If you own your own business you know how terribly unforgiving it can be.
It’s tough. It’s scary. It’s exciting. It’s infuriating. It’s rewarding.
At times the stress can be overwhelming. . . especially when you try so hard to do, be and give with little thought to your own well being. It can often feel as though you are swimming in stress and caught in a rip tide of never enough. I can tell you from experience the best fucking thing you can ever do when you start feeling this way is to say NO more often and sit your ass down to write some thank you notes.
Constantly feeling overwhelmed? You may be are no stranger to users, gossip hounds and asshats that take the joy out of what you do. . . but you keep going. . . keep giving. Sound familiar?
In the midst of family emergencies and private tragedies you keep hoping that your hard work and donated time and talent will be appreciated. You begin to expect that the people you work with will care about their own business as much as you do. . . That they will understand you
can’t won’t work for free and respect the time you devote to them.
If you own your own business, especially a small business or start up, any personal devastation often goes under the radar of your clients. I personally don’t announce from every social media site the tragedies I experience. Because of my decision to keep my tragedies private – some folks are often blissfully unaware of how their thoughtless disrespect of time say – when they missed a meeting, failed to deliver info/data required or missed a deadline meant that you were unable to tend to private and urgent family matters.
As an entrepreneur you can’t “clock out” at 5 and leave all of your worries at the office. Building a business is a “real” job and you have to do your best to manage growth and failure. So the biggest question I have? . . . . how do you deal with it all? Some advise that if you are overwhelmed with stress that you need to keep swimming, literally. . .advice I need to listen more closely to.
I don’t have all the answers to this but I can share what I’ve learned. . .
You surround yourself with people who have nothing at all to do with what you do for a living. People who know you and whose judgement isn’t colored by what clique they’re in, company they keep or what association they’ve paid into.
Stay away from “friends” and “mentors” who think gossip, drama and backstabbing are a sport. Minimize time with people who invite you coffee/lunch/dinner to “pick your brain”.
I recently read an article on Entrepreneur magazine that talks about the stress, anxiety and loneliness that comes along with owning your own business. A great quote I took away from this Entrepreneur post is this : “what Bordainick learned was the importance of keeping people in his life who care and love him for who he is outside of his … business”
If I haven’t said it lately I am so deeply grateful for those of you who know and love me outside of my business.
You are the ones who encourage me, make me laugh and remind me of the joy that each of us deserve.
You have helped me learn from my mistakes and deal with the tragedies that have colored my judgements and behavior.
You help me recognize when I am wrong and help me find the words I need to apologize and the courage to move on.
You alert me when I am being taken advantage of and guide me to establish and maintain boundaries.
You let me know when I have been too harsh or swift to judge.
You help me identify and evacuate chaos makers from my life so that I can focus on things that really matter.
You help me become a better person every day.
You save me when I am swimming in stress and remind me to swim with gratitude parallel to shore when I’m caught in a rip tide of never enough.