Subscribe here. That icy wave of fear racing from your head to your toes. That excruciating knot twisting in your abdomen. The endless loop of to-dos and what-ifs running in your mind.
Perhaps your business is running low on cash. Perhaps a distribution deal you were counting on fell through. Maybe you discovered a fatal flaw in your product or a key team member just quit. Or maybe your website inexplicably crashed—and it feels like your entire world is crashing as well. As any entrepreneur knows, running a business is a full-body experience. It can suck up all your physical, emotional, and mental energy, even when things are going well.
Articles previously published in The Space Review:
When the company is struggling, it can feel like your insides are being boiled alive. I greatly admire entrepreneurs. After all, I married one. They are adventurous, creative dream chasers.
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And they are among the most stressed out people I have ever met. Sound familiar? The list of what the typical entrepreneur lays on the line when starting a new business is remarkably long. This includes but is certainly not limited to their reputation, competence, finances, and career trajectory.
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The stakes are incredibly high, and deeply personal. They are so personal, in fact, that many company founders inevitably begin seeing their businesses as extensions of themselves. Who they are becomes inextricably connected to how the business is doing. Corporate success becomes personal vindication; business failure can feel like a kind of death. Such close identification with your startup is both understandable and common. Building something from the ground up is difficult enough. There are even stories of entrepreneurs who have taken their own lives as their companies were struggling and on the edge of failure.
We can never know exactly why someone chooses to take their own life, but the extremely high stakes and stress involved with starting a business are no doubt contributing factors.
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But even without going this far, the potential consequences for all-in entrepreneurs are gravely serious. On top of this, staking your sense of self on your business will actually make it more difficult for you to succeed. You will likely dedicate all your waking hours to your work, casting aside personal relationships, hobbies , recreation, and rest. You will probably take professional rejections—from potential investors, business partners, and customers—extremely personally. You may try to control and micromanage everything within the company.
Doing any of the above will lead you more quickly to burnout, strain your relationships with your colleagues and employees, and make it more difficult for you to make clear-headed, rational business decisions. The terrible irony is that, in your desire to learn how to run a successful business and do everything possible to keep your startup alive, you may actually be steering it, and yourself, into the ground. My husband, Ned, and I learned this the hard way. We had gone all in with the business—to an unhealthy degree.
We had relocated from the U. I joined his company, and we both worked at least 15 hours a day, six days a week. There were no bridges in sight and no one to ask for directions. As he cracked his head, thinking of ways to cross the river, the tortoise strolled slowly along, dived into the river, swam to the opposite bank, continued walking and finished the race.
Moral: Know your strengths and weakness. Then change the playing field to suit your strengths. With the hare and the tortoise spending so much time together racing, they have become rather good friends. They have developed mutual respect for one another as they realized that they are both different and with different strengths. So they decided to do the last race again but to run as a team this time.
They started off, and this time the Hare carried the turtle till the riverbank. There, they switched positions, the turtle took over and ferried the hare across the river on his back. On the opposite bank, the rabbit again carried the turtle and they reached the finishing line together.
They completed the race in a record time. Both had a greater sense of satisfaction and content for the first time. Moral: Teamwork exceeds individual brilliance. Together everyone wins.
However, the twist in the tale. The judge fox did not agree to the outcome of the race as there can be no combined winners.
Hambog na Pangarap – I am [DreamChaser]
The fox was jealous and envied the friendship and mutual respect between the racers. In fact, the cunning fox had a plan. The race started and the hare crosses the finishing line, noticed some carrots. Hare could not help but sat there eating and relaxes with a power nap. The tortoise reached the finishing line but could not find his friend. The tortoise looked all around and noticed some squeaky noise from the bushes. Hare shaken and shocked opens his eyes to darkness only to find himself trapped in the jaws of the fox.
Moral: Never, ever, trust your opponents. All animals gathered to discuss the ways to escape. Tortoise said if all could cross the river they can be saved and agreed to ferry all to another side of the river with the help of hippo and croc. None of them trusted the croc. All the animals were determined the tortoise be the cleverest and sent him to retrieve help for a forest fire. The tortoise was left with no choice but to go.
But before he could reach the fire engulfed the entire forest and killed all. Moral: Truth can never be hidden for long. Truth is only one, even if the entire world opposes. Meanwhile in another jungle. A tortoise challenged the hare for a race. Midway through the race, there was some real-time self-realisation that happened to the hare. The hare now appears as a dignified figure and refuses to plainly defeat a vastly inferior opponent.
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