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IdeaXchange
Elliot Begoun

Dear exhausted entrepreneurs: It's time to push through

There's no rest for the weary. Now is the time to ask the critical questions to determine the future of your business.

This is going to be another of my tough love articles. So, if you don’t feel like having some cold water splashed on your face, stop now. 

The proverbial shit has hit the fan. The only certainty at this moment is uncertainty. The world has tipped on its axis. What that means for you, for me, is that life is kind of hard right now. Working long hours with little clarity or surety. Jumping from Zoom call to Zoom call finding Mondays blending into Thursdays, becoming Saturdays. 

Just when you feel as if there might be some solid footing the ground shifts again. It is scary, frustrating and emotionally draining. But, we have no choice other than to persevere, to move forward, to double down. 

There is a lot now that we cannot control. One thing that we can dictate is our effort. It is time to dig in. Time to push through the exhaustion. Your work ethic, your drive, your doggedness are what will put you in front of the line when this veil of uncertainty finally lifts. 

I get it, this doesn’t lend itself to work/life balance. But candidly, I think that concept is bullshit. It is dualistic thinking, dividing work from life. Work is part of life and the right pursuit should be a balance. 

That said, there are times when you need to add pressure to one end of the fulcrum, temporarily upsetting that balance and, in my opinion, that time is now. I’ve written a few times about finding the opportunity amid the chaos. That should be your singular mission. How do you make your business, your brand stronger? How do you transform into a nimble capital-efficient, resilient brand?

I don’t believe we will be returning to business as usual when we have a vaccine or after the election. There are things afoot that won’t be walked back. What does that mean for the future of your business? How do you need to change, respond, adjust? 

All of these questions and more should be answered. All require work, effort and time. I write this as I am doing the same. I too have noticed that I am on the far end of the fulcrum, completely out of balance. Yet, I know it is what my business needs. I recognize it is what I must do to serve. I’d be lying to say I am not tired and would be equally untruthful if I said I am not always able to muster my A-game. However, it is what is needed, and being passionate and resolute about what I do, I just do it, I just soldier on. 

I know you are tired. I know you may be fearful. I hear the doubt, worry and resignation in your voices. I recognize there is a strong impulse to stop, to curl up and ride out this madness. If you really believe in your business, brand and products, that impulse to stop or even slow down won’t serve you well. 

You are all agents of change. Entrepreneurs are best suited to navigate uncertainty. The same creativity, grit and drive that brought you here are what will guide you during this moment in time. Push through, leapfrog your competition, accept being unbalanced for a while. It is likely what is needed.

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