I'm always thinking about our company: at dinner with friends, on the commute home and even outside in the middle of the wilderness. I wake up in the morning with new ideas and I am constantly reminded that we cannot pursue all of our ideas, so I have to write them down and then keep them on the back burner for later. As an entrepreneur, I'm constantly processing what needs to get done that day or that week.
I had never really tried to articulate exactly what was keeping me up at night, I just knew that there were lots of things I was constantly going over in my head, whether i was consciously aware of it or not.
I recently met with a well respected entrepreneur and investor in Montreal and he asked me what kept me up at night. It was a great question, and quite a different experience being asked in person versus reading articles written by other entrepreneurs about the subject.
Ironically I spent most of that night staring at the ceiling thinking about that question, thinking about my journey as an entrepreneur to-date and how our team has evolved.
His question helped to center a lot of my thoughts on important things in the company that were being executed or conceptualized on a daily or weekly basis. Before, they were just things that needed to get done, so they got done.
We can't always be treading water as entrepreneurs; we need to take some time in our day to reflect and to increase our awareness of the present while considering how we're going to accomplish a long term vision.
What's interesting is how the things that seem important or challenging at the beginning become the subsequent building blocks that are incorporated as part of your day-to-day routine. What used to be considered stressful is now something habitual. It doesn't get any easier, you just get better.
And I think part of the problem is getting into the state of mind where you are "thinking fast and thinking slow". We have the tendency to think fast too much of the time due to the sheer volume of tasks that we need to get done. However, operating like that leaves no "down time".
We need to make it an intentional process to stop and consider how our team's collective energy is being used throughout the week and whether every member's effort is being aligned towards a common goal. We need a birds-eye view of long-term goals, with a zoomed in view of the day to day tasks that will get us there. We need to be mindful of what is keeping us up at night.
- Mike Blicker, founder of WealthTab