This is your business. Burning the midnight oil doesn’t seem too hard. You do it night after night because it’s your passion. Then you hit the wall and it feels like you are stuck in quick sand and sinking. That’s really not what’s happening, but it feels like it. So what do you do?
The life of an entrepreneur is grueling at times. Entrepreneurs come and go as they please, work when they want, attend every family event and so on and so on, but most people don’t see the quiet life of an entrepreneur. It is the life that only an entrepreneur knows about. It is that time between 5p, when the doors close, and 8a the next day when the doors open again. Between 5p and 8a is when the entrepreneur keeps the business running; does paperwork, sets up email marketing, prepares for the next day, writes proposals, answers email, etc. The normal person would quit after several weeks or months, but this is when you see the real entrepreneur come out. You will see them kick it up a notch, but you have to be careful.
The life of an entrepreneur does not come without a cost. No one can survive this grueling pace indefinitely; working late nights, sometimes into the next morning, getting three or four hours sleep then starting all over again the next morning just to “git ‘er done,” but this is what entrepreneurs do. It jazzes them….to a point. That point is like hitting a brick wall.
If the entrepreneur does not take time off to rest and relax, they won’t be able to stop the brick wall from happening. They can’t prevent it and it is really hard to get through. The brick wall is that thing that pops up in front of the entrepreneur causing him or her doubt if they should or even could keep going.
Darn it!! DON’T QUIT! I’m not talking about being so far under water you may not recover or your business is in foreclosure (if you are facing these issues get help and get help quickly). I’m talking about the entrepreneur who is successfully building a business, and “doing it all.” This comment is for you…DON’T QUIT!
You feel like you can’t move forward. That’s because you hit the brick wall. You can’t go forward, but you can back off, slow down or move laterally for a while. At least until you get a better perspective on your business. The brick wall is there for a reason. When you hit it, you need to reassess what you’re doing, and take a break before you go at it again. The brick wall is my worst nightmare, but I’ve learned how to overcome it.
The worst thing you can do when you hit the brick wall is quit. Quitting is the single strongest feeling, but now is when you need to keep moving. I can always tell when someone hits a brick wall. The sometimes become depressed and don’t want to do anything except sleep. Sleeping because of hitting the brick wall, can be detrimental to the entrepreneur, so slow down and back off for a while.
Now is not the time to travel with full your throttle right now. It’s ok to let off the throttle a little bit and slow down. Enjoy the scenery. Take some time to talk to family and reconnect with friends. I don’t mean totally walk away from your business, I mean share some of your valuable business building time with family and friends. Call a family member you haven’t talked to in a while or take an old friend out to lunch. Sometimes when we back off we enjoy life more. I know many people whose business grew more when they backed off than when they were working 12-14 hour days.
Slowing down is important, but you also have to back off when you slow down. What I mean is backing off is nothing more than lightening your workload. Instead of accomplishing 6 tasks in an hour, back off and do 3 tasks in an hour. Backing off is de-intensifying your tasks. Do some of the fun things you’ve been wanting to do at work, but haven’t made time to do. Is something bothering you about how the programs work on your desktop? Take some time to figure out what the problem is and fix it. What about doing a podcast or video introducing yourself or your company? These are things that you can do to still be productive and take care of yourself. We don’t want to hear of anyone going out of business so we need to stay healthy and take time to slow down and back off.
The reason for the slow down and backing off is to take a break, relook at your efforts, get comfortable where you are and maybe do some strategizing. It’s incredible how much you can do when your head is clear. Sometimes entrepreneurs get so wrapped up in building their business that they don’t realize they’ve hit a wall and have stopped moving forward. Too many businesses hit the brick wall, don’t realize it, then it becomes a train wreck.
You are in business to succeed. Take time for yourself and your family. Your business will be there when you get back to it, but when you return to your business you will be refreshed. When you slow down and back off the brick wall slowly melts away. Write down several things you’d like to do but haven’t had the time. When you hit a brick wall, pull out your list and do something you’ve been wanting to do.
Mike Bitter Affordable Social Media, Inc. (402) 216-8126