Wake up, stretch, quick yawn, grab phone.
Check emails, check Facebook engagement and interactions, check Instagram comments and new followers, check blog comments and views, check YouTube channel views.
Squeeze breakfast and a shower in somewhere…
Or…this could be…Check Amazon/Ebay account, check daily sales, customer messages, etc.
Regardless of your industry or business, obsession is something that has the power to affect all of us entrepreneurs.
Want to know why?
This is because we are constantly putting out fires. We spend our days and nights engaging and communicating, checking and finalising.
We wake up in the morning, and our mind jumps straight to our business, and what our clients in different timezones might have posted during the night.
We try to prevent problems before they happen, but we’re also first on site to deal with them when they inevitably do come up. We are the first and last port of call in all situations.
We are everywhere, and anywhere we need to be.
And we are so often exhausted, and emotionally drained.
But at least our business is a success, right?
More and more of us are falling into the Obsessive Entrepreneur Trap, something which is annihilating our ability to exist as real people, and actually ruining our businesses, slowly but surely.
We are consumed by the success of our business, as if this success determines our own value as a person.
Let’s take a side-step here, and think back to when you were at school…
Do you remember a time when you were trying really hard to study for an exam or test, but you were upset or angry about something?
Do you recall how difficult it was to concentrate and focus, and to get whatever it was that you were trying to learn into your head?
You felt like your head was going to explode, and every time you tried to write down something or repeat it back, your brain was just giving you back a whole lot of nothing…
Now, imagine trying to run a business with all of those feelings, frustrations, and distractions going on in your head…Impossible, right?
But that’s what a lot of us are doing! It’s insane…
We become irritated and agitated. We are preoccupied ALL of the time, and can’t hold a conversation sometimes without getting distracted. We snap at people around us, and the worst part is, we don’t even notice most of the time.
We have become robots on auto-pilot, and we are so naive that we believe we can keep this up forever, and that these unhealthy behavioural patterns will simply disappear when we’ve truly “made it”.
What may have started out as a healthy drive to succeed, reach our goals and prove everyone around us that we could actually do this, has now turned into an unhealthy obsession which can actually push us towards failure, instead of success.
A lot of entrepreneurs spend time googling things like “How to be more productive”, “How to get more done during the day”, and “How to be successful quickly”.
We are focused on speed, but never sustainability, when we need to become focused on sustainability, and not just speed.
We should spend this time on the internet finding ways to be successful and sane. To be fulfilled and achieve balance in our lives, so we can actually live.
We don’t search for “how to work seven days a week, and never see my family“, but this is what the obsessed entrepreneur does. Is this you? If so, then keep reading.
Most entrepreneurs will say they work towards success to provide for themselves and their families, to achieve financial freedom.
But if every thought you have revolves around how to make more money, or cram more into your day, then what’s the point? What is it all for if you can never enjoy it?
Don’t neglect your health and those you love for your business, because you want them to be there to share it with you when you achieve it. You want to be able to enjoy your success, don’t you?
I’m sure by now you have decided that you do not want to be a victim of the Obsessive Entrepreneur Trap…
So here’s my four-step process to combat it…
- When you reach a goal, take some time to celebrate what you have achieved before moving on to the next goal.
- Spend some regular uninterrupted, technology free time with your family/friends, ideally outside in the fresh air!
- Speak to someone about what’s going on for you at the moment – this doesn’t have to be a business friend. In fact, sometimes it’s better if it’s not, as it reduces the temptation to just talk about business.
- Journal – try to figure out the real source of your agitation, anxiety and obsession. Are you afraid of failing, being judged, or being broke? What is it that makes you believe you can’t be successful without running yourself into the ground? Then you have something to work on, so get to work addressing this.
I’ve talked before about how manifesting and visualisation (see https://mindsteinsystem.com/how-to-use-your-thoughts-to-get-what-you-want-from-your-life-without-having-to-become-a-jedi/) can help you to work towards where you want to be in your life. So, use this to allow the frustrations and disappointments to turn into drive and enthusiasm.
Even just knowing within you that things will work out can create a healthier outlook on your business and life.
You will come to understand that even if you don’t spend 23 hours a day working, you will still be successful. You just have to show up when it happens and take steps every day to get there.
But, a step could be taking a day off to re-group, relax and enjoy yourself. This is the part we often leave out and forget.
A good business can’t be created without work, but it must be done in a way which is sustainable, so that you can actually reap the benefits of your work, rather than burning out in the process, and spending your hard-earned money and time trying to get back to who you were before you started your business.
Enjoy your business, and remember to enjoy your life in the process.