5 Ways to Make it Through Work While Dealing with Personal Tragedy

5 Ways to Make it Through Work While Dealing with Personal Tragedy

This time last year things were not going well for me. I was all geared up and excited for a New Year when I woke up on January 2nd sick. As the day progressed it became obvious I wasn't just sick. A few weeks later I discovered I had a pretty serious infection.

That evening, I received a text. The type that you hope you never get. Something unthinkable had happened. 

[ Part 1] Burst out the gates in 2017 - What went well this year?

[ Part 1] Burst out the gates in 2017 - What went well this year?

"So, how was your year?"

Ugh. The dreaded holiday party small talk question. You just wanted to enjoy your egg nog in peace. 

Unless you have a seasonal business, the holidays signal the beginning of a wind down, and a slow ramp back up in January. It also signals a time for reflection on the year. When people look at where they were at and decide whether or not the year was "good" or not.

I can tell you this, a lot of people will probably decide 2016 can have the old heave-ho. 

Start being more productive and achieve better results in 7 days

Start being more productive and achieve better results in 7 days

Let's say you have a good friend who is experiencing financial difficulty...

They confide in you and you find out that this friend is spending a lot of time doing non-revenue generating activities (or worse, working for "trade" or free). Maybe your friend gets really bogged down in administrative work each week, they attend a lot of meetings that have nothing to do with acquiring clients. They take meetings with anyone (and everyone) who asks.

The Startup Sessions Podcast: From Stressed & Broke to Triple Digit Growth with Michael Knouse and Genevieve LeMarchal

The Startup Sessions Podcast: From Stressed & Broke to Triple Digit Growth with Michael Knouse and Genevieve LeMarchal

I am a huge fan of Michael Knouse and his podcast, The Startup Sessions. If you haven't heard of him, you definitely need to head over and check out his podcast right now. 

Alas, it's time for the featured podcast to remove from my homepage and take its rightful place on the blog to live forevermore. I have included the file for your listening pleasure here. But honestly, there's plenty more where that came from, so be sure to check out The Start-up Sessions for tons more awesome content. 

Here's why you are such a workaholic

My name is Genevieve, and I am a workaholic.

I used to wear this as a sort of weird badge of honor. Until one day I started to feel it, in the way that many people can truly empathize. I was the type of tired that the longest vacation and days of sleep wouldn't even cure.

This fatigue came from my heart, not my body.

One of the most popular beliefs we have about ourselves as entrepreneurs is that we must be workaholics in order to be successful. Look at the terminology we use: Hustle, grind, knock it out.

I believe this comes from a place inside of us that believes if we are not working every available hour in the day, we are not worthy or deserving of the results of the success we achieve.

It doesn’t help that in our society, workaholism still has an air of goodness and duty to it. “I’m busy” is often thinly veiled as “I’m important,” and “I have meaning and purpose.” When in reality, we are often just simply busy. The things that keep us so busy aren’t actually priorities, we just treat them as such.

I realized that there are a lot of people who continually do amazing things, and they aren't laying down and giving up on the side of the dusty road because they are too tired. So what keeps them going?

Entrepreneurship is about bringing something into existence that didn’t exist before. It’s all about creation. And creation takes work. We will produce an enormous amount of work in our lifetime, and not all of it will be amazing. In fact some of it will be pretty bad. This is just how life is for us as creators.

The ultimate goal for me is to be in a consistent state of creating, instead of a consistent state of working.
What’s the difference? I believe that creating insinuates a deeper connection to ourselves, and our intrinsic desire to serve the world through whatever it is that we do.

When you are connected to yourself, creating and producing, the work becomes an outward effect of the cause that already exists within you. We feel less like work is being forced as much, because it’s flowing. This is why many people can produce enormous amount of work and progress, and often have no idea how many hours they actually work in a week. Their work is connected to something higher within them than just work.

Being worn out, exhausted and tired is both a physical state and a mental state that can be mutually exclusive. If you have distaste, struggle, frustration around the work you do each day according to Walter Russell “the hatred for it develops into body destructive toxins and you become fatigued very soon.”

Action Tip:

Take a quiet moment today, and read these three statements to yourself. What comes up for you?

  1. If I am not working hard in every single moment, I am being lazy.
  2. If it was not hard for me, I did not properly earn it.
  3. If I don’t feel like I am struggling, I must not be a legitimate entrepreneur, or be running a legitimate business.

Examining the beliefs that we carry about work, combined with getting unnecessary things off your plate will have huge effects on your mindset.

Something for you

When I was young, my friend Justin Klump got really into guitar. Like, really into it. He's the only person I know who knew exactly what they were meant to do, and doggedly pursued it. Justin is a fitting testament to taking the hard road, and today he's the real deal. A singer songwriter who has earned recognition and accolades nationally, plays major venues, but continues to follow his own path and doesn't give in to the trends that I am sure he gets pressure from.

This morning he sent me an email with a link to one of his new songs, and a brief discussion of what life is like on the road for a musician, as well as an invitation to his show in Portland on October 8th. It's the perfect song for entrepreneurs (lyrics below).

Keep 'on keepin 'on

Like a puzzle fitting pieces, there’s no secret give it time.
Stay hopeful, keep moving, be gracious, enjoy the ride.

Jumping sideways, falling upwards, feeling worn out like a tired shoe.
It’s worth repeating keep moving, stay hungry, don’t be scared to lose. 

Find the fire when the flame is gone. Take one step if you can’t see beyond you. 
We can’t just throw pennies in a pond. 
It takes work; sometimes it hurts; keep on, keepin’ on.

Like a mystery you uncover, Like the shaping of a weathered stone.
Sunny days come, the moon glows, we’re all travelers on a windy road.

Find the fire when the flame is gone. Take one step if you can’t see beyond you. 
We can’t just throw pennies in a pond. It takes work; sometimes it hurts; keep on, keepin’ on.

Digging this? Sign up below for weekly inspiration just like this, delivered right to your inbox.

Don't worry, it's easy to unsub if you don't like it. 

Want to get more Done? Saying the Hardest No.

Want to get more Done? Saying the Hardest No.

There are endless articles written online about how to get more done, time management hacks, slipstream ninja time hacking whatevermajig, 4 hour work weeks, 90 days years; you name it.

The masters of time are out there en masse, all ready to onboard you into their thing.

But at the end of the day, it doesn't matter how much you try to practice time management systems or become a self made getting things done guru. If you don't view time like actual currency, it doesn't matter.

The Real story behind making a comeback

The Real story behind making a comeback

I used to be so terrified of failure, that I'd practically kill myself working.

I couldn't stand the idea that I'd fail at something and others would see. It felt like the right thing to just keep working. It was like treading water, I was afraid to stop in case I just sank to the bottom like a rock in a dark lake.

At a certain point in my not so distant past, I sank. Things were pretty terrible for me, and couldn't get a whole lot worse.