Are you a business adrenaline addict? Do you thrive on deadlines, dilemmas and disasters? Do you feel truly energized only when handling challenges and problems at your small business? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, there’s hope for you yet!
In a recent article in USA TODAY entitled “Small Business Strategies: How to handle that adrenaline”, Rhonda Abrams notes that many entrepreneurs like herself (now in recovery) suffer adrenaline addiction. “We thrive on risk-taking and love challenges. We juggle many tasks at once,” she says. “Heck, when things are really bad, we’re able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.”
In fact, Abrams maintains that some small business owners are so addicted to the rush they get from surmounting obstacles that they create more of them, sometimes without realizing it. Examples of this include provoking predicaments with employees or customers, launching big new projects without completing current critical tasks or revamping the company’s entire organization structure yet again.
Abrams, who is president of The Planning Shop and a publisher of books for entrepreneurs, notes that, unlike other addictions, adrenaline addiction can contribute positively to success if you know how to channel your addiction. She recommends the following steps:
- Accept it positively. “Recognize that challenges motivate you, and structure your business so you can undertake positive new tasks while still taking care of routine business,” she advises. “Get energized — and get your adrenaline going — by giving yourself big audacious goals you have to reach and a reason to get up every morning.”
- Prioritize. Abrams suggests that you identify the most important ingredients for your success and then concentrate on them. Don’t be distracted by urgent but unimportant matters. Keep truly vital activities front and center, even if it means manufacturing deadlines with consequences when no external deadlines exist.
- Redefine boredom. Focus on the big picture, Abrams says. “I used to feel bored if I wasn’t really, really busy — phones constantly ringing, huge to-do lists, and one emergency after the other,” she admits. “It took a while to realize that all that busy-ness didn’t add up to productivity. I acknowledged that what really keeps me from being bored is constantly learning new things.”
- Add risk to your life. Get your adrenaline rush through appropriate non-business risks. Substitute a physical activity like skydiving or bungee jumping, join the local Toastmasters chapter or try out for a production at your community theater. Switch your focus from business to your personal life.
- Get a happy life. Once your personal life is firing on all cylinders, you won’t spend your energy creating problems in your professional life because you’re engaged in fulfilling activities elsewhere.
“Adrenaline is great for small-business owners. We know that being hungry often means we go the extra mile, devise a better product or service,” concludes Abrams. “But when we’re addicted to adrenaline, it can be counterproductive. Sometimes it’s important to learn how to just chill out.”About the Author:Beth Longware Duff covers small business topics in her writing, including merchant account resources.