Entrepreneurs Aren’t Immune
Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from a reflection written by the author about his own experience through the pandemic, the toll it had on him, and the insights he gleaned and wanted to share.
I can relate. 2020 was a brutal year filled with some pretty ugly ‘firsts’ for people alive today. Most of us said ‘good riddance’ to 2020 and we ground into 2021 hoping for a light at the end of the tunnel. We quickly figured out this pandemic was here to stay for a while. It was a lot; for some it was everything. I find it quite easy to relate to those questioning life and circumstances and wanting a change. 2021 saw the ‘Great Resignation,’ where literally millions of employees left their jobs for something different. I did too.
I rolled into 2021 absolutely fried. I needed something to change because I was working constantly and the toll on my health was unacceptable. Like the millions who quit their jobs, I started contemplating life and looking around.
Some of you know I made the decision mid-2021 to leave Flexure in the capable hands of my team and go to work full-time for a client. I made the jump in July and transitioned mostly out of Flexure by the fall. It did not take me long to realize I had made a mistake. After just a few months with the new company, I put a plan in motion to work my way back to Flexure by the start of the New Year.
I feel incredibly blessed and fortunate that I have a team at Flexure that rolled gracefully with my search for meaning. I am also very appreciative of the open dialogue and grace given to me by the owner and team of the company I went to work for. As a peer, I know what it means to put your hopes in people who end up with different plans.
I learned an incredible amount through this process. I share the following with hopes my hard-learned lessons are meaningful to you:
- While they do wear capes, entrepreneurs aren’t bulletproof. The past 2 years have been difficult for everyone. Tough business decisions that impact your life or the lives of your team can be a lasting, heavy burden for business owners. The long hours, the employees who disappoint you, the never-ending regulations from the government, your own fears and anxiety about the market or COVID all played a role in the last 2 years. Entrepreneurs are wired to have the answers and often find it hard to ask for help or reach out to talk things through. These aren’t normal times, and you aren’t bulletproof. Reach out to those you trust to talk. Reach out to me. I’ll be happy to share coffee with you and listen.
- Entrepreneurs are not immune. They are human. Of all people, they bore easily and are constantly searching for the next opportunity (shiny thing!). Step very cautiously through major business or life changes right now.
- Care for yourself as much as your team. If you aren’t at your best, you can’t be inspiring for your team. People need inspiration and leadership right now and to your team, you are that. You can only be that if you are healthy. Force time away, create strong boundaries between work and home life, get out and get some exercise and find your own inspiration that refills your tank.
- What you do is important. It’s not everyone that can build a business. What you do is important. You create economy. You create jobs. Your business name is on the back of your sports jerseys. We need more of that right now. We need creative entrepreneurs to solve world problems right now. What you do is important!
I was reminded by a friend of a wonderful quote that resonated deeply with me after this experience.
The quote goes like this:
Take care, make it a great year, and water your grass!
We’ll see you out there.
The Flexure Team