The lesson I learned the hard way about entrepreneurship, and why I think it prepared me for COVID-19.

Uncategorized Apr 06, 2020

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The first two years of full-time entrepreneurship were the hardest. I shared on my last blog how I hit massive burnout, and not the pretty kind either.

Nothing a pedicure or massage would fix. I was barely surviving and I knew something had to change.

But what?

It was so ingrained in me that hard work pays off, and if I just keep pushing harder you’ll achieve success.

This belief is also what caused me to get very sick. The exhaustion from working 16-18 hour days, and living off of fast food came to a crashing halt right before the summer of 2018.

I could barely get out of bed in the morning. My days were a blur. I was forgetting little things like responding to email requests, and I was missing deadlines.

All things that came naturally to me for years. And things I prided myself on. I was losing control. Like a juggler, all the balls came crashing down.

At the same time I stumbled across a guy by the name of James Wedmore. He was preaching that hard work and hustle don’t guarantee success. Part of me screamed at him through the computer, “sure bud, easy for you to say. I mean what do you know.” 

The other part of me was so intrigued I needed to learn more. I’d lived my entire life as a high achiever aka overachiever.

I grew up playing competitive sports, including 5 years of varsity soccer for the University of Saskatchewan. I captained the team my final two years, and I won an award for 2nd Team Canada West All-Star.

After graduating I climbed the corporate ladder for 15 years, and landed a 6-figure corporate career. 

In the midst of that I pursued my masters degree in Professional Communications, where I graduated the top of my class, and received the prestigious Chancellor’s Award and Public Ethnography Award.

I could hardly sit still, before chasing the next best thing. And four years ago that next best thing was entrepreneurship. This overachieving way is what caused me to burn out quickly.

But it’s also what forced me to stop and re-evaluate how I was living my life, and doing business. It made me realize that we could work less and still achieve success. 

In fact, if we want to build a sustainable business we must learn to slow down. The constant hustle and grind isn’t sustainable. And a profitable business doesn’t survive if it’s not equally sustainable.

All things I would have said were nuts if I hadn’t hit a wall two years ago. But this is what I learned the hard way. Burnout isn’t pretty, and it has lasting effects on your overall health. Things I am still dealing with today. 

But I believe this lesson is what prepared me for COVID-19. I was forced to wake up two years ago, and re-evaluate my life and business. I was forced to question what truly mattered, and why I was doing the things I was doing.

And I learned that embracing the stillness, and slowness is where I find peace now. Where I find inspiration. Where I can tune into my intuition. Practices like meditation, reading, journaling were all things I would have turned my nose up at before. 

They were woo woo things that slowed me down from chasing success. But in reality they are the very things that have helped me achieve true success.

I just completed my fourth launch, and it was biggest revenue wise, but it was the most successful feeling wise. I was the most aligned I’ve been in years. And alignment is the new hustle.

If you’re finding this forced pause difficult, because you’re used to always hustling and grinding, let me know. My daily practices have truly transformed my life and business.


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