An Entrepreneurial Story; The Bullet Proof Mindset

The March issue of Octane Magazine

Hey!  This is my first blog post since the Bahrain crisis started, that is not related to the crisis in some way!  I guess this is a good thing.  I’m not sure I’m done talking about politics yet though… we’ll see.

Anyway, here’s an article I wrote for the March issue of Octane Magazine, the official magazine for Entrepreneur Organisation (EO).  It might inspire some of you entrepreneurs out there.  Hope you like it:

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I suppose like most entrepreneurs, I had a feeling of invincibility starting out. When I launched my first company in 2003, I thought I was bulletproof. I would get up at 4 a.m. and churn out 16-hour days, conquering everything in my path. Sure, I’d get tired, but I could sleep it off later. After all, I had a business to run.

When I started my second business in 2006 and my third a year later, the stress started to accumulate. Still, I felt like I could handle it all. I thrived on the pressure and kept moving forward. I was a locomotive on a mission, constantly moving for the  benefit of better business. Friends and family would tell me to slow down, but what did they know? I was a super-human entrepreneur and they were mere mortals!

Everything came to a standstill in 2009 when my father was diagnosed with cancer. The doctors said he only had a few months to live. The stress I had always managed to avoid began to pile up like a load of dirty laundry. Not only did I have to deal with my father’s terminal illness, but I had three companies I needed to keep afloat. I pushed myself to the limit, trying hard to balance every part of my life: my businesses, my sick father, my worried mother, my wife and three kids.

The final straw came when my father passed away last year. Being the oldest son, I found myself with an onslaught of new responsibilities. I was unprepared and overwhelmed. I felt completely exhausted. I had finally burned out— physically, spiritually and emotionally. I knew I needed a break, so I took some time off to travel and collect my thoughts. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done, and it provided me with some much-needed insight into how to effectively balance my responsibilities as an entrepreneur, husband, parent and sibling.

Looking back, this series of events taught me some major life lessons. First, I realized I’m human. I can’t do everything myself, and I need to let go of certain responsibilities in order to get ahead in business and life. Second, I learned that not operating at 100-percent capacity all the time doesn’t make me any less of an entrepreneur. Work will always be there, but life won’t. By knowing my own boundaries, I can spend more time enjoying what I’ve worked so hard to build. That’s the true mark of success.

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Talk to you soon.

One Response to An Entrepreneurial Story; The Bullet Proof Mindset

  1. Osman Safdar 17 May 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    Good job done on doing away with perfectionist tendencies! It feels good to know that good enough is good enough.

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