Owning a business is demanding.
During my first two years of running a startup, there were times I felt like burying my head in the sand. I second guessed my judgment on starting a business. But at the end of the day, I’m happy I stuck with it. The rewards far outweigh the effort.
Trust your Decisions
As I approach year five of running my business, I’m recognizing that in the early stages I put far too much effort into my decision making process. I would frequently turn myself into a nervous wreck by worrying about the outcomes of a decision I’d already made.
More often than not, I would use up all my energy pinpointing hazardous potential outcomes of a decision, rather than preparing myself with necessary solutions in advance. As you would expect, this had a negative impact on both my business and my physical health.
I found myself unintentionally neglecting tasks that required immediate attention and ignoring my well-being. Once I came to terms with my shortcomings, however, I made minor adjustments that proved to be major results.
The following two strategies helped me tremendously with avoiding an entrepreneurial meltdown. Although there is no “right way” to handle running a business, I think you’ll find these methods to be incredibly helpful.
Map Out Resolutions
As I mentioned previously, I would often waste valuable time and energy overanalyzing and scrutinizing every decision I made. Let me be clear: there is no place for this when running a successful business. So, once I came to that conclusion it took a heavy weight off my shoulders.
I improved my decision-making by making a conscious effort to take a step back and literally write down on a piece of paper two potential outcomes: one positive, one neutral. I have made it a point not to view things in a negative manner; rather, I label it as “neutral” assuming it will provide less favorable results.
Even when everything doesn’t go according to plan (and I can assure you it won’t), there is always another avenue you can take that may just be a blessing in disguise.
Once you have listed your potential outcomes, write down the best solution to each one and force yourself to run with it. That way, you are ready for curveballs that may be thrown your way and you won’t stress yourself out with finding a viable solution when you already have one in place.
Give Yourself a Break
I mean this both physically and psychologically. Give yourself a pat on the back for recognizing that you have just educated yourself through the experience. I’ve found this to prove more valuable than anything provided in school.
On the flip side, it’s also important to release your mind and body from the daily operations of running your business. Just like a computer, if your brain is working on overdrive 24/7, it has the potential to shut down. You need to give it time to reset to avoid the possibility of startup burnout.
This didn’t come easily to me, initially, because in the first few years, since bootstrapping was a key factor to my business’s success. Though vacations may need to be few and far between, it certainly doesn’t mean you can’t take a breather, or a worcation, even if it’s just in your own home.
My wife was a pro at turning our home into a one or two-day retreat. If there’s only one thing I could thank her for, pushing me to take a much-needed break would be it.
Although there are many other factors that come into play, these two points were incredibly useful for easing the pressure. There are still some times that I catch myself reverting back to my old ways, but when this happens I like to reference one of my favorite quotes from Elbert Hubbard: “The greatest mistake you can make in life is continually fearing that you’ll make one.”
This article has been edited and condensed.
Blake Lawson is currently the Vice President and CMO of CNC Jobs Inc., the parent company of CNCJobs.Net. The CNCJobs.Net website is the only Video Supported Job Board specific to Manufacturing & Technology. CNCJobs.Net brings employers and job seekers together much quicker at a fraction of the cost. Connect with @theblakelawson on Twitter.
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