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Navigating the entrepreneurial rollercoaster

Thursday October 05, 2023
Navigating the entrepreneurial rollercoaster

Hey wonderful folks, Dane here. The entrepreneurial path is exhilarating, filled with potential, promise, and a fair share of hurdles. The emotional rollercoaster that accompanies this journey comes with the same metaphorical ups and downs. Today, I’m sharing a structured method that has helped me keep my focus and allowed me to keep going through those inevitable periods of discouragement.

No one method is right for everyone, but I hope that sharing my approach will help you find yours. Here's the collection of steps that have helped me.


Identifying distractions: the silent productivity killers


Distractions are the silent killers of productivity. Identifying and eliminating them is the first step towards a focused work routine. I tackled this by recording all my activities over the course of a typical week, including (or especially) the seemingly trivial ones.

A week-end review of this log helped me pinpoint the time-sinks and take steps to eliminate or minimize them. Think of it as a bit like a "screen time" report for your life. You'll be surprised how much time you spend on things that don't really matter and this can be the eye opener you need to make a change.

Setting clear goals

Setting clear goals

Setting overarching goals on an annual basis and breaking them down into smaller, actionable chunks on each month has been a game changer.

Think hard on your annual goals, no doubt you'll have a long list. The freedom is in the editing - through being really ruthless you'll discover what matters most to you. I try and keep my annual goals to just three, one for each of my main areas of focus (work, family, and health).

Then once a month, breakdown each of those goals into three sub goals that will move the needle on the larger goal that month. You don't have to make major strides in any given month but you do have to take a step forward. This is the key to making progress.

Throughout the course of the month, when you're reviewing your tasks, always come back to your monthly goals. If a task doesn't take you a step forward, don't do it, or at the very least don't do it now. If it's important enough, it will eventually satisfy one of your monthly goals.

This method ensures that every task undertaken is a step towards the larger goals, keeping the distractions at bay.

Establishing a routine

Establishing a routine

A well-structured routine is the skeleton around which the flesh of a productive day builds. The power of habit gets you started, and starting is the hardest part. If you just start every day, compound gains are just beyond the horizon and you'll be amazed at what you can achieve.

Celebrating small wins: the fuel of motivation

Celebrating small wins

At the end of each day, reflect back on what you've done that day. Pick one thing, no matter how small, that moved you towards your goals. Celebrate that thing, talk about it with someone you love. Smile at the thought of it.

The happiness you generate will prove to be fuel for tomorrow. The path to success is lined with thousands of small wins, so celebrate them all - they're the building blocks of your success.

Taking regular breaks: the breather your brain needs

Taking regular breaks

Regular breaks are the pit stops that rejuvenate the mind. Get in the habit of taking frequent breaks throughout your day.

At one point I felt guilty whenever I did this, but I've come to realise that the energy injection they give me makes me more productive than I am without them.

Whether it's a short walk through the woods with my dog, Ruff, or a coffee break, these breaks boost your mood and reenergize you for the next task.

Remembering your why

Remembering your why

One of my favourite books is Simon Sinek's "Power of Why".

When you're bogged down in the minutiae of the day or week, it doesn't spark magic and it can be disheartening. Reflecting on the underlying reason for your greater work is an excellent motivator.

What are you hoping to be able to do by doing what you're doing?

What's the bigger picture?

I'm not talking about the money, I'm talking about the impact you want to have on the world. The places you want to go, the people you want to meet, the things you want to do.

Remembering your why will keep you going when the going gets tough.

Practicing mindfulness and meditation

Practicing mindfulness

This one's not for everyone and I was a sceptic for a long time.

Meditation has become a loaded word, but at the end of the day all it is is giving your mind a calm space to wander.

Part of the reason walks are effective for breakthroughs is that they allow you to switch off to the noise. The same is true for meditation. By clearing your mind of the noise, you allow it to wander and make connections that it otherwise wouldn't.

I've found that the best way to do this is to focus on your breathing. When you notice your mind wandering, bring it back to your breathing. It's a simple technique that's surprisingly effective.

The benefit is you'll find that you dedicate some of that magic brain thinking power to thoughts that otherwise wouldn't get a look in. You'll find that you have breakthroughs on problems that have been bugging you for weeks.

Give it a try.

Seeking support and encouragement

Seeking support

Surrounding oneself with a network of supportive yet honest individuals is invaluable. They provide constructive feedback, encouragement, and often, a different perspective that could be the key to solving a challenge.

Find the people that are on similar journeys of growth and be there for each other. You'll be amazed at how much you can learn from each other and how much you can help each other.

You want smart people that you respect and trust to be able to give you honest feedback. You don't want people that will just tell you what you want to hear.

Crucially, you don't want cynics either, you want people that will be honest with you but also encourage you to keep going. They'll be the ones that help you get back on the horse when you fall off.

When you find them, talk with them often, show them what you're excited about.

They won't get it all, and they might have some brutal truths you need to hear. But in there, there will be vines of hope and encouragement.

Grab them and climb them towards the stars.

Accepting the emotional reality of entrepreneurship

Accepting the emotional landscape

Accepting the emotional ups and downs of entrepreneurship is crucial. It’s a part of the journey and embracing it instead of fighting it makes the process much easier.

Creation in any industry is a rollercoaster. You won't get it right the first, or maybe even the tenth time.

But through commitment and gradual iteration, you will refine your craft.

Through communicating you will slowly find an audience.

In all that, you'll have days, maybe weeks or even months where it feels like you're stagnating.

Remember growth is only obvious in hindsight, don't punish yourself for being in the present.

Your guiding companion on dypt

I’ve encapsulated these steps into a structured task list on dypt, your AI-powered task manager. Dypt is designed to simplify task management while offering a robust platform to organize your life and work.

Dypt isn’t just a task manager; it’s a companion in your entrepreneurial journey. With features like public task sharing, it fosters a community of like-minded individuals sharing insights, hacks, and encouragement.

You can view and make a personalised copy of this approach right here.

So, embark on refining your entrepreneurial journey with this structured approach and keep the focus sharp amidst the daily challenges. Remember, every day is a new learning curve on this exciting journey.

πŸš€ New to dypt? Sign up for a free account and elevate your productivity game.

Until next time friends,

Dane ❀️

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