You know I like to keep my content client centric – that I want to provide as much actionable information as possible to help you launch, grow, and scale your business.
That said, every once in a while I think personal stories can act as a bridge to offer you support, encouragement, and empathy for the unique challenges we all come to face as business owners. I hope this brief glimpse behind the curtain of ADP can help you avoid a similar pitfall in your business.
This Story Starts with a Celebration
Four weeks ago I was sipping Palomas with my toes in the Sea of Cortez celebrating 10 years of marriage and 1 year of entrepreneurship with my husband. Two days before our plane touched down in Denver, Matt received a phone call with a formal offer for his dream job – one that he’s been working towards for nearly a decade.
We celebrated over a marlin steak dinner and then returned home. Within 24 hours, Matt started his new position and our son, Desi, graduated from kindergarten and began his summer break.
The pride and joy I felt for my family and their accomplishments made my heart want to burst.
However, the additional responsibilities of running the business, now as a solopreneur, while acting as the full-time caregiver and playmate to my son make my head want to explode.
And it almost did.
Here Starts the Road to Burnout
As a business coach, I’m well aware that my personal capacity as a business leader is limited. However, as a seasoned perfectionist that was raised in a high-achieving family, my go-to mantra has always been “Come hell or high water, I’ll get this done and I’ll get it done right.”
Three weeks of cutting back on sleep, skipping meals, and drinking copious amounts of caffeine later, I found myself standing with a group of friends when suddenly the world around me shifted.
It felt as though the ground suddenly tilted 45 degrees to the right and I lost my balance and fell – hard.
I wrote it off as a dizzy spell, drank a cup of water, and moved on.
Those dizzy spells started to become so frequent that I finally went to the doctor so we could rule out a stroke or some other neurological condition.
What I discovered instead was that I was struggling with positional vertigo, anemia, and a form of positional tachycardia which had been angered by my low iron intake and dehydration.
Talk about a frightening and humbling experience.
And given the added responsibilities my life required after returning from Cabo, I can’t say I was altogether surprised by these findings.
I Forgot That the Most Important Asset to My Business is Me
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, friend. The most valuable asset to your business is you – the business owner.
When you invest in yourself – your health, your education, your social network, your surroundings – you are directly investing in the growth of your business.
When you neglect your most basic needs – your nourishment, your marriage, your water intake, your rest – you are steadily pulling from the reserves of your business which will inevitably lead your business into a season of plateau…
…which ironically is what you skipped meals and sleep to avoid.
We Need to Stop Operating as Though We Are Gods
At times, I think the world pressures us as business owners, founders, and CEOs to act and behave as though we are gods – unrestrained from time, space, or personal limitations.
But we are not gods, we are human. Finite and simple humans.
As such, we are not afforded the luxury of unlimited capacity or time, and it’s high time we not just accept this truth, but embrace it.
You Can’t Sustain This Pace Forever
If you feel that the road ahead of you is not a sustainable model for human life, it’s time to regroup and restrategize.
And while, yes, sometimes we must temporarily accept a hard lifestyle for a short period of time to afford ourselves the opportunity to create that sustainable model, there needs to be a definitive ending date in mind where the chaos will must stop.
I for one, know that until school starts up again in the fall, my summer is destined to be a busy one. There will be days when I fall short as a business owner, as a parent, or both.
That’s why I’ve expanded my team with a second developer who has already proven to be an invaluable asset to my team and a copywriter who is simply a godsend. While moving to a new project management system is requiring an enormous amount of work right now on top of my list of growing responsibilities, I know it will afford me the mental space to be more present with my kiddo this summer and more reliable for my clients.
What Needs to Change?
What areas of your life are becoming increasingly unsustainable for you to manage? What systems or processes have you been putting off that you know will afford you the freedom to invest in what will move the needle forward in your business again?
I hope that my experience offers some comfort in knowing that every business owner shares in these struggles and that you deserve to invest in your family, health, and wellbeing just as anyone else deserves.
If you’d like to sit down with a business coach who can help you create boundaries and honor your priorities, click to view our available coaching services here at ADP.