The Emotional Roller Coaster of Entrepreneurship
I love being an entrepreneur. I get to work day and night on things I’m absolutely passionate about - from starting my own company to working on other companies and side projects that have the same values as I do and that I completely love. Although it’s so fulfilling building a company that you’ve dreamed out, it’s not as easy as people think it is. Being the founder and CEO of Noomi, I take on so many roles for the whole company from the management, marketing, finance, sales, communications, photography, website, social media, and continuously completing all the nitty-gritty tasks. I also work for two other companies - HER Summit as the Director of Social Media and Brand Communications and Zuri Curated Events as the Marketing Manager.
Having 3 jobs means you’re constantly working. Every day and every night. You’re working late at night, on the weekends, while commuting on public transportation, while on vacation and there will never be a single day where you’re not thinking about work.
The moment I open my eyes in the morning, I already have over 10 tasks to do on my phone before I can even get out of bed. And then the day will consist of meetings, planning, networking, phone calls, and hours on my laptop and phone to get all the tasks done. The thing about being an entrepreneur is you never really “clock-out” from work. In a more traditional job, when you leave your office you have the choice to come back home and rest for the day but the struggle of being an entrepreneur is that we don’t know when to actually stop and give ourselves a break.
To give you an example, I recently went to London, England few weeks ago with my sister who has a 9-5 job. And because of that, she unfortunately had to leave back to Toronto earlier than I did since she doesn’t have as much flexibility with her works hours as I do. However, having flexibility and control with your work comes with a cost. While we were there, she got to be fully unplugged from work and treated those few days as full vacation days. On the other hand, I would stay up at 3am every night to make sure I got all the work done on my end that I couldn’t do during the day. So I didn’t get much sleep that trip since I was trying to balance it all.
Question - Which do you prefer?
Would you rather have a 5 day vacation where you can fully unplug from work or a 10 day vacation where you still had to constantly work throughout the day?
I absolutely love the hustle and I always had the drive to constantly work, which is why being an entrepreneur really fulfills me. But as you guys know, it’s an emotional roller coaster at times with some days you feel like you’re on a high loving what you’re doing and some days you’re just overwhelmed and stressed out with everything.
That’s what happened to me few weeks ago. I started feeling the most anxious I’ve ever been. I even noticed that the moment I wake up in the morning, my heart would beat so fast, feeling that I’m ALREADY behind on work even though I just started my day. But I was so confused on why that was - I’m so used to the hustle, the constant work and love working on my passion projects, so why was I all of a sudden feeling so down?
I took a deep breath and sat myself down to find the reason behind it. That’s when I realized that I legitimately couldn't even remember the last time I took a break from work. Even when I was meeting my friends, they would be still “work dates.” And even wanted to catch-up on Netflix shows, I would be on my phone throughout it all and be focused on my work there. My daily routine would be to sleep at 3-4am, wake up at 9am to work, and do the cycle all over again. Including weekends.
I haven't had a full day to unplug from my work in the longest time. When I noticed this, I promised myself to go out for few hours on a specific day to take a breather. However, while I was walking around the town that day, messages on my phone kept popping up for work that I had to answer immediately. So “the break” wasn’t much of a break. And every time I do take a break, I always felt a sense of guilt that I’m wasting my time and that I should be working instead. Yes, it’s cool to be your own boss and creating your own hours, but it also builds that pressure for you to never give yourself a break.
The life of an entrepreneur is an emotional roller coaster and a constant battle of trying to balance it all. That’s when I thought that I should write this blog post. I wanted to be real with you and I know so many entrepreneurs are feeling the same thing. I wanted to let you know if you are feeling the same way that don’t worry, we’re here for each other. I believe in you and your dreams. Keep hustling! ...but also...take. a. break.
On a positive note - with all the challenges and stress we entrepreneurs go through on a daily basis, I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s SO stressful. But it’s also SO fulfilling. So if what you’re doing fulfills your dream and makes you happy, keep doing it. You got this!