„An entrepreneur is an individual who creates a new business, bearing most of the risks and enjoying most of the rewards. The process of setting up a business is known as entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur is commonly seen as an innovator, a source of new ideas, goods, services, and business/or procedures.“
Based on this definition, I’ve been an „entrepreneur“ my whole life….at the High School, at the Gymnasium, at the University and then in a working environment. This was a positive asset in my life, but it had a back side….
Working, hustling, for hours on hours also weekends, has been my default lifestyle for a long time.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, or an A+ student in medical school, or a parent who has way too many responsibilities, read this article for powerful insights.
Especially when working as a consultant, a „7-days-week“ (from 08:00am – 08:00pm) can become a normal and constant routine, over a long period of time. This was what it happened to me.
I started to become aware of this highly intensive working pattern (with very few regeneration pauses at day) more consciously in 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, by asking myself questions like:
Why do I think I’m „worthless“, when I’m not working?
Why have I attached so much meaning when „hustling“, and meaninglessness when „not working“ or „relaxing“?
Am I really incapable of just sitting down and simply enjoying my life?
I started to ask myself these questions because I had finally worked hard enough to actually create my dream life, and exist in a life I’m proud to live.
I had earned moremoney than I had expected during my medical school to do in my life, by being myself and doing things I enjoyed. It honestly didn’t feel like “work.”
I impacted hundreds of thousands of people with positive contents, messages, and moving the needle forward with my influence.
I traveled all around the world and practically spoke in every major city in Europe about my message and purposein life. People would walk up to me with tears in the eyes, take pictures with me, and tell me deep and personal stories, and how I inspired them to do better.
Starting in 2014, when I founded my own agency – UPGRADE YOUR STRATEGY – after so many early lonely mornings waking up at 4:30 am, sacrificing, taking entrepreneurial risks, trying my best to work on my physical and mental health, making time for my family & friends, and then putting my head down at night…
I did it. I worked hard for years daily obsessively, to set myself up for the rest of my life and give me a foundation that would change my life’s trajectory.
And then my body & brain started to warn me…
I started drinking more and more coffee to meet my increased energy needs.
I didn’t feel as much happiness as I felt doing things I loved to do.
It all became about efficiency. My mind would constantly calculate how much time something would take me, and if it was worth doing or not, incessantly.
In some rare instances, I would feel stomach pain I hadn’t felt in my whole life.
I was checking off all the „to-dos-boxes“ and paying close care to my nutrition, stress management habits, meditation, sleep, etc.
But, I was still facing a sense of negative stress, which I didn’t know how to deal with.
After speaking with mentors, experimenting, researching, I concluded it was because I was working too hard and too often, without legitimate breaks & rest at day and during the weekends.
Believe it or not, humans are not robots.
We often believe that if we don’t wake up in the morning, and immediately start working from 9 am, nonstop to 8 pm then there’s somehow something wrong with us.
This is the recipe for creating chronic stress and inflammation in your body and brain.
God forbid, pay attention to this now, because what happens when you burn out?
You will at minimum spend 1-3 years having to rebuild yourself if you even figure out how to sustainably rebuild yourself. Young or old.
The danger here is especially for young people who haven’t learned the natural breaks and limitations that many grown adults have painfully learned on their journey.
What I Started Doing Differently
Every day, I stopped working around 5-7 pm (non-stop).
I created an end-of-the-work day routine, that involved a mindful walk, cooking, socially interacting, and learning about what personally interested me all night until I fell asleep.
I stopped working on the weekends. Well, not entirely but I would try, or at least limit myself to very specific things. For example, writing or social media content. For example as a medical writer and book author, I technically get paid to write, but I also really enjoy it and exercises my mind in a relaxing and exciting way.
I started to concentrate all challenging meetings before noon. I realized I needed time to work independently on creative tasks, only I can do when I’m by myself. I dedicated the first part of the day to meetings with challenging topics and intensive communicative tasks, and then having „creative meetings“ from 1 pm to 6 pm.
I dedicated Fridays to creative work only. Aside from the occasional meeting or two, I spend my Fridays creating, expressing myself, planning ahead.
Should You Do Anything Differently?
Maybe. I’m honestly not sure.
I’m sure it depends on who you are, what you want, and what you are willing to do to get it.
I’m sure some of you need to spend more time with your family and build relationships.
Maybe some of you have to work on the weekends, but can figure out something that works for you during the weekend.
I know some of you will read this article and say “Marco, I’m not privileged enough to not work weekends because I need the money.”
I totally understand you should do whatever you think is best for you now, but also consider your future self in the process too.
One thing I know for sure is, life is limited. Pick your sacrifices very carefully.
Understand the cost you are paying, to get money.
Understand the cost you are paying, to get social status.
Understand the cost you are paying, to become successful.
Over the last several years I’ve devoted my life to helping introverted, shy, socially anxious creators, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and professionals move these mental health obstacles out of their life so they can get busy being their real selves in front of anyone.
If you are interested in potentially inquiring about my services for yourself or someone else, please fill out this form below.
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