At 3AM today, the diagnosis was official. I lay awake in bed, after 4 hours of sleep, and I realized my brain had clicked into overdrive, and I wasn’t going back to sleep. Not because of stress or anxiety… but because of optimism and excitement and a thirst to make an impact. Yes… I have Entrepreneur Disease.
It’s been a long time since my last serious case. I certainly had the symptoms a few years back when I was at Varrow, but I’m sure they were less severe. You’d probably have to take the time machine back to the late 1990’s to see me in a similar state, during the high-growth years at Strategic Technologies. And I was a much younger man then… and 4 hours of sleep hurt much, much less.
This case is really much more interesting to me. I’m considerably more mature (did I mention older?) and it feels like I have about 5x the business and life experience. And these days I bounce around talking with people about how to help their business build, or keep, entrepreneurial “mojo” (aka “Alignment”). So it’s quite something to be back inside the tornado myself, and to once again personally apply the stuff I’ve been preaching to others.
Frankly, it feels pretty fantastic. Every time I start getting wrapped around the axle, confused about a decision or a priority or a strategy, I kick myself in the head (figuratively) and remind myself that I do, indeed, have an approach to figure that out… and then I practice what I preach. And you know what? It works. Duh. Then I feel dumb for a few minutes, for not figuring that out an hour earlier… then I move on to the next thing.
Which is actually a really good lesson, for all of us. Perspective can be EVERYTHING. When you yourself are actually the one inside the tornado, sitting in the seat of the entrepreneur (or executive, or other leader), it can be VERY HARD to zoom out a couple of meta-levels and apply the appropriate perspective, to break through the current obstacle. Yes, I know I say something like this EVERY WEEK. And yet, it’s very easy to forget, and it’s even easier to believe that you’re better than that. Truth is, I’m not. And you probably aren’t, either.
I’m teaching myself to ask the question, as soon as I get stuck, “How do the P Principles apply to this?” So far, I’ve found them relevant to every single important (and challenging) decision I’ve made. Every one. And that makes me even more optimistic, and excited, and convinced that I can make an impact with my work. Maybe tomorrow I’ll start at 2AM. 😉
Question: What gets you up in the middle of the night (other than basic biological needs)? Let’s talk about it! You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Paul Penny is building three businesses in parallel (Alignment Associates, Alignment Academy, and Alignment Revolution), while continuing to consult with clients… and is loving every minute of it.
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