25 Jan Entrepreneurial Urgency
Entrepreneurial urgency – when you can’t stop
There’s a growing trend I’ve noticed among business owners that I’ve been speaking to. It’s one that I have also noticed in myself too. I’m afraid it’s not a healthy one, either. That trend is an overwhelming sense of urgency; a panicky feeling that everything has to be done and done right now, even if that is not the reality.
Ways it often shows up are:
- Having a sense of urgency around everything, from rifling through your bag to find your keys, to getting through your to-do list
- Rushing to complete things, but making silly mistakes. An example is getting an Instagram post out first thing just to get it done, but later noticing it’s full of typos
- Overwhelming urgency even when there are no time constraints
- Powering through a to-do list but taking no enjoyment in the tasks, or satisfaction in their completion
- A feeling of being overwhelmed with all there is to do
- Impatience when other people don’t reply to your emails or texts
- Irritation or even anger when you are slowed down by tech or losing something
- A sense that time is always slipping away from you
- You are always multi-tasking, even when you don’t need to
- Expectations that you must meet a certain milestone or work to a set timeline. When you don’t, immediately calling that a failure, and giving up
- Fatigue and loss of motivation
- Constantly being busy, but getting little traction
- No bandwidth for when things come out of nowhere and knock you off course
The busyness of business
The result is a lot of (often female) business owners who are living on high adrenaline and cortisol which leads to high anxiety, sleep issues and exhaustion. This high stress response has also been linked with weight gain, especially that dangerous belly fat.
However, it’s important to remember that this sense of speed and urgency is often what drives success and momemtum. We don’t want to abandon that altogether.
How to soothe overwhelming entrepreneurial urgency
I’ll be deep diving into this subject in my writing over the next few weeks. When I work with clients who operate like this, the approach has to be from a number of angles. We look at why they might be like this. What was the trigger? Sometimes this goes right back to childhood and we can look at the roots. Sometimes, it’s a recent response, perhaps because they’ve taken too much on, or are juggling a lot of stress right now. Occasionally, it is a form of distraction. If you’re always busy you don’t have to deal with what’s really going on. This could even be a trauma response, and we can work on that.
However, knowing the why isn’t enough. We also work on changing habits and embedding new behaviours. This is more than doing a daily meditation or a twice weekly yoga class. Sometimes, it’s impossible to relax into these if your mind is whirling with all it has to do. Equally, it’s quite possible to drop into your meditation or class and then, ten minutes later be right back where you were. A sustained and multi-faceted approach is needed.