May 9, 2014
One of the best aspects of entrepreneurship can also pose the biggest complication. You’re at the helm of the company, making all the decisions, and that’s invigorating, exciting, and sometimes a little frightening on a day-to-day basis. Until the rest of your life takes a severe left turn and you scramble to pick up the pieces while still keeping your business up right and looking professional. Unfortunately, there’s no one to cover for you when you’re the CEO, head chef, shipping and receiving clerk, accountant, customer service rep, IT support, and dishwasher. Sometimes these life left turns are wonderful events – like having a baby. Even then though, sleepless nights and teething can place a real strain on your entrepreneurial aspirations. Or upcoming weddings – and the vocal opinion of family members that tends to bring – may leave you feeling zapped of energy.
And then sometimes it’s the things you don’t count on. I once spent several weeks during my business’ busiest time of year hobbling around on crutches thanks to a broken leg. I know folks who have struggled through relationships falling apart that have left them feeling utterly rudderless but they’ve still had to smile when customers called. Family emergencies may mean you have to leave everything and get on a plane and even something as seemingly minor as an aging pet may mean juggling your schedule so that you can get you four-legged best friend to the vet as, when, and as often as needed.
The truth is that life doesn’t ever stop and let you be at your entrepreneurial best. It’s constantly a struggle to give everything you can to the business and to the rest of your life on the best of days. It’s even more of a struggle when the scales tip, as they always do from time to time, and you need to put entrepreneurship on the back burner for a while as you take care of more pressing life concerns.
So let me ask you this – when that happens, how do you manage the juggling act? How do let customers, vendors, clients, etc. know that you’re still focused, serious, and in this business for real without letting your family, your pets, or your own sanity down?