Have you ever had a pity party? Unlike ordinary parties, this one is just for you, the frustrated founder of your enterprise. You are all alone. Again. Trying desperately to keep your game face on and hide the sweat.
Running your own business is among the toughest jobs on earth. Even if you don’t do it all yourself, you sure as hell fret about it all. Whom should you employ? Which partner or seller should we choose? How do we beat the competition? What is wrong with our pricing? And is this market ever likely to stabilise?
When things are coming together well in 1 part of your organisation, they are hitting the fan somewhere else. Moments of bliss are fleeting, and the strongest of leaders could drift into despair.
What can you do if your pilot light goes out?
Give Yourself a 1:1
In this hectic, always-on world, we seldom have the time to think things through. We fix problems for other individuals instead of ourselves. Give yourself some unstructured time to consider what’s irritating you and what is holding back your business.
Puppies. Kids. Dance. Cooking. Shopping. Sports. Art. If work has you tapped out, do something which refills your bucket. Remember when Julia Roberts makes Richard Gere take his shoes off and walk on the grass in Pretty Woman? The world looks different once you give yourself permission to escape from responsibility and reconnect to your joyful self.
If that is not enough, have a long weekend, and do not bring your laptop. Or take a real holiday, and get a fresh perspective from another time zone while slathered in sunscreen.
On particularly demanding days, I get a reality check or shoulder by reaching out to another business owner or trusted adviser to get a pep talk. Lunch, coffee, or perhaps a quick Facebook Skype or chat session may do wonders when decisions do not come quickly and frustration runs high.
Have a swim or a run–with no music
Give your mind a chance to drift, fantasy, and problem-solve. Pump up your confidence and clean out the cobwebs by increasing your pulse rather than throwing in the towel.
An adult drink, in moderation, can help put everything into perspective. Have a wonderful dinner and bottle of wine. Relax and revel in the moment. Your problems will not go away, but it will be a lot easier to reflect on the things in life that are worth working for.
However, if the lows get too low and too regular, give yourself a break.
These are my hints for refocusing, recharging, and moving ahead.