It was one of those mornings when I was worried because I needed to generate some new business very fast. I woke up at 4 AM.
I grabbed my smartphone and began reading an article about the rising number of successful startup owners, CEO’s and high paid managers -- who decided to end their life prematurely -- even though it seemed they had everything.
Being passionate about peoples' performance and the way our minds work, I’ve kept asking myself if these human beings could have avoided this desperation by meeting the right person or people, and if they had found the needed resources, before implementing such a final, terminal decision.
As a person involved in developing more than one business at the same time, and also coaching, mentoring, speaking at events and writing articles, I felt on many occasions my struggles were simply not understood by the people around me. While I have to admit that I have encountered many very bad moments in the process of developing myself as an entrepreneur, ending my own life was never a real option. Yes, it may look like an easy way out, but my sincere belief is that this would simply crush the people around me.
I decided back then, as I continued through my struggles, I would commit myself to using these struggles to grow. I would work on myself and reach the next levels of development in my work life and in my personal life -- no matter what.
Our Culture -- The Quick Fix
It is a well known truth that we are living in a culture that teaches us that for absolutely any discomfort, there is a magic medication to be prescribed. Of course, I don't want to minimize the benefits of the latest medical discoveries, but what I want to point to is the fact that before going the route of a quick fix by way of medicine, we may want to learn to use the gifts waiting to be discovered within our own minds, bodies and souls.
The medicines are all around us. And, now we can Google every symptom and find ten potential diseases we may have -- and twenty pills we can take for each health problem -- and that's not counting the stuff we see on TV to mix with what the doctor may prescribe. We often choose to push medicine after medicine in to our body's, which has the possibility of provoking a side effect, especially when we mix various chemical together.
In the last 50 years there have been many medical breakthroughs that we would not want to discount in any way, however, in those same 50 years there has also been a great enlightenment in the study of human development and performance. Literally, there are so many discoveries and solutions available to keep ourselves healthy in the first place. We may do well to think prevention first -- so that we won't have to go scurrying to the doctor.
We certainly look at prevention first for our startups, our careers and work, why do we not, then, take better care of our bodies and our personal lives? We cannot treat our businesses in a poor way and expect a quick fix -- neither can we treat our body in a poor way and expect a quick fix.
We live in a time in history when we know much better what it will take for success in business, and in personal life. We can take advantage of the many avenues available out there to help ourselves. Training, coaching, friendships, retreats, masterminds, walking, meditation, affirmations, exercise, incantations and many other areas are readily accessible in which to support our health and life. And all these are at our fingertips, without touching the chemistry of the body.
So in that morning at 4 AM, reading that article about lives lost in the pursuit of major business goals, I said to myself how grateful I am that I was able to find ways for myself to avoid a major disaster.
Fast forward to today. I have the pleasure and responsibility to start writing for Startup Grind, so I really trust that this article will reach the ones who may need such information at the right moment before being too late.
My promise is that I will share the best content I have related to mindset, health, startups, development, marketing and social media marketing. These are all avenues where I have a lot of practical day to day experience and success.
Building a startup, getting a new idea out into the world, raising money -- all of it is hard work.
If you want to follow this route it is best to start using properly what you already have from Mother Nature and grow your life and your startup from there.
Here are 10 things you can start today to avoid high levels of stress, burnout, illness and even suicide while building a great startup.
1. Get A Daily Empowering Morning Routine
There are studies conducted on the most important people in business and it seems that the majority of them have something like a morning routine in place. This is a truth. However, in the current society today, there it is promoted one of the biggest lies. The lie says, “I don’t have time.” Don't believe it. The reality is that what time we have is the same for anybody being alive – there are 24 hours. What creates the difference is the way we are using those 24 hours.
The major problem seems to be that we don’t allocate enough time for ourselves due to the demands of the world around us. The best time to find more time is to set aside one-two hours every morning, five days a week before everybody else wakes up. This time is only for yourself. In the long term you will find these hours so powerful that you will see how important they become for your current and future success.
Tony Robbins (my absolute favorite coach) has a concept – "The Hour Of Power," and Robin Sharma speaks about, "The 5 AM Club." You can find a lot of information about both of these mentors on TED talks, online, through one of their seminars, and most of their speeches and helps are also on YouTube. If you go through their trainings on this subject, there are two different ways to tackle the same idea: the morning routine.
As True As The Law Of Gravity
At the start of every morning, when we wake up, our system starts to reboot itself. It can be amazingly beneficial if you help this process along by going outside and walk, jog, run, practice affirmations, or by reviewing the planning for that day and even read a little bit. If you wake up at 5AM – and many life and business achievers are doing just that -- you have 1-2 hours for yourself -- enough time for exercise, reading and even meditation.
If you feel that you are too lazy or you don't have time, post on social media that you want to find a buddy and do it together and ... you will find both interested parties and also people who are already doing this. I credit this habit to helping me run my first marathon in less than one year of training, maintain my sanity in hard and crushing times and finding the resources to come back from low points every time. I come back better and stronger.
2. Start To Practice Meditation
Years ago, some people may have thought that meditation was a practice only for monks. Meditation has become mainstream, and by merely dipping your toes in, or diving in the deep end, meditation can improve your health. It will help you become more centered, focused and more productive than you ever have been before.
You can find lot of resources online, and of course there are apps for meditation. Most beginner apps are free, so you can just start. You may wish to test more than one type of meditation to see how you resonate with each one. Many people don't realize that it takes a little practice, and some feel it is a waste of time at the beginning, but as with anything in life, if you do your due diligence -- the rewards will be great.
January 2011 was when I started to practice meditation -- and almost daily since then. Sometimes I have used meditation as a preparation before a very important activity. It simply works!
3. Become Spiritual Even If You Don’t See Yourself As A Spiritual Person
I’m not talking about religion. By becoming spiritual I want to make clear the idea that what I am talking about is the need to expand your awareness -- to see and feel that within and around us there are many aspects about everything, which we are not taught in any school I'm aware of.
For example, besides our physical body we have our energy body and watch -- Society has rules that you must be aware of if you are to be successful. There are also laws of nature which are powerful and we can expand our awareness of everything around us.
It has been studied over and over and the information we have points out that many of the problems we have in life came from early childhood. Various happenings made us start to believe that "we are not enough."
We cannot afford to let these thoughts take us over if we are to succeed in business and in life. These thoughts can becomes like a self fulfilling prophecy and can screw-up your life. Don't let these them. Stay aware that these thoughts are not true about you and it is not true about your business.
With the correct help from a specialized person, this “I’m not enough” syndrome can be eliminated. For sure you know at least one life coach. Make the first step, ask for a free strategy session, most of them are able to offer this kind of beginning incentive. Start from there.
4. Be Part Of A Mastermind Group, Write Down Your Goals, Always Make A Plan And Follow Through
A mastermind group is a support group for people who want to grow in a certain area. The mastermind groups are online, offline, or a combination of both. Some of them are free and I've seen ones that are truly -- expensive. But, by being part of a mastermind group, you have access to other people who may share the same problems and struggles with personal life or with business, and they can help you.
Write down your goals and review them daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. Adjust these goals as soon as you achieve one of them.
The habit of planning itself will solve major challenges for you over time. Follow your goals as you would a GPS -- it works.
5. Practice Gratitude – Not Limited Just To The Morning Routine
Gratitude is a simple exercise - you can do it in the morning or in the evening before sleep and also you can repeat it during the day. This process has been scientifically studied over and over with experimentation and stats which you can find online. During a gratitude session you basically thank life for what you have been creating. At the same time you can ask for the space to receive more of what you are already thankful for.
No matter how tough is life for you right now I can bet that you have a lot of reasons to be grateful if you want to be. You can also focus on the misery. What you focus on in your life is almost guaranteed that you will experience more of the same.
The entrepreneur coach, Dan Sullivan has a principle for closing the gap – being grateful for what we’ve done until now. Whenever you are feeling down, think how far you've come, how many things you've learned along the way, and you will have an immediate shift in your overall mindset.
6. Have A Rescue Money Fund All The Time
If you are down to your last dollar it's hard to save. But work toward this goal of saving -- even one dollar at a time. At least while you are building your startup, think what you can do for extra cash. Maybe some type of freelancing services, sell a course, find an odd job -- but find something you can do for some side income.
When you don't have enough resources to live, it will be very painful and it will take your focus from building your next project. If you allocate your time correctly you can manage some side projects which will help you live a better life and support the development of your new business.
7. Make Time For A Love Relationship
The downside of this advice is that the loving person will be both your witness and your judge. But, when you are alone, depression can be really, really powerful. The person who becomes your witness and your judge can also help you to escape depression. Of course, I don't say to use a love relationship as a shield to depression. Just stay open for a relationship. Don't discount the possibility.
8. Keep In Touch With Your Parents And Other Family Members
Be grateful for the people you have in your life even if they are far away. Today technology allows you to keep in touch with them all the time and this will make you feel much better. By being connected with them you will never miss the sense of belonging which is essential both in happy and hard times.
9. Get A Coach Or A Mentor Even If You Can’t Afford One
You can find a mentor in your mastermind group or you can search for a mentor outside of the group. This is crucial. Find a mentor or a coach with practical experience in what you want to achieve. This will save you a lot of time, money and errors. If you can’t afford one search for videos that can help you. Search for mentoring programs funded by the government or other associations or even offer your services in exchange for coaching and mentoring.
10. Don’t Learn From People Who Never Practice What They Preach
Learning business from people who have never had a business is a very dangerous game. I can tell you from experience -- I personally did it and caused major disasters in my professional world.
Today it is pretty easy to become an authority in the eyes of the audience. Somebody will create a book, a team, a website, some videos and you can learn a lot from impostors. Then, when you apply the information you can get burned like never before. Look carefully. Watch, assess, and find the right people with experience -- and learn from them.
As you can see, the main resource you have to invest in first, is your time. If you say, "I don't have time!," you are lying to yourself. I will say that you have time: cut watching TV, beer time hanging with friends, or other activities which don't really bring a lot of value in your life. Some decisions can be uncomfortable. Please take my advice: if you want to grow you need to get out from your comfort zone -- there simply is no other way around this.
Next, if you resonate with the ideas from this article start the implementation right away. No matter how hard it is, just implement, implement, implement. Improve on the way and improve as you go further.
Besides overcoming stress, poor health and even avoiding killing yourself, you will see that the opportunities ahead are much bigger than you could imagine before. All success!