Entrepreneur Bipolar Disorder – It Is Real

As I just passed the year anniversary of starting Jonas and my 26th birthday I have been doing a lot of reflection. I thought I would share 1 lesson I have learned over the last year of starting a company. I want to apologize ahead of time for the negative tone of this post, but have no fear I do leave you with some positive ways to combat the woes of start-up life!

Everyone always told me it would be hard starting my own company and to be honest they were all right; but, I think they are right for different reasons than you would expect. You would assume starting a company would be difficult because it is financially draining and there is no right or wrong answer to your problems. Although these are true there is 1 thing I have come across that makes starting your own company exponentially more difficult.

A healthy personal life is in constant combat with a successful entrepreneurial life. What do I mean by that? When you start your own company you have to be married to it. You have to eat, sleep, and breath the idea. That absolutely gets in the way of you having a “normal” personal life, whatever that may be.

It starts with the little things, social media for example. Say goodbye to personal social media use, because your brain will only be thinking how can I make this into an awesome post for my company’s Instagram! Now, you may say no big deal I could do without my social media. That is fair, I’d argue not being able to see your friends updates is a bit more frustrating than you think, but that is fair. However, the one thing I’m guessing you can’t deal with is what I am coining entrepreneur bipolar disorder (EBP).

EBP is no different from being bipolar except its root cause is starting your own company. Yes, starting your own company makes you bipolar. You make a sale – Hooray! You are so happy you can’t contain yourself. A deal falls through – crap! You are so mad, you race through all the things you could’ve done better. All of that comes home with you, because you put so much into your company and it is such a representation of you, it is really hard to not take the day to day success and failures personally. The worst part is I’m not punished by EBP, but my friends, family, and girlfriend are; resulting in broken and hardened relationships.

How do you win the personal life v entrepreneurial battle. With no certainty I say first you have to have a hobby. Being able to leave your workspace for an hour or so a day and do something you love whether it is rock-climbing, running, surfing, or dancing will allow you to transition from one part of your life to the next. It isn’t easy because no start-up business owner has an hour a day to spare, but taking that hour will keep you from getting burnt out. Trust me!

Second, I’d say you have to try and relax. Life is way too short to be unhappy, I am learning this the hard way. Remember why you started your company in the first place. Let that passion come out in all parts of your life. Be passionate about your friends and family. Allow yourself that time to be free from the stress of work and it will bring new life and passion to your start-up. Like I said, this is not easy, as they all told you starting a company isn’t easy, but if you find your rhythm you can make it easier.

I hope this helps aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking to go change the world find balance. Life is too short to be unhappy. The love for your friends, family, and faith should dictate how you navigate your business, not the other way around.

As always – Stay Dry, Give Water, Make a Difference.

Josh