad of thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and sensations that can either spur us on toward greatness or leave us feeling stuck, burnt out, and exhausted.
The thoughts and feelings that leave us feeling stuck are what I like to call Noisy Passengers, and this series aims to discuss the nine Passengers that seem to pop up most frequently among the entrepreneurs in my audience: people like you!
Imagine this scenario:
You are a bus driver. You have chosen a destination as well stops along the way that will enhance your journey and maximize its efficiency. You have a more or less clear path ahead of you as you begin to plan out the day.
As you board the bus, you notice there are already people sitting there. They are staring at you, seemingly waiting to see what you’re going to do next. You’re slightly unsettled but you sit in the driver’s seat anyway and pull onto the road.
Before you’ve made it to your first stop, someone starts talking.
“Are you really driving this slowly?” they say. “You must not have a busy day ahead of you. Are you sure you’re going to make all of your stops? You’ll never get to where you want to go at this rate.”
You can feel yourself getting annoyed but you continue to drive. A few minutes later, another Passenger chimes in.
“I can tell you aren’t familiar with this route. I know another driver who is much better than you at getting people where they want to go. They’re kinder, easier to talk to, a much better driver, and they know more about this route than you ever could.”
Your neck and shoulders tense up as you bristle against their words, but you carry on.
As you go about your day, it seems that more and more people are finding things to complain about but nobody seems to be getting off your bus. They talk about you, your ability to do your job, the route itself and how long it’s taking to get to the end, how much time you’re wasting, and a whole host of other complaints and bothersome observations. They want you to take turns that take you off your route, they want you to stop the bus, and they want you to turn around and go in the opposite direction. They want to control your bus and push you out of the driver’s seat.
Finally, you pull over and attempt to kick everyone off the bus who has been griping at you during the trip. It seems, however, that no matter how hard you struggle to get a Noisy Passenger off of your bus, they just climbs back in and become even noisier and more abrasive. By the end of the day, you’re exhausted and you’ve begun to believe what they’ve been saying. You abandon your bus where it is and trudge home to try and relax, but the words of the Passengers swimming around in your head keep you up all night.
The next morning, you go back to where you left the bus the night before. To your dismay, all of the Passengers are still there. They seem to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to hurl insults at you, and as you continue your bus route that is exactly what they do. The longer you drive, the noisier they get and the more you internalize everything they say. Soon, you start letting the Noisy Passengers take turns driving the bus because you’re too tired to care where it goes and what happens to everyone on board.
One day, you wake up and decide the bus driving gig just isn’t worth dealing with those Noisy Passengers every day and you stop driving the bus altogether.
Does that story ring any bells?
If you’re a human being running your own business, chances are the story rings multiple bells for you. You’ve probably been dealing with Noisy Passengers on your bus since you started your business, and maybe even before. Instead of complaining about the bus ride, they might sound like this:
“I worry that I am taking up space when there are people who deserve it more than me.”
“I’m going to fail.”
“I’m a fake.”
“I don’t know how to deal with the little back-handed statements that people say about my work or talent.”
“I won't ever make money.”
“I'll get tired and think I'll do it tomorrow but then things never get done.”
“I don't think I have what it takes.”
“I’m being pulled in too many directions.”
“I’m not a sales person. I don’t know how. I just don’t think I’m good at it.”
The Noisy Passenger Series was designed to address these common Passengers that seem to board almost every entrepreneur’s bus at one point or another. Whether you’re just starting out or have been running a successful business for years, you have probably had at least a few of these Passengers climb onto your bus and wear you out.
who are these noisy passengers?
I’m glad you asked. After surveying entrepreneurs, emailing my audience, and polling Facebook Groups, I’ve narrowed down the responses to the following nine:
Fear of Failure
Feeling Not Good Enough
Lack of External Support
In each post in this Series, we will examine one of the nine Noisy Passengers. We will discuss where that Passenger comes from, why they get to us, and what we can do to keep from stopping the bus when that Passenger just won’t stop talking.
this isn't about thought replacement
Before you get excited about finally getting rid of one or all of these Passengers, I want to let you know that this series is not about kicking them off your bus. Instead of attempting to eliminate nagging thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and sensations, we are going to learn strategies for developing a different relationship with them. This means:
Accepting the Noisy Passengers as they are,
Accepting the fact that they may never get off the bus,
Learning how to listen to them and what they are telling us, and
Committing to continuing driving the bus with the Noisy Passengers in tow
I know it might seem bizarre. I know it might seem like it will be uncomfortable. It probably will. I know it might seem almost impossible. I promise you it isn’t. This Series will not only provide insight into these Noisy Passengers and what they mean but also how to move toward a meaningful, fulfilling business with the flexibility and resilience necessary to handle them whenever they board your bus and no matter how long they stay on there.
how long have you been struggling with your noisy passengers?
How long has your bus been parked on the side of the road because you’re too busy arguing with them to get back in the driver’s seat? How much longer will your bus be stalled before you reclaim the wheel and forge ahead on the route you’ve charted for yourself?
I’m excited to introduce the Noisy Passengers and guide you through an experience that will change the way you relate to them. You will find that by forming a dynamically different relationship with each Passenger, you and your business will experience growth and expansion in ways you maybe never thought possible. Additionally, you will begin to notice that there are other Passengers on board who might not be as noisy but have also been there the entire time.
Are you ready?
You can read the Passengers in any order you’d like; there’s no sequence to follow. I recommend starting with one you don’t struggle with as much, so you get an idea of how the Series works. You can apply the concepts to your own life and business, and work your way up to the Passenger that is the noisiest one on your bus.
As you read, please leave comments about what you notice and how you relate to each Passenger. If you enjoy the series, please share it with other entrepreneurs who you believe would appreciate it as well.
Here’s to your bus driving journey!