As entrepreneurs/authorpreneurs we have a great deal of opportunity, flexibility and freedom available to us, which provides us with a lot of power. But as a wise man once said “with great power comes great responsibility”. (Bonus points if you know where that comes from.) However that responsibility quite often results in one seriously overwhelmed entrepreneur.
Not only do you have to really know your stuff (that’s the technician side of being an entrepreneur). But you also have to know how to handle the accounting, human resources, marketing, sales… and don’t forget to do the dishes, the laundry and take out the garbage! It pretty much feels like a never ending list.
Now add to the mix that you suddenly need to become a guru in all aspects of getting your business online. You need a website, content for that website, social media accounts to share that content, a plan on what to create, when to share it, where to share it, then you get to figure out online advertising.
And as per my article last week, let’s not forget the pressures of society insisting that we take time to smell the roses as well!
Is it any wonder that you end up being an overwhelmed entrepreneur?
To help get through this, don’t forget your motivation for being an entrepreneur.
This is an important factor when faced with being an overwhelmed entrepreneur.
We all know that being overwhelmed wasn’t the goal we set out to achieve when we made the decision to turn our passion into a business. So part of the process of dealing with overwhelm is to remind ourselves about our motivation.
[Tweet “Why did you start your business? That’s your anchor.”]
Why did you choose the path of being an entrepreneur in the first place?
What does your big picture look like? (Check out the article Take time to smell the roses with a work-life balance if you need some help with this.)
By making your motivation your anchor you’ll always have something to turn to during challenging moments. It’s like going to your happy place.
Then once you’re in a better frame of mind you’ll be in a better position to look at the issues overwhelming you more objectively and to revisit your blueprint to get clear on your current priorities.
On the plus side, take some comfort in knowing that you’re not alone. While it may not seem like much comfort on the surface, there are thousands of people dealing with being an overwhelmed entrepreneur, just like you.
Often, the entrepreneur personality type is something of a lone wolf. Many are Type A, we like to be in control, we like to do things our own way, we don’t easily ask for help.
But it’s worth acknowledging that wolves run in packs.
Asking for help and seeking out support makes us better leaders in the long run. The hesitation to ask for help when we need it is actually based on a fear of some kind. It could be a fear of coming across as weak. Or maybe we’re worried that asking for help will lessen our position as an expert in the eyes of others. Or perhaps we don’t want to appear needy or to take advantage of a relationship or connection.
But remember, all fears are nothing more than a limiting belief and it is only the limiting belief that will hold us back.
The challenges, struggles and overwhelm we experience don’t hold us back. It’s our own, internal, limiting beliefs that prevent us from moving forward and progressing.
One of the really great aspects of a support network of like-minded individuals is that they can genuinely empathize. They literally know exactly how you feel. Plus, you’ll often find that pockets of members will be at different stages and chances are there will be some who have already overcome your current hurdle much the same as you have likely overcome a hurdle that someone else is facing.
This environment organically develops strong relationships and networks among people who are able to help each other in a give and take manner.
Acknowledge | Accept | Allow
The 3-As of awareness:
- Acknowledge what has turned you into an overwhelmed entrepreneur.
- Accept that you can’t “do it all” and that you need some form of support.
- Allow yourself to embrace the support provided.
Breaking down the things that cause us to feel overwhelmed enables us to see the problems more clearly to recognize what the obstacles are.
Resources – Comprehension – Skills
Ultimately we feel overwhelmed when:
- we are lacking resources (time, manpower, or money) to complete certain things;
- when we don’t understand concepts or tasks; or
- when we don’t have the skills necessary to do what is necessary.
Take some time to break down the challenges you’re facing and specifically what the obstacles are that are making you feel overwhelmed. Then brainstorm possible solutions or work-arounds (do this within a support network if possible).
Often being overwhelmed is a feeling – it’s a physical manifestation of our self-doubts and limiting beliefs. By raising awareness, being conscious of the issues and intentional about how we approach them, we take away the power they have over us.
There’s a healthy ratio of experts, services and resources geared towards helping you deal with being an overwhelmed entrepreneur.
Ironically, trying to find, research, assess and engage with the ones likely to be most beneficial ends up adding to the overwhelm before it helps it.
This again is another reason for being part of a supportive community. They will absolutely be willing to provide specific recommendations.
One such community is the Panoptic Foundations Tech Help Group on Facebook, which is free for anyone to join.
[Tweet “Tech help is available through the Panoptic Foundations FB Group.”]
As the list of potential challenges is extremely long, it makes it a bit tricky to provide specific recommendations. However, if you post your challenges in the comments I’ll be happy to provide you with specific resources.
One resource I do want to mention is Microsoft OneNote. Granted it won’t be for everyone, but for anyone using (or willing to start using) the Microsoft tools, OneNote comes with many benefits for being able to segment, categorize and organize all aspects of your work. It works across multiple devices and operating systems; plus it has a browser extension. By making it an integral part of your work flow it can become much easier to manage multiple components of multiple projects without having to break focus. One example is being able to quickly save, clip or jot down those fleeting thoughts or precious finds, unrelated to the current task, quickly and easily without disruption to your workflow.
Armed with the above information, it’s much easier to look at our predicament of being an overwhelmed entrepreneur far more objectively. It’s easier to take back control and work through things systematically.
- Know what your big picture goal is – this is your WHY
- Be mindful of each step you need to take and the order in which you should do them
- You’re not alone
- Become an active member of a network that is able to support you and vice versa
For each obstacle that is causing your feelings of overwhelm, break down the problem and possible solutions.
- Are you working with an unrealistic timeframe for the manpower and financial investment you have available?
- Are you effectively delegating if possible?
- Are there components that could be deferred or eliminated?
- Is there a cost effective option for outsourcing parts?
- Are you faced with a task that is completely foreign to you?
- Allocate some time to do some research and read up on the subject. (Even when outsourcing or delegating a task, it’s important to have a level of understanding about it.)
- Talk with others about the subject and get their spin on it.
- Explain what you have learned back to someone who understands it to ensure you’ve got it right.
- Explain what you have learned to someone just learning about it too – teaching others is one of the best ways to solidify concepts for ourselves.
- Do you need to learn something new?
- Is your lack of skill in a particular area causing a major roadblock to your forward progression?
- Would having this skill provide long-term benefit and value?
- Are there online options for obtaining this skill that are within your financial means?
- Do you personally know anyone who could help you learn the necessary basics?
It’s important that we’re realistic in our endeavours as an entrepreneur/authorpreneur. We need to know our actual limitations and be able to differentiate them from perceived limitations.
If you find yourself saying “I can’t do that” ask yourself “why” – why do you believe that you can’t do something? Determine if it’s a legitimate limitation or an internal limiting belief. Then figure out the level of importance and what the possible solutions or work-arounds might be.
There’s no magic wand that will eliminate overwhelm, but it is something that we can absolutely overcome through mindfulness and intentional actions.
About the Author
Tanya Jones (Thibodeau) is the owner and publisher of the Gateway Gazette, a digital media news source. Tanya has 12 years of experience in publishing and marketing and 25 years of experience in various business sectors. While offering most “do-it-for-you” marketing services is not part of her business model, she has spent a great deal of time over the last 12 years researching and learning about the ins and outs of marketing, solely for the purpose of being able to pass that knowledge on to help clients. This passion has expanded into a new venture called Panoptic Foundations where they teach entrepreneurs & authorpreneurs how to create and maintain a thriving online presence, from scratch, with ease, even if you’re not techie.
Are you looking for more detail, how-to and guidance? Consider joining our Membership – we dive into the detailed “how-to” of creating, establishing and maintaining an Online Presence for your business in an incredibly easy, step-by-step manner that is guaranteed to get you there without overwhelming you and you’re completely supported throughout it all.