Entrepreneurial doubt can creep up on you like little critters in the night. One day you are on top of the world, thinking there’s nothing between you and 1 billion people touching your product. The next day you don’t know if you are still leading an actual company. Life can be pretty tough sometimes.
I have had my share of creeping doubt as of late, some worthy of mindshare and some not. But the biggest thing I have realized lately is that no matter what, shit hit fans. So it’s not a matter of when or how much hits the fan but more about how you deal with it. And you HAVE to figure out how to deal with it so you can continue on living and working towards your goals.
I have found 3 things really help me when times get rough:
Get Back to the Drawing Board
For a while there I was feeling very exhausted, lacking creativity and innovation at all points of the day. Seconds, as a company, has come to the point where we are growing (we’ve grown each and every month) but has obviously not found proper product/market fit necessary to take things to the next level. Not surprisingly, this was a very difficult feeling to experience. Results were not clear enough to shut down the business but it was also too foggy to continue the current plan. We had to make adjustments or risk losing the war.
So I finally had to force myself to break out of the rut, grab the marker and get back on the whiteboard. For those unaware, magical things happen at a whiteboard. Most products you are using today were wire framed on a board. Most of the successful companies you read about on Techcrunch and Mashable were conceived on one of those boards. It’s truly amazing what can be created when you place pen to board and allow it to lead you. Now, As a team or even just a few of us, we now regularly jump into sessions of brainstorm and idea generation. I will even lock myself in a room alone and just allow the entire board to engulf my thoughts… I will tell you some great new stuff is set to be released at the end of September and it’s all due to our energetic whiteboard sessions of this summer.
Get Back to Friends and Family
I recently have had the opportunity to spend more time with my family and it’s been a great. Long story short, as an interim roof I am staying with my sister and her 3 kids as I look for my next place. There was simply too much going on… I couldn’t deal with looking for another apartment and she kindly suggested I grab the spare room for a while. I though it was going to be a burden but it’s been a blessing. It’s amazing what is presented to you once you are in need of a miracle.
Also, looking back over the last few months I have been able to break away and spend some quality time with my friends. As a founder and dedicated entrepreneur, it’s quite easy to become so engulfed in pursuits I forget about the special people in my life. I am also blessed to have a solid group of friends from my youth and college years. These moments of getaway and relaxation are very re-energizing. I believe we will be lifelong friends so I feel the time with them is more of an investment rather than a expense on my life.
Get Back in Shape
My previous career was oriented around health and wellness, so health is a biggie for me. To be quite honest, I have really never been out of shape so my thoughts are more about the commitment and consistency of exercise over being overweight or out of shape. Though recently I noticed myself slacking on training and exercise. One day a week here… two days a week there. No patterns or schedule to depend on was really taking its toll on my physically as well as psychologically. And I started seeing and feeling the result.
So I determined to make a change. More importantly, i found a closer focus on running and working out more often and earlier (relatively) in the morning is keeping me aligned as my life is becoming more random and out of whack by the week. Even more interesting, the harder I push myself physically the more I push myself psychologically and mentally. Physical exercise is definitely the healthiest weapon against stress and I hope it stays that way throughout the rest of my life.
Creativity, Exercise and Friends and Family. These are all you need to stay aligned and deal with the uncertainty of entrepreneurship.