Sunday, February 23, 2014

Depression and Small Business

Sometimes it will just creep up on you and it can be self induced or maybe it can slam you upside the head. I am talking about being depressed as a small business owner. Have you ever felt like it is you against the world? Do you sometimes get the sense that no matter what you do, it will be wrong? Welcome to the world of a small business owner. You are not alone and yes, misery does love company, your company.

After a few days of success and good motivation, you get tired or lazy or just lose focus. Maybe it is caused by an account that went to the competition or a sale you knew you were going to get, and then lost. After such events you can find yourself wasting the day doing busy work or no work, and bingo, you are there, in a state of stupor and maybe you start to binge on food or drink that is not good for you. This makes you feel lousy, physically, and now you are in the cycle, sometimes known as depression.

I am not a psychologist, but I have been depressed or "out of sorts" enough to know when I am there. I don't always know how I got there and I don't always know how to get out of it and back to "normal"; but it is a real phenomenon which can affect you, those around you and the health of your business.

Once you have slipped into this state of "who knows where you are", you must not stay there long and you need to find a way out, as soon as possible. There are probably as many ways to get out of this depressed condition as there are to becoming depressed. Somehow you have to break out of the cycle. It may not easy and sometimes it takes longer than you hope, but you can get yourself out.

I am not a big fan of drugs, and I am not really talking about clinical depression, so please don't get me wrong. That is a much different subject and better left to the professionals. What I am talking about, is being in low spirits, out of sorts, just not yourself, in a bit of a fog and those kinds of feelings.

My suggestions to get out of the cycle and back on top of the world are several, but certainly not a complete list. What gets you out today, may not work next month, etc. So here goes.

Go for a walk or a run. Take a baseball bat and hit a tree until you can't swing it any longer. Take a nap. Watch your favorite movie. Eat a wonderful meal at a great restaurant. Take a drive. Spend time with your best friend. Confide in your lawyer or accountant or business partner or school teacher or clergy or someone you don't even know. Volunteer at a shelter or help a neighbor with a project. Sit down by yourself and ponder where you are, where you want to go and how you are going to get there.

The list can go on and on but the idea is this; find a way to break the cycle of your little tantrum and get back to business. Your business needs you, as do your employees and customers. You can do it. I have. Good luck.

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