Sharing our lives with other entrepreneurs supports us, not just with practical advice and feedback, but because watching and listening to other entrepreneurs going through similar things supports our own choices and erodes the influence of other people in our lives who might not get it, especially when it comes to our work schedules.
Don’t get me wrong, I encourage entrepreneurs to have a work/life balance because it is soooo easy to just continue sitting at the computer (or whatever) to keep working, especially if that extra time leads to more money, which for many of us, it does.
It’s one of the reasons I encourage us all to create so we have some things we can leverage to make money more easily.
But, more to the point here, I’ve gotten grief for my hours and time worked from non-entrepreneur friends more than almost anything else.
And … it bothers me.
As Kerwin Rae says in the video below, it’s often given in a way that attempts to sabotage our success (albeit unconsciously) because there is little or no attempt to understand our perspective.
I may be working on a Friday night at 7pm because I took the entire day off. Maybe I did something big and exhausting on Thursday and I rested on Friday, or maybe I just sat around all day and contemplated my navel because I was in a creative birthing process, or any number of other things. Or maybe I’m simply working on a Friday at 7pm because I WANT to. Because the ideas are cookin’ and I’m in flow.
But, whatever the reason, in the instances that annoy me, there doesn’t seem to be any attempt from the person challenging my behavior to understand WHY I’m working at 7pm on Friday, there is only an attempt to stop the behavior and make it wrong.
Whereas, another entrepreneur could say, “Yeah, it sounds like you’re being productive, but you also felt bad about how this project has gone, are you just beating yourself up?” or “Cool! It sounds like you’re working it. We’ll miss you, but have fun! Let me know when you’re done with it and we can celebrate.” or “You know, this IS the seventh straight day you’ve worked late. Is there someone you can hire to help you with this, or will the client REALLY care if it’s a day late?”
Of course, someone being an entrepreneur or not doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re more open to connection, but overall, I’ve found that because entrepreneurs also get the ‘lifestyle’ they can offer more support.
And when you’re the only one you know who is struggling to send invoices, market yourself, find the right language, make clients happy, write your book, and update your website ….
…it can be really hard to tell people, “No thanks. I know it seems weird, but I’m just going to take care of myself and my business right now.”
I recently had a great conversation with another entrepreneur friend about this. He gave a talk about the feeling of RELIEF that comes from creating your thing in the world. And I totally agree with that. It’s relief. It’s not bliss, it’s relief.
And yes, it feels good, but it looks AWFUL. The creative process is messy.
And every time I create something, a class, a new company, my book I’m working on, it looks like I’m in hell. I’m glued to my comptuer, or I’m stomping around and gnashing my teeth, or I’m face down on the bed whimpering. I’m a mess.
And, I’m totally willing to admit that this might just be MY creative process. But I don’t think so.
And for people who also create a lot, we champion it. I can be around someone who is in that state of distress and make them tea, pet them, and feed them snacks when they’re hungry.
But for someone who doesn’t get it, it looks like misery. And it can make people VERY uncomfortable.
I’ve had this issue in several relationships where they try to stop me from ‘working so hard’ because they’re uncomfortable watching me go through it. And it’s not about me, so it’s not supportive.
It’s just about stopping their own discomfort.
That’s my main argument for having an entrepreneurial tribe.
Know anyone else who needs an entrepreneurial herd? Invite them to join our Facebook group, The Entrepreneur Playce.