I’ve had about one week of normal tempo in my business, after two months of hell. I had been working about 14 hours per day, for the last two months, and about 15 hours over the weekend. One month of that pace I could live with, but as it stretched into two months, I became resentful.
Within that two month period, we also had the end of financial year. So I finished off my initial figures to give to the accountant, and it’s the first year in which I have had a financial loss in my business. This caused more resentment to breed. I am working so hard, for what?!
I spoke with one particular staff member and told her that I just couldn’t give her emotional support at the time, because I was wondering what the point was myself. She said to me that I’d been through that mindset before a couple of times, and I always came out of it. And I have.
One week of normal tempo and I’m back almost to my ‘ordinary’ self. I think another week of normal tempo, and I might even have my enthusiasm back for working on my business. This has caused me to think about the mental roller coaster that I have been through over the last six years in business.
About three times each year, I have a period of a few weeks where I am very flat and hate my business. Between the flat periods, I often have periods almost like mania, where my level of productivity goes through the roof. I have completed a masters degree, been through an accreditation process, and written six books – all in the last six years whilst running this business – during periods of mania.
I have also been so low on a number of occasions that I have thought about suicide, or I’ve also thought that I’ve had a serious illness because I’ve lacked my usual amount of energy.
In the last month, I have found (and pulled out) my first three grey hairs. This has also made me resentful. But it has also made me wonder the cost on my body and life, that this business is putting on me. Is it worth it?
Because I am in between a low and a manic state at the moment, I am reflective. But the highs and lows are making me question my ability to reason. At times of exhaustion, after a period of such intense work, and feeling resentful of my business … am I in the right state of mind to be assessing my business?
I feel like I have given up so many aspects of myself, and things that I enjoy – all because I’m ‘growing an asset’, and it will pay off some day. Well, when? It’s been six years, and I’m working harder than ever.
I don’t feel like I can talk about this with other business owners. I feel like it’s too much negativity to load onto others who are also running their own businesses. I feel alone. I feel stuck. I feel on the point of fail … and I can’t fail.
Resilience is often thrown around – you must grow resilience as a business owner. Well, how much resilience is good, and how much resilience is just stupidity? Do I keep going with this business, no matter what cost of me, because at some distant point it will pay off? What if it doesn’t pay off?
These are the thoughts that go around and around in my head … whilst I’m in the mental state that I’m in. I feel bi-polar, because of the ups and downs. They can be extreme – from curled up crying on the floor in the shower, to feeling huge, energetic and powerful with a million creative ideas and solutions coming at once.
The only solution I can find: write about it, and hope that it helps someone else.