By Eric Greene
As a coach/advisor, I help entrepreneurs and executives deal with ALL KINDS OF ISSUES. The biggest problem we’re all facing right now? It is a general sense of malaise, of languishing. From Covid to war to the political divide to the price of gas to the price of, well, everything…who can blame us? It just keeps coming in wave after wave. So yes, we are slogging along personally, and that doesn’t even account for the stress that comes with being an entrepreneur. Beyond quick fixes (hello, Netflix. Nice to see you, tequila), what can we do about it?
Let’s start with a story that you can likely relate to on at least some level. Meet Rick (real person, not his real name). Rick runs a startup with real promise (it’s a tech play in the finance realm). He has grown to 10 employees. He is seeking his first round of funding. There is genuine investor interest because the business is growing in revenue, shows good forward momentum with prospective clients, and HAS JUST TURNED A PROFIT even though it’s less than two years old. Rick should be happy and positive, right?
Wrong. Like all of us, Rick is languishing and feeling that constant drag against his momentum. He most often feels down. Let’s count the ways:
• The constant happenings in the world are weighing him down
• He worries about the future of his family, himself, and the world. Suffice it to say, he has his share of personal worries on his plate.
• The typical business stressors: his core product development lacks a clear plan and is behind schedule. His sales director may not be strong enough. There is emerging competition, two of his other key players can’t get along. He isn’t sure what to do about in-office vs. remote workforce. He worries about securing enough funding to scale. And he experiences bouts of imposter syndrome…wondering if he is good enough to handle all of the above.
• Add all this up….and that’s what weighs Rick down.
• He notices the same in his team. It’s not that they aren’t working hard, but they too are drained for their own reasons, not to mention exasperated by Rick’s vibe.
• Put it all together and what have you got? A heavy dose of languishing.
So what should Rick do? For that matter, what should you do? There’s no quick-fix cure-all. Here’s what top experts are saying. The key lies in finding better daily, weekly, ongoing flow. In other words, take and stick to these key steps:
1. Find and work on something within your role that matters, that truly makes a difference. Devote at least some percentage of your time to this difference-making work. This will make a difference in the world, and it will make a positive difference with you. So find something, anything that makes a difference, and make that part of your work.
2. Stay in the moment and focus on whatever you are doing at any given time. Don’t distract yourself with outside noise. When you do your work, focus on doing that work. When away from work, focus on family, friends, meals, whatever it takes to stay in the moment. This means less outside noise, less news, social media, emails, etc. Tune out the constant stream of that noise; stay in the moment as often as you can; and your world will become brighter.
3. Notice the progress and the small wins. Find gratitude in what you are doing, what you are working on and what you have every day. Notice things and notice the wins. A simple way to do this is to create a journal. At the end of each day, simply state what you have gratitude for, business and personal. Gratification grows and small wins lead to bigger ones. This momentum will help raise your mood over time.
4. Learn to ride, not get swallowed, by the waves. Increase your grit and learn to be more resilient. Waves will come. They always have, but they’re just coming faster right now. Your ability to be resilient and ride waves will serve you for a lifetime.
Follow and stick to these steps. Have your team members do the same. Step by step, day by day, this will lead you into brighter territory. Together, we’ve got this.
Eric Greene is a proven executive and entrepreneur turned success/executive coach + advisor at the Greenehouse (www.GHouseCoaching.com). Pouring my experience into helping you work smarter. Lead better. Stress less. Have more fun doing it. And kick way more ass along the way.