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Issue #51: Bitter sweet symphony


James Costa

April 10 · Issue #51 · View online

A batch of thoughts, resources, and motivation from a friendly digital agency owner delivered every Monday at 6am ET.

Running a business is tough. Keeping sustained momentum in the face of defeat, difficulty, and emotion is where the work is. Your skills, experience, and output sometimes feel insignificant against the mounting pressure of payroll, closing a particular deal, or dealing with a difficult situation. We fight for the good days, but constantly underestimate the power of the bad ones.
I’m not saying there aren’t good days, but I believe the bad days tend to dampen the feeling of the good ones. I say this as an optimist: I believe everything has an opposite so we can acknowledge it and be grateful. But the darkest days for an entrepreneur can change things forever.
Recently, a fellow entrepreneur asked, “Why is it sometimes we feel depressed even when everything is going amazing?”
I believe any entrepreneur that has felt debilitated due to work has a sort-of post-traumatic stress disorder that haunts them. Relaxing can become synonymous with problems, so owners can find themselves in a constant state of anxiety as some sort of strategy to be better. But it’s not, and it’s exhausting. What’s worse is how the effect multiplies as situations arise.
This reactive state of being is toxic. Every minor issue becomes major, and each decision becomes do-or-die. We end up being “wartime” CEOs and give up a part of ourselves. Breaking the cycle is critical, but can feel impossible. Central to the solution is the delineation between work and life; that the mental battles are a part of the job, and that the world will keep spinning.
I really want to say I have the answer to this week’s thought, but I don’t. In many ways writing these issues has helped, though. Each week I’ve forced myself to think about what I need to share, and allowed me the opportunity to read to better understand myself. CEO is a job, and as long as you can keep at it and fight the good fight, you can take on whatever is thrown in your path.
PS: If you enjoyed this week’s issue, I’d really appreciate your support sharing it. Whether it’s a forward, a Twitter post, or giving me a hug, it would mean the world to me.

Why you think you’re right, even when you’re wrong
Why we choose profit
Death of an Ogilvy Philippines Employee Sparks Renewed Debate Over Work-Life Balance at Agencies
NOW is already THEN?
“What is achievable in your life is based on the stories you tell yourself.”
― Karen Salmansohn
I bought an espresso machine this week, and upon bringing it home was tasked to return it as it wasn’t in the budget yet. I now have 30 days of convincing ahead of me. Maybe I should start a GoFundMe…
As always, if you have any questions or I can help you in any way, all you have to do is respond to this email!
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