No entrepreneur will deny the existence of entrepreneur anxiety. We may just pretend to not be affected by it.
So here I am writing about something else entirely and a funny thought crossed my mind.
I compare starting and being in a relationship with doing same in business.
And discovered the similarities between starting/ being on an entrepreneurial journey and a romantic one.
What do they have in common you ask? It’s simply anxiety.
Perhaps you have a meeting with a likely investor. Or you mixed up the data you took to the meeting with your most important client.
Or you are tackling a difficult situation that has lingered for way too long.
All these can cause entrepreneur anxiety.
As an entrepreneur, you can relate to these things. The downs and turns of the entrepreneurship rollercoaster leaving you with the feeling of anxiety for most part of the journey.
Perhaps you just asked this fine chick out that seems to be way out of your league. Or the man of your dreams walked up to you and you missed it.
Maybe your love interest dumped you for someone more exciting compared to you.
Or you woke up to a nagging lover. It could also be a communication gap.
Most people won’t tell you the friction between them and their partners when they were in the “getting to know each other” phase.
Neither will they tell you the challenges involved in maintaining that relationship.
Just as most of your entrepreneur friends won’t tell you the challenges they face(d).
They only paint you rosy pictures of entrepreneurship. Hence why you decide(d) to venture into it.
You are solely responsible for your actions in your marriage. Likewise you are solely responsible for your actions in your business.
Being an entrepreneur can be hard, stressful and lonely. This is exactly how some people feel in their relationships.
Entrepreneur Anxiety: The Similarities.
Whether you are entering a new romance or starting a business in an unfamiliar terrain. There’s always that fear of not knowing what lies ahead.
Hence you are always asking questions and second guessing every decision taken.
Small Things Matter
Just as recording every small victory is important to boost confidence. It’s just as important to appreciate every little thing your partner does.
Doing too much will overwhelm you. Learn to delegate tasks to employees for the sake of your psychological health.
Likewise in relationships learn to shed some load off your chest and concentrate on building the romance.
In a romantic relationship the man is the leader. Though I’m not talking about a master – slave relationship. But a mutually respecting relationship.
Ditto for business. The entrepreneur is the leader of the organization. And his actions/ inactions can result in entrepreneur anxiety.
When the leader isn’t effective the followers are pointless which in turn creates anxiety for the leader.
Hence it’s the leader’s priority to get the right people on board.
What’s being brought to the table? Same way you ask what’s this lover of yours going to add to your life you ask what’s your business partner or investor going to add to your venture.
USP (Unique Selling Point)
What makes your business different from everyone out there? The customer should look forward to what unique thing? Why should your spouse be with you and not some random man/ woman?
Depression, despair, mood swings and suicidal thoughts. These happens to some people either when their heart gets broken or business takes a major downturn.
Lack of self confidence
A heart break or a major financial downturn always tells on self confidence. It shreds you of all positivity. It holds you back from being your happy-go, lucky self.
You would have to confront issues with your love interest. Same as your clients.
Though some people are afraid of confrontation; it’s unavoidable. This is a major cause of panic attacks and anxiety.
Choosing a partner. As a man you get to meet delectable ladies everyday and you are wondering which really qualifies as your mate. And that’s if she’s also going to be interested in you too or if she isn’t taken already.
In like manner in business before approaching investors you need to know if they believe in your line of business and if they will buy into your vision.
Also will that friend/ stranger agree to being your partner? Do you even have the same values? So many questions to ask.
These uncertainties can also cause some people entrepreneur anxiety.
How effective is your communicating skills? How well do you pass messages to your spouse or business partner/ employees without causing unnecessary chaos, fear and resistance?
Often referred to as the root of all evil. It causes despair in relationships likewise it induces entrepreneur anxiety too.
A lot of couples have parted ways due to money issues. Similarly a lot of business partnerships/ deals had the life snuffed out of them.
You can’t talk about relationship anxiety without these. In fact some people don’t want to marry just for the fear of divorce.
In similar fashion some people dread going into business or partnerships just for the fear of having to part ways and the plethora of issues that accompanies it.
These are just a few of the causes of entrepreneur anxiety. Either directly or indirectly these can cause entrepreneur anxiety when not properly managed.
In Conclusion: Entrepreneur Anxiety
The similar causes of anxiety are communication, choice, not delegating, not taking note of small victories and separation/ divorce.
Also depression, lack of self confidence, money problems, confrontation, value, leadership, unique selling point and starting out.
I realised entrepreneur anxiety is real and unavoidable at some point. You just have to deal with it and get moving.
It’s easier to deal with if you enlist help.
What we can do is try to reduce it so it doesn’t get the best of us.
Can you think of some other similar situations between being an entrepreneur and being in a relationship that cause anxiety? Please share.