At a meeting with my coach last week, she asked me how I was doing. This is a dangerous question to ask the owner of a startup. On any given day, the answer could range from "I'M STUPENDOUS!!!! THE WORLD IS MY OYSTER AND I'M CRUSHING IT!!!!!" to "suicidal." Frankly, those answers could apply to the same day, depending on what time you asked the question and what had happened in the last hour. When they say entrepreneurship is a roller-coaster, they aren't lying.
In this particular meeting, I was feeling....okay...about things, but I still immediately burst into tears when she asked me this. (I think part of it is also that no one asks us how we're doing—they ask how the business is doing, which is a different thing. If you have an entrepreneur friend, call them up today and ask them how THEY are doing. And then brace yourself for the tears.)
Luckily, it was a little cry, and after we'd talked about how tired and stressed out I am trying to start a business in a pandemic and during the election and *gestures broadly at everything*, she suggested a practice that she thought might help.
"End your day with gratitude," she said. "Before you transition from work mode to home mode, sit quietly for a moment, reflect on the day, and find something in the business to be grateful about."
And, as usual, she was right. Finding things to feel grateful for every day has a powerful effect on our psychology, but we aren't very good at it, as a species. We are more attuned to focus on the negative, which means we have to work a little harder to find gratitude in our daily lives. But it is there, trust me. Even on my darkest days, I have SO MUCH to be grateful for—a home, a stable family life, food on my table, etc. And in my business, even when things are really hard, there are moments of brightness and gratitude that I can find. Hell, just being in a position to start my own business is something to appreciate. Not everyone is in that boat, and I need to remember that.
So now, in addition to my practice of ending my day with a review and priority-setting for tomorrow, I have added a brief gratitude practice. It won't slow down the rollercoaster, but it might make it a little easier to weather the scary parts.