It’s Tuesday again and this time I remembered to write a Truthy Tuesday :)
This is actually a topic that’s been on my mind for a while, but seeing this article last week reminded me that I wanted to write about it.
It inspired me to open up the dialogue with my fellow (and aspiring) entrepreneurs about these not-so-glamorous issues on the other side of entrepreneurship. I’ll include a few excerpts from it, but definitely read the full article when you have a moment.
While I am by no means aiming to have a multi million dollar company, I still share some of the feelings mentioned in this article and would venture to say a lot of us do. Regardless of your business’ size or goals, starting and running your own operation is no easy task.
Successful entrepreneurs achieve hero status in our culture… But for many of those entrepreneurs… Before they made it big, they struggled through… times when it seemed everything might crumble. Until recently, admitting such sentiments was taboo. Toby Thomas, CEO of EnSite Solutions, explains the phenomenon with his favorite analogy: a man riding a lion. “People look at him and think, This guy’s really got it together! He’s brave!” says Thomas. “And the man riding the lion is thinking, How the hell did I get on a lion, and how do I keep from getting eaten?”
Lol that is such a perfect analogy. Sooo accurate! Folks always say “I wish I could have my own business!” or “You seem to have it all together!” Let me be the first to tell you that that is indeed not the case lol. While I do see the progress that’s been made from where I started to now, that still does not take away the feelings of uneasiness that will inevitably greet you at every new stage of your business development.
Entrepreneurs often juggle many roles and face countless setbacks… Complicating matters, new entrepreneurs often make themselves less resilient by neglecting their health. They eat too much or too little. They don’t get enough sleep. They fail to exercise. “You can get into a startup mode, where you push yourself and abuse your body,” Freeman says. “That can trigger mood vulnerability.” …The same passionate dispositions that drive founders heedlessly toward success can sometimes consume them.
This hit home. Big time. I know this is a major culprit to my feeling the way I do but it is SO hard breaking these bad habits. It’s really quite a vicious cycle. Poor sleep and eating leads to poor concentration and low energy. Which means it takes longer to do things you could get done in a shorter period of time if you had more energy and mental acuity… Then you stay up late. Eat the wrong foods… And the cycle just continues.
I also found the last sentence of the quote above very interesting. In light of the recent news of Robin Williams’ death, I’d been reading articles about how a lot (if not all) artists suffer with their dark side. While I know this is not new information, seeing it worded so perfectly really made things click. The same disposition that makes us awesome at what we do can be just as harmful to us on the flip side. Add to that mix the additional elements of being an entrepreneur in a creative field because we tend to be a little more sensitive. This isn’t a bad thing though, because this is what makes it possible for us to be awesome artists!
This post isn’t supposed to be all doom and gloom, but I did want it to be enlightening to those considering entrepreneurship and a bit of support to my fellow entrepreneurs because you are indeed not alone in having these feelings. I could really write/talk about this all day, but I will end the post today on a brighter note :)
Though launching a company will always be… full of ups and downs, there are things entrepreneurs can do to help… Most important, make time for your loved ones, suggests Freeman. “Don’t let your business squeeze out your connections with human beings,” he says… Relationships with friends and family can be powerful weapons. And don’t be afraid to ask for help–see a mental health professional if you are experiencing symptoms of significant anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, or depression… Cardiovascular exercise, a healthful diet, and adequate sleep all help, too.
Wonderful suggestions that I will be taking to heart! Having a million and one things to do can make it so easy to put off getting together with friends and family but getting away and having those connections is so important. Also really important but not mentioned, is quiet time with yourself. I just thought about it today and often the only times I’m by myself are when I’m working and when I’m in transit. So scheduling out purposeful down time is really important. I’ve just started doing this recently and it really helps.
At the top of my list to improve: eating and sleeping. And I know I will surely see an overall improvement. I have been eating better, I just need to eat more regularly. I know you all know that struggle of not wanting to stop to eat because you’re on a roll, but it actually does the opposite of help lol. I think I’m going to have to set reminders for myself to eat because I will surely forget :/
Anyway this post ended up being super long, but I wanted to be truthy! And truthfully, this entrepreneurship thing is hard. But I do love it and I want to make it work. So, I’ll do what I can to improve little by little :)
Thanks for hanging in there with me for this long Truthy Tuesday this week. So now I wanna hear from you! What did you think about that article? Are you a fellow entrepreneur who can relate to these feelings? And what have you found to be helpful? Let me know what you thought of today’s post!
That’s it for today. ‘Til next time,