When the Entrepreneurial Drive Drives You Into the Ground

When I started my first company, Olmec, back in ‘96, I spent more time sleeping on my office couch than my bed. It was all work all day, baby, and I thought I was doing great. In my mind, I was killing the game because I was outlasting the 9-to-5ers and loving every second of it. But in reality, I was driving myself into the ground and becoming less productive.

A victim of the One More Thing syndrome, there was always just one more thing I needed to complete before I could take a breather. One step closer to a breakthrough in income or advancement of the business. But as I finished that one last thing, my brain was already running 100mph to the next task that just had to be done before I could call it quits.

This pattern of One More Thing is how entrepreneurs can live their entire lives. To some degree, it’s an addiction. Borderline obsessive. Maybe not as life threatening as drugs, but one that slowly chips away at your family and personal life. This manic state of “gotta work more, gotta work more” is what makes us blind to what is going on in the outside world. It’s then that we lose our balance.

Working through the night, skipping healthy meals, all because you get into a zone that you don’t want to break. Everything else in your life can quickly take the backseat to your passion. That’s when you need to stop yourself and ask: who can force the balance into my life? Can I do it? Do I need a partner, a friend, a business partner, a roommate to help me? Somebody to step in and tell you it’s time to go for a walk, have a family dinner, take a nap. These breaks will help you recharge and come back even more productive and energized than before.

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