The Fast and the Furious: How To Avoid Running On Fumes When You Are A High-octane Individual

Entrepreneurs are made of many types, the artists, the visionaries and the doers. And while we may have distinct personality differences, we also tend towards similarities in the way we approach our business lives. Often, we are fueling our passion with above average motivation and we feel the adrenaline rush of risk taking. This high-octane lifestyle may be the key to our success, and we feel powerful in the moment, but it can lead to dangerous results as we approach burn out.

There are some things to consider as you navigate your entrepreneurial journey:

The Need for Speed

Entrepreneurs always want everything they envision for their business as quickly as possible. We are working ourselves to the limits trying to speed up the steps to our success. If we are looking for funding, we want funding to happen RIGHT NOW. If we have launched and we are trying to sell a new product, we want to sell our goal IMMEDIATELY. We work with others to help us reach our goals, and we are constantly pushing for things to speed up. This is because we can see the road ahead and we know where we are going- we just want to reach it faster!

The problem is that this need for speed causes a few problems. It creates unrealistic expectations for ourselves, our goals and the people we work with- which creates a toxic environment for everyone. It also means you are moving so quickly that you could be missing real opportunities for a better or different road to success, or you are missing warning signs about your business that could be catastrophic later.

Slow down. Find partners to work with who can help you regulate your speed towards your goals and find real, tangible, small steps to get there. This is often difficult to accept, but we all know the story about the tortoise and the hare. Slow and steady wins the race.

Running on Empty

Another classic scenario entrepreneurs face is overlooking their own personal needs above the needs of the business. We are so focused on reaching our goals, growing quickly and that “next big thing” that we forget to take care of ourselves. This becomes a problem when you reach the point of sleepless nights, and hidden self-doubt and anxiety.

Take care of yourself and take a mental inventory of your health. It is very common that those running businesses suffer from nearly debilitating self-doubt, and various anxiety disorders. You are not alone. There is a very real phycological connection to your ability to drive your business forward in hyper speed, while running on empty personally.  Inc. Magazine published a poignant article on this topic, and every entrepreneur I know has found that they are able to identify with some of this.

Don’t get caught in the trap. Make sure you take care of yourself first.

 Build your Pit Crew

The best way to avoid completely overdoing it is to build a highly skilled, trusted team you can lean on. Yes, employees are included in this, and yes, they are hard to find, but they aren’t the only options. Find trusted advisors you can confide in and find professionals who are highly skilled in the areas that are your deficits. Build your crew specific to your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Despite your high-octane personality and drive, you cannot do it all alone. And that’s ok.

Take a moment and breathe, slow down and take stock of your personal health. I know you won’t slow down forever, but even just a moment here and there can have a significant impact on helping you avoid burn out.