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Usually articles on here stem from a mistake or a mishap I had that caused me to learn something and then in turn write about it in great detail for you to potentially learn from.
But lately, I just haven’t been having really any major “downs” or “lows”. In fact, I have been having what I now consider as highs! That’s why I wanted to reflect on it for anyone else that may be feeling the same way or is looking for someone who has been through the rollercoaster of business building/work emotions.
So recently I made the decision to turn my freelance branding and marketing into a full fledge big boy pants agency (I even have a name and everything now). Sort of crazy, very scary, but really really fun. I will elaborate on it more in an official article in a few short weeks so keep an eye out for that.
But anyway, usually in the past when I start a new venture it’s highly stressful and comes with a lot of difficulties that can get any normal Joe Smo down. But currently… I feel really good. Like almost too good. I’m certainly not comfortable (will never be possible), not “successful”, not “accomplished”, but just really in a good place. Things are growing, our clients are happy with the work we do, and my personal and professional lives seem to be fostered better than ever.
This weird state of “good” got me wondering. I began to reflect on how I manage my life, and how I have been able to keep a more positive and happier state during this growth and start of a new business.
After many 2 mile runs in the morning and a few bowls of ice cream, I realized it really came down to a few key things that I have fundamentally changed in my life…
1. I stopped reading “self-help” business blog articles
The biggest thing for me was cutting out my content consumption. While websites like Entrepreneur.com and the likes are good for some things, they hurt my perspectives in most aspects. I realized consuming all of this information was actually making me subconsciously feel inadequate and unproductive. I would read articles like “5 Ways to be as Productive as a Millionaire” and think that it was almost like it was the correct answer to “success”. Which is anything short of the truth.
By the way, I also turn off my newsfeed on Facebook and only allow myself really 30 minutes of consumption in the morning while in bed to “catchup” with social media for the day. All else is usually just me posting during the day. #consumptionHack
2. I made a schedule that worked for ME
I am terrible when it comes to long term concentration. I can’t justify it in my head, and if that is considered a bit A.D.D. so be it. For me, I work well in small stints with personal breaks in-between. Although I may work from around 7AM – 9PM most nights, you can usually find me taking an hour or two here and there for breaks that include practicing the guitar, going flying for an hour, going to the store, and just being away from the computer and phone.
This is crucial for me personally.
As you read this you may already be thinking that this way of working kills productivity and wastes time. That’s your predetermined definition, and I would challenge you to reflect on if your hours of work are REALLY conducive to your personality. For me, I believe that my hyper focused small stints of work end up being more productive than wasting billable hours at the computer for clients when I can’t be at my peak perfomance during the day.
3. I began investing in myself again
Like a good friend of mine told me recently…
Don’t let the money creep in and take over your entire mind, it will eat you alive and burn you out too quick
What he meant by this is, as a business owner its almost impossible to stop yourself from constantly crunching numbers in your head about potential deals and projections for growing your businesses revenue. Its just something innate in business owners. Trust me, my white board is filled with numbers.
But when this happens, you quickly lose sight of spending time crunching your own personal life revenue goals. What does this mean? Well, for me I realized I needed to start crunching more things in my head like taking time to workout and eat healthy, perhaps be fortunate enough to take an awesome girl on a date or two sometime, oh and also to just have pure relaxation time alone or with friends. These were “crunchings” that were very hard to fathom prioritizing in my previous state of workaholism.
Now I am proud to say I am getting better at most of this, I can say that I am happier and more creative for my business in result. Care about you and your community of friends, family, and significant others and it really will help in all aspects of your growth.
Lows are often what people that start businesses tend to have the easiest time feeling in the beginning.
Certainly I have them all the time, but this article is intended to help remind everyone that in your ventures through life, there really are highs.
However if you aren’t trained to appreciate them, the highs are usually the toughest to find and experience. This is because highs are often when you aren’t experiencing a low. To most this would be considered just a middle of the road moment. But I challenge you to see how the little things, the monotony, the self improvement, and even the routine sometimes can just be a small reminder that you actually are experiencing a life high.
I’m so fortunate to be able to sustain myself through my ventures, and even help other creatives get a bit more work too. Those are highs for me, and it may take more training to appreciate them more over time, but trust me I’m working hard at it.
If you feel like you’re experiencing a good time in life, don’t be afraid to admit it. You don’t need to be wealthy, famous, or goal achieved to experience a high you just need to accept that you are working towards something.
I think Caisey Neistat said it best in his video:
So at the end of the day, I’m experiencing this state of “good”, its not great and its certainly not a low. But I am realizing that it certainly is it’s own state of being. I have no comfort but I have happiness, I have health, and I have a balance that allows me to grow my business but most importantly grow myself and my relationships with people.
Prioritize, set standards for yourself and not for anyone else, and live a life that keeps you fighting for more but allows for happiness during the fight.
Done. 😉 Oh… and side note, I hate the word good so this article was a challenge for me.