Changing My Thinking Patterns to Combat Stress
Joshua Davidson wrote this article
One of the things that those closest to me know, is that 2014 was one of the most transformative years of my life. Not due to our successes at Chop Dawg that year or even my weight-loss journey – but with regards to my thinking patterns.
Entrepreneurship is inherently stressful.
I firmly believe that most aspiring entrepreneurs overlook this, but when you really break it down, the weight of the world, at least for your business, falls onto you.
It’s not just about ensuring your own paycheck to keep a roof over your head or see growth in a company – but your clients’ success, your employees’ success, their livelihoods, their profits – they all fall back to you and your decision-making. I took this very hard from 2009-2013, to the point where I would sweat over the smallest things, that in the grand scheme of things didn’t make a difference. They were distractions and things hurting me in the long term, due to me focusing so much of the short term on these issues.
It finally hit me though in early 2014 where the problem lay, and why the short term was impacting me so much. I lost sight of why I was doing this at Chop Dawg and most importantly, what the long-term vision of our company was set out to be at the start.
You see, it wasn’t my intention to create a company that would hopefully make a few million dollars in revenue a year, have a few great employees and help a few awesome clients a year. It was my goal to create one of the biggest companies on the planet, one that inspiring entrepreneurs look up to on how to take the next steps in building the next great company, a place to help entrepreneurs truly catapult their ideas into reality when otherwise they might have never had a chance, a place to help great companies scale quickly, find market share, become profitable and mature.
I believe that we are in the modern-day gold rush thanks to this digital revolution, and we can be the company here at Chop Dawg to help facilitate this for the modern era – responsible for some of the best, most disruptive products on the planet.
So why the sales pitch above? Because I lost focus on this mission in the pursuit of quicker profits and short-term success.
It took a lot of soul searching (and meditation) to realize that this isn’t what drives me or makes me happy. It wasn’t why I ran this company. It was to make a great impact, change the world, and help provide a solution that I personally, firmly believe doesn’t exist out there. Once I realized that this was what programs me, what makes me tick, makes me happy – you then realize that thinking long term is the way to go. Stress instantly decreases.
How, you might ask? Simple, I stopped sweating the small things.
I realize that in the moment, these aren’t that big of a deal, can easily be handled and won’t have any impact on the bigger picture. It suddenly clicked that I need to detach myself from the day-to-day picture when it seems like things are a mess, and look at it as if I am in the third-person. Issues become much easier to fix. You become much more clear of your mission. You are able to better delegate short-term hiccups to remain focused on the longer-term goals. Stress becomes almost non-existent.
I don’t believe that stress and fear are always compatible. I am never fearful of what I am doing. Stress though was a factor that I was able to teach myself, over the course of these past two years, to better handle. It’s something that as I talked to other entrepreneurs that I look up to, I realize all of us have gone through this learning process and for some, it caused their ultimate demise in their entrepreneurial journey.
Don’t let the day-to-day bog your mind down from the greater goal, why you are an entrepreneur, why you set out to do what you wanted in the first place. Stress is something that we can control, and if you give yourself the self-awareness to go through the same exercises that I had to go through in early 2014, I promise you that you will be okay, you will get through it, you will be mentally stronger – and you will be able to focus on what is most important as an entrepreneur: making your vision come to life.