The Toxic Brew of Boredom and Entrepreneurs — and how to remedy it.
I was talking to one of our Less Doing Leaders yesterday and she was saying how she was feeling really negative, but couldn’t pinpoint where it was coming from. Her business is maturing. She has a solid team. All data points toward a great year.
But it was her tone. It seemed flat. I said, “Wow, you sound really bored”. She said, “You know what? You’re right. I just said that to my husband. I’m feeling uninspired and bored.”
So it happens to all of us. I was secretly relieved.
Boredom is really bad for entrepreneurs, because when we’re bored, we make bad decisions. We take unnecessary risks just so we can feel something.
In Driven, by Doug Brackmann he talks about the entrepreneur as an “evolutionary irritant.” In other words, we have to mess things up so that we can fix them and make them better. BTW, this short quiz of his will give you a better idea of how evolutionarily irritating you are.
So, if there’s nothing in our immediate environment to mess with, we’ll tinker with ourselves. This can lead to all kinds of destructive behavior masked as self-improvement. Here’s a great read from The New Yorker, called, “Improving Ourselves To Death”.
Be Careful What You Wish For
As I have made myself more replaceable at Less Doing, using my very own Methodology, yes I have less to do. Yes, the company is running really well without me. Yes, my system obviously works. But the fallout from experiencing this level of success is not what I expected.
I get bored, and it’s terrible. Here’s Dan Sullivan of Strategic Coach’s ™ take on why this happens. He, as always, has some very sage advice.
So, the good news is, instead of looking for parts of my business I can screw up so I can fix, irritating my team and my clients, I’ve decided to simply become aware that this pattern of behavior no longer serves me. (or anyone else).
I found some great advice in an article called, “Is it Burnout or Boredom?” In Entrepreneur magazine.
- Fuel a new work challenge. — Go after a project that seems beyond your current reach.
- Change your dull-as-butter-knife routine — Get a change of scenery by working somewhere else. Pick a rando spot on a map, pack up your laptop and go.
- Marry your mission all over again — Return to your original passion to gain perspective on why it might not be a good fit any longer or how you lost your connection to it.
Replaceable Founders like me would do well to initiate another, healthier operating system when it comes to how we use all the free time we’ve worked so hard to enjoy.
What’s your plan?