I inhale and exhale slowly. I made it. I made it to six months running my content marketing agency full-time. When someone decides to become a business owner and entrepreneur, I don’t think it fully resonates in their head how freakin’ hard it’s going to be. For me, it was just like this. I was always one for starting new projects, and I had freelanced on and off over the last 6 years.

Then, I told myself:

Megan, you can do this full-time.

I thought, “what the heck, if not now, when?” And so I dived deep into the world of owning my own business.

AND I LOVE IT. It’s empowering. It’s exciting.

I meet amazing people that support me — and I support them.

But it’s not an absence of hard work, tears, anger, confusion, and doubt.

I’ve always loved the word: “resilient.” But that word hasn’t meant so much to me until these last six months. As a business owner, you have to be resilient. You ride the good times. You prepare for the bad. You cry a little, then it all gets better. One day you’re positive, and the next you’re a little negative. But you keep pushing, you keep trying, and you become resilient.

I’ve become more resilient in the last six months. I’ve had weeks with no clients. I’ve sent the wrong email. I’ve written crappy cold emails. I’ve done a little bit of it all, but it’s resilience that pushed me through — and how I learn along the way.

Today, according to LinkedIn, is my sixth month as a founder of my content marketing agency.

As an insightful and reflective person, I feel the urge to gather my thoughts and present six insights I’ve learned over the last few months.

Six thoughts at six months of being a business owner

No shame in a relaxed day.

As a business owner, I would often feel guilty if I’m not busy 24/7 and working towards my goals in my business. I quickly forget about the power of relaxation and how relaxation benefits your long-term health as a business owner. There is no shame in taking a relaxing day in my book. If you want to take a Friday to enjoy summer or check out early to have a coffee with a friend — these are important to personal well being. And a happy founder equals a happy business.

Thank those around you, immensely.

Have you paused to think how often those around you give to keep you, your business and your sanity in check? I’ve had friends to brainstorm ideas with, partners to comfort me, and parents to pick me back up when I fall. I’m incredibly fortunate, and I know this, but it brings a valid point. It takes a VILLAGE to run a business successfully.

It takes time.

I count myself fortunate in the last six months growing my business. I’ve had several clients, and I’ve only had one that didn’t pay me (on time). Growing a business simply takes time. If I look around at other marketing agencies that I consider successful, they’re already approaching the four, five, and six years in the business. Growing a business takes time.

Search for your rhythm.

Finding my rhythm. Finding my productivity, schedule, and a weekly plan was a challenge for my first six months. Oh, I had a to-do list. I had Asana, but it wasn’t until this last month that I started to feel like everything was in control.

Stay positive — remind yourself constantly that you can do this.

If I had a dollar for every time…[…]…I would be a rich person. Doubt and negative thoughts are the number one defeater of a small business owner. Often, I’ve let negative thoughts and words enter my brain telling me, “I’m not good enough” “Your success is based on the number of clients you book.” “What are you doing?” Staying positive is a challenge and a necessity for success.

Be inspired by those around you succeeding — and don’t settle for jealousy.

Jealousy. That creeping stomach feeling that comes into the picture when your confidence is low. Jealousy creeps in when I’m at my lowest, and when I’m not positive. I start the comparison game. I see others succeed, and instead of celebrating their accomplishments, I get jealous. I think this is human, but I’ve taught myself over the last six months to reverse think and play the ‘inspiration’ mind game. Be proud of their success. Use it as motivation to achieve my success. Be inspired to continue forward.

Six learning for my six months as a business owner.

I will continue to reflect on these and take everyone to heart. These are many learnings, and at this point in the journey, I’m learning to celebrate how far I’ve already come and inspired myself to continue.