I did it in 2.5 years, it was pretty easy. Until it wasn’t.
In this post I’ll discuss about the connection between stress and entrepreneurship. In the initial phases of the company I didn’t care about anything, only the success of my start-up. At that time I was unhealthy, unprivileged and unhappy so I didn’t have anything to lose. I was willing to take high risks, fight with everyone, and put my personal life on the side. Stress and entrepreneurship seemed natural for me back than, and I wasn’t suffering from it too much. Our first dividend was taken 1.5 years after we formed the company. My accountant said it was one of the quickest dividends he saw. I was entering my bank account every few hours just to feel good about myself. I started going out to nice restaurants, and bought my wife presents. Probably much less than my partners, as I am the quiet and humble one, but still, for me, it was an upgrade of my lifestyle.
By then, I have days where I am going from the gym to a therapist, and from there to a personal lawyer. I felt like I need it in order to maintain high performance, and I could afford it. I found myself, for the first time in my life, with something to lose – good life. Things started to scare me, risks I took in the past were chasing me in my dreams, and most of all, a cold feeling of loneliness have arise. Anxiety was now a part of my life.
I was still a high performer, and I still enjoyed the good life, but it wasn’t as smooth and easy as it used to be. I started treating myself with extra care, and was looking for stability. I didn’t find it. As months passed, my mental health got better, but not as it used to be. I am still not that happy, and every day I find more and more grey hairs (Not yet 30, remember?). Over the last year, more profits went out to the partner’s pockets, and I am extremely proud that I’ve managed to get more than $1M in dividends, and to build a significant company with employees and a good reputation. All of that is not making up for the feeling of anxiety and unhappiness that is still with me from time to time, on a daily basis.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Stress and entrepreneurship is a topic that is not widely discussed ,and I think that many entrepreneurs are suffering because of it. Do you think that this is the faith of a businessman, due to the volume of stress and accountability? Sometimes I think I should sell my shares and go on a vacation, and after that, to build a new business, something exciting and fresh. But I am afraid that I’ll lose too much, as I’ve managed to build a good steady income, and I am not sure that I can be happier without it. What would you do?