The Dark Side Of Entrepreneurship
Sitting on my couch, alone at 2am, thinking to myself, this isn’t worth it. I just wanted it all to end. I was trying everything I could to ensure that I wouldn’t wake up the next morning. The thing that didn’t make sense is by society’s standards I had it all.
More money than I could spend, toys, houses, adventures, and a gorgeous bikini model girlfriend. By the age of 32 I was a multi-millionaire having built 6, 7 & multi 7 figure businesses in a brick & mortar space, online education industry & in the Software As A Service world.
But as I sat there, tears streaming down my face in the dark, feeling worthless confused & alone I realized; I have an addiction. An addiction so STRONG that it could crush EVERYTHING in my life.
But it wasn’t normal drugs or alcohol. It was something far more dangerous than those.
I know I am not the only addict who will read this article. Our addiction however, is our BUSINESSES.
It’s the most addictive drug known to man, there is no warning labels, no FDA restrictions, you can get it any where at any time, no limits, no safety guards, & no instructions. You can go days, weeks, months, & even years binging on it without stopping.
You get all the glorious highs & the devastating lows as any other type of drug.
It can ruin your health, your finances, your mind & even your relationships.
Our Drug of choice is called Entrepreneurship.
I’m writing this article today not because I am proud of this, or want to be writing it, but because it needs to be said. You must first be aware of this in order to prevent what can be the fruit of good & prosperity turning into a deadly disease.
So of the top reason businesses fail is not because they were unsuccessful, on the contrary they were successful. Many of them scaled too big, too quickly, they didn’t properly protect their minds, &/or they lost their purpose in their business.
We see this occasionally in the headlines from celebrities & influencers such as Mike Tyson making hundreds of millions & then losing it all in 5 years. Robin Williams, who was one of the most loved comedians of his time, ends up taking his own life.
Even in lottery winners such as the preacher Billy Bob Harrell Jr who won a 31 million dollar jackpot. Then within 20 months he was divorced, estranged from his children, broke & eventually took his own life. However, most of the time we never hear about it. These failures of success stories simply go under the radar unnoticed, and not discussed.
Entrepreneurs, we function in many ways like professional athletes. We deal with high amounts of excitement, success, & leadership responsibilities. We also shoulder the burdens of much of the stress, the losses & the failures. We have to lead the team, be confident & decisive. However everything hinders on our ability to perform.
If we fail our families don’t eat, we become an embarrassment, our employees become jobless. Essentially what feels like the weight of the world rests on our backs to make the impossible happen.
The difference between professional athletes & us is they have an entire program supporting them. They have nutritionists, high performance psychologists, support systems, team mates, etc. We usually have no one but ourselves.
All of these factors together cause us to fall susceptible to several prominent psychological complexes. Here are a few of the most common.
- The Jonah Complex – The belief that “You Don’t Deserve Success”
- Imposter Syndrome -The belief that “You aren’t the person everyone thinks you are. (You’re a fraud).
- Tall Poppy Syndrome – When Competitors & Envious People (friends/family/clients) Start Attacking to prevent or take our success.
- Comparative Complex. (Your Self Worth connected to your Success) – We are never quite there, still need to do more to be successful; so then we are never quite good enough.
Success is an elusive, tricky ideal. What was success to us at one point in our journey is old news at the next point. We don’t celebrate the wins enough, and are constantly looking forward to what we need or want to accomplish.
These complexes plague most entrepreneurs. We hide it, bury it, & ignore it until it becomes impossible to avoid. Ultimately causing many problems in our lives from self-sabotage, to health problems to depression to family/relationship disasters.
How To Prevent the Failure of Success:
Scale Big But Stay Small – Hustle Hard but stay lean & agile in the business.
Protect Your Mind Like You Do Your Body & Business
You Need A Mission Driven Business To Keep Your Purpose Strong
These may seem simple, and hopefully they are, but they are crucial components to preventing the failure of success. Simply implementing these even a small component of them can make a huge difference in your mental health, happiness, & longevity of your success.
Now is the point where I ask you to take a look in the mirror. What do you see staring back at you? How do you feel about that face staring back at you? Do you recognize it?
I know when I finally had this realization an entire decade had passed. I didn’t know who I was anymore. I was not happy with the person staring back at me. Years & years of pain, hurt, stress & avoidance was staring back at me.
We aren’t given a playbook or a map when we start out in business. We have to figure it out for our selves. Unfortunately this is one area that is typically not discussed openly amongst entrepreneurs.
We are left to suffer in silence alone, ashamed to bring up any weakness to others who seem to have all their stuff together. (News flash they don’t have it together either!!)
You can’t avoid this. You need to address it just like any other KPI or Milestone in your business. What we measure & track gets done. We can’t ignore it.
So please be proactive. Take time to evaluate these areas of your life & business & self. If you haven’t put an emphasis on these make an effort to start. You don’t have to be perfect; you just need to be aware and start somewhere.
Talk with someone if you are feeling down & defeated. You can even contact me if you don’t know who to speak with. I surely don’t have it all together, & won’t lie to you as if I do, but I will listen and offer a supportive ear to help you out!
Know that by acknowledging this doesn’t make you less successful, or less of a “hero” in your business. It actually makes you more. It allows you to be more. It allows you to love more. It allows you to grow more. It gives you more.
Because in the end, just like any “addict” us entrepreneurial addicts won’t ever get over our connection to business, nor do we need to. We just need to be acutely aware of it, and take action steps to stay on top of it.
All of us see entrepreneurship as one of the greatest things in the entire world. I understand the drive to Hustle Hard & put everything else behind the goal of growing your business, but I also know what happens if you don’t focus on these aspects as well.
It hurts my heart to hear of entrepreneurs failing. Especially after finally achieving success. The world needs you. It needs you to succeed & to win!!
You are the key to the solution of all the world’s problems. Don’t let the Failure of success hold you back.
I don’t expect any one of you to work less, or tone down your ambition. That’s not the goal here. The goal is to build these fail safes into your business now.
Establish a purpose into the business that drives you and your company forward that is NOT monetary or growth related but impact focused.
Be careful on trying to scale too big to quick. Grow Grow Grow, but stay lean & agile in the business.
Protect your mind. If you are in business you should consider talking with a high performance psychologist. You should take de stress & mental detox periods. You should have boundaries on what limit you let things into your business & life that create these mental stresses. Protect your mind.
Because entrepreneurship can be lonely, it will be difficult & it can knock you down.
But if you take these action steps and start building them into your business you will succeed.
So go out Hustle Hard & Scale Big but implement these safeguards into your business to prevent the failure of success.
Remember it’s Scale Or Fail & the Choice Is Yours.
Hustle Hard & Scale Big
Dr. Mark T Wade
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About Dr. Mark T Wade:
Dr. Mark T Wade having 2 doctorates went from a brick & mortar clinic to online multi-million dollar education business in the health space. He has created a top rated podcast, a sold out mastermind for entrepreneurs featuring the likes of John Lee Dumas, Pat Flynn, Lewis Howes & Jeff Walker, & a one of a kind SAAS company called Virtual Summits Software.
With his brand HustleAndScale.com Dr. Mark helps entrepreneurs scale their side hustles with a technique called the One-Day Summit Formula. The same strategy he used to build that multi million-dollar business in the health space. (Still a success today: American Posture Institute). It’s one of the top list building techniques available & it even works for beginners and brick & mortar businesses.
Dr. Mark has expert insights on going from side hustle to success, losing a million dollar business – the lessons learned, but his most popular message for most audiences come from the list building strategy that has helped thousands kick start, launch & grow their businesses (valid for any industry or niche).
Read More Here: The Full Story