I went to business school (didn’t finish mind you – but that’s for another story) and took a lot of classes on macro-economics, micro-economics, cost-benefit-ratio, cost-of-sale, balance sheets, P&L, yada, yada, yada text book stuff on running a business. However, one thing they never taught me was the Emotional Economics of running a business.
Entrepreneurship can be a very emotional and lonely place at times. There are so many ebbs and flows from day to day, month to month that it’s enough to commit you and put you on a lifetime prescription of Xanax. I don’t just mean seasonal fluctuations, I mean real business financial impacts – client interactions, expectations, new leads, no leads, complaints (yes EVERYONE gets complaints), and just the day to day operations of running a business, i.e. email, texts, social media, SEO, human resources (and by that I don’t mean your canine companion). Throw in any un-anticipated personal trauma, and really can become quite daunting at times.
I went through a divorce in the last 18 months, it was a trying time. I am on the other side of it now and doing quite well, actually the best I have ever been (There it’s out there now). But prior to this, was a tumultuous 18 months, some of the hardest times of my life. As a father of two young girls, my sole focus was on navigating them through this as unscathed as possible and because of this business suffered due to lack of attention and re-aligned priorities. We became reactive instead of proactive and we are now reaping the impact as we slowly dig our way back up.I recently attended a networking event and a competing colleague asked me how business was…my response was slow but intentional, “business is great”. In reality, I was burning up with frustration and anxiety, in reality business was reeling and in recovery mode.
But you can’t tell them this, or can you? Who wants to listen? Who really cares? Who doesn’t have problems of their own? We continue to trudge on, because it’s worth it. But more importantly, because while we love spending money and fear foreclosure, the real reason we do what we do is selfish and emotional as well. We are passionate about what we do and we love the impact our work has on others’ hearts and souls. THAT is why we do this. Not for a paycheck or vanity. For the reaction we see in our clients when they see their lives frozen in time. For the emotion that evokes. That real life emotion…the kind we all experience as humans. It is for THAT we carry on, ever forward, never back.
So ask me now…how is business? I can wholeheartedly say that it is GREAT because we are afloat and recovering, and STILL doing what we are passionate about, despite the turmoil of the recent past. Recovery mode ain’t so bad. So go ahead, be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire, I know I am!