My name is Dragos and welcome to today’s topic:
The Kriptonite of Start-Ups
I haven’t written anything since Vietnam. Although consistency is key when we talk about content, this is not that sort of blog. It might become one based on how things move along, but for now, it’s still just me chilling with some words floating on THE INTERNET. (“Jen, this is the internet” anyone? Maybe to geeky…I don’t are! If you haven’t watched The IT Crowd, your missing on life!). So quick recap of my last article “How to Take a Leap of Faith”. It was all about launching myself into another crazy business idea. Remember? No?! Well go and read it already. Which brings me to the very long and quiet period between that one (pre-Vietnam) and this one.
Starting a business is never easy. The biggest issue is self-doubt. I got the chance to work with some start ups and meeting others that faced their own demons in it. I can’t talk for everyone one here, only for myself. Although I had my share of stress the first time I tried to launch a business, even the second time. I thought by now, I’m all good. Aren’t you like a superman by now? Wish I was. Even Superman must face fear and doubt at some point. As such, I’m not immune to these.
Since Vietnam, I had a period of transition from teaching to my business. I couldn’t just disappear out of the cute lives that I had thought to for the last 10 months. They kind of become like your own kids and if anything were to happen to any of them, my life would be shattered. Not too long ago, a teacher in the US stepped in front of a shooter and took the bullets to protect the kids. Maybe he wanted to get out of teaching them any longer…too soon? Yeah, ok. But this man, this hero did what some, if not most, teachers would do to protect the kids. And I got his feeling. I would never say that I will be brave like he was. But I am hoping that if it ever comes to that, I will be able to shield those kids, like any parent would do. My deepest respect to that teacher.
Now about that transition period, what is it? Basically, working full time while starting your business full time… And when you start a business, you don’t work 35 hours a week… Really?!I thought it was all unicorns and rainbows! HA! Well, you put it all in there. It became a 7 days/week of non stop working. No training, no healthy eating, just working. Slowly eating away at your energy level, missing the trip in Vietnam and falling in a state you tried so very hard to avoid, deep fatigue and the beginning of depression… Really?! Jesus I thought you were getting better! Wait! Don’t panic here people. I’m all good. I learned one thing. I learned to notice the signs.
My signs at least :
- Fatigue and lack of energy. But that could be just from working 7 days a week.
- Lack of motivation to cook and go to the gym. Again, working to much, no…?
- Self-doubt. Mhmm… this one is different. Questioning your decision. Ok, starting to get it..
- Making excuses to avoid taking care of myself. Getting sick. Wait! Getting sick is not a symptom! But here’s the, when I don’t feel good, my body follows a little bit my mind there and goes something like “Hey, how about we let ourselves get sick a little. No?”
- Then there’s the little things. Disorganised/messy room. The mess that kept growing and just genuinely letting myself go. And not wanting to do anything anymore.
There’s other signs that help you notice if you have signs of depression and I would strongly encourage anyone to look them up. I got to know myself better in the last year and also learned how to move away from these patterns pretty fast.
The thing is that starting a business takes a toll on your mind and your body. And that transition period was not only about working 7 days a week, it’s also a mental transition into a world of insecurity where you depend but only on yourself, your work and that once you fall, your business falls with you. Once you accept that things might be harder, that things will not be stable, that stress is part of life and most of all, that you allow yourself or even impose yourself some time to take care of yourself, things get better and more fun. When you eat healthy, go to the gym, spend quality time with people you care and talk about something else then work, the pressure falls off. The self-doubt fades away and you feel like you’re just thriving in this career that you are building for yourself.
I’ll tell you this, it’s still scary. But as time goes by, as I get used to some things and as I see people I work with being satisfied of what I do, things get more and more exciting. And it’s just the beginning.
Don’t give up and most of all, if you have people closet to you to support you and that love you, don’t be scared to talk to them and don’t think you are alone in it. You’re never really alone after all.
Today’s item on the list :
Try Peanut Butter and Jam…I had never tried it before this week! I know, crazy, but what are you gonna do. Sue me?
What am I reading right now :
- South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami.
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