Please take a moment to read the snippets of comments below that lack context. By the end, I’m wondering what kind of person you think I’m describing.
- “You just have to stop this. It isn’t healthy.”
- “I have told you this before, and you refused to listen.”
- “You need a hobby!”
- “I am not going to feel sorry for you when you can’t get out of bed in the morning. You did this to yourself!”
- “I have no idea what to do with you. I have tried to help, but you refuse.”
Are these all comments you’d expect a bum to hear or an entrepreneur working as hard as they can to build a great company? Surprisingly, these are all statements that have been said to me. For an entrepreneur or busy executive, they’re not exactly inspiring words that cause change. Being an entrepreneur takes a lot of guts, a ton of work and perseverance with little gratification on your journey. Given that, it’s funny how people talk to you about your journey, and it’s because they can’t relate to it or understand the journey – it seems so crazy. I pretty much get “talked down to” like I am a bum living in my parent’s basement, refusing to work.
If you are wired like me, you take on a crazy amount of responsibility, are driven to get results and never give up. Your load only seems to grow, and as you conquer a mountain top, the next one is in view – though much steeper and higher. Does exhaustion come? Absolutely, and at the end of 2016, I can tell you that I was more exhausted from that year than any other year in my life. I was thrilled to ring in 2017. But I like to think that I make the most out of every minute of my life – I cram so much into life, it’s crazy, and sometimes I can’t even remember it all until I sit down to write my blog.
So I ended 2016 and vowed to myself that after 250,000 travel miles on my body, I would take the last two weeks off and totally relax. Here’s a snippet of my reality:
- Daughter comes home from college
- Son throws his annual “Mom Makes Ribs for All My Friends Christmas Party” – 25 teenagers
- Parents both hospitalized with significant but recoverable injuries after car accident
- Three full days of hospital visits and caregiving (I’m already, ready to go back to work)
- Christmas Day: Make 30 twice baked potatoes and prime rib to contribute to family Christmas. Dad gets discharged from the hospital just in time to eat
- Two weeks of continued car accident repercussions
- Daughter brings new boyfriend home for a few days to meet the family (lots of homemade food and card games at night, movies, family time), while running to help my parents in rehab
- Try to get away with Dude overnight, which happened, but the relaxing part … not so much. Mom’s back in the hospital.
- Mom transferred from hospital to rehab facility, so more doctors, PTs, OTs, RNs and CNAs to brief and meet for continued care
- Good friend pulls me away for New Year’s night Bull’s game – a great four hours of not worrying about my parents
- Fifth grade daughter has sleepover with four girls at our house and makes a “chef’s breakfast” for them, including poached eggs (Mom is hovering over the “chef’s shoulders”)
- Make meals for my Dad, who is recovering at home alone
So welcome back from vacation! If you know someone living the crazy entrepreneurial life, how can you help? It’s always appreciated when someone asks how they can help, but an entrepreneur is on a crazy roller coaster and literally can’t express to you what they need done. Just do a kind gesture; it gives them energy and it means you thought about them, which is one of the most lasting things you can do. It’s as simple as sending them their favorite delivery food, flowers or showing up to shovel their sidewalk.
I think a lot of times in life we only let the horrible or time consuming things stick out in our memory. But look at how I used every minute of every day over those two weeks, not just helping my parents, but creating incredible moments with my kids and family.
Life sometimes overshadows that.
Reflecting on the crazy times in your life is important because you need to remember the good in it and not just dwell on the bad.