The Yin and Yang of Entrepreneurship
So often as business leaders, we get caught up in “doing mode.” Doing mode is very task-oriented, action-driven, and agenda-focused. You’re checking off lists, are focused on execution, and are making sure that everything moves forward. Doing mode is very much the mode that we need to be in in order to accomplish anything. It’s the energy that we need to make a business successful.
However, staying in doing mode can lead to burnout. If you have ever been burnt out, as I have, you know it feels awful. Burnout makes us think we have to throw all our hard work away. It’s a scary place.
We are in danger of burnout when we stay too much in doing mode. If you ever feel like you want nothing more but to veg out on the couch and watch Netflix for a little while, that’s your brain saying, “I need to get out of doing mode for a while, and simply be.” Sadly, we often beat ourselves up for wanting to relax. There is so much more to do! But without the slow moments, our batteries can’t recharge, and we can’t build our long-term vision of success.
Enter “being mode.” Being mode is very go-with-the-flow energy. Relaxing, meditation, watching Netflix, going for a walk, or reading a fiction book are all versions of being mode. Being mode is very relaxed, and has no specific agenda or purpose except for itself.
Think about how much time you’re spending in doing mode, and how much time you’re allowing for being mode. Are you providing that space for yourself? Or do you fight the need to just “be?”
One way you can easily work being mode into your day is by just sitting and having a cup of coffee. We entrepreneurs really love that first cup of coffee in the morning. What if you use that time to just stare into space, or watch the sunrise, or allow thoughts to come and go? This is akin to a mindfulness meditation practice and is the easiest way to weave “being mode” into your daily routine. In fact, mindfulness meditation engages with the simple experiences we are having. For example, I can pick up my water bottle and feel, intentionally, how it feels in my hand, what it’s like to unscrew the cap, and the cool water going down my throat and into my belly. In mindfulness meditation, the present is the only experience we are focused on.
I want you to be honest on how much time you’re spending in doing mode because that’s our modus operandi for entrepreneurs. It’s our default. It’s how the business moves forward. We are told over and over that if we don’t execute, if we don’t check off the to-dos, if we don’t push the ball forward, then the business will start to die, or we’ll get behind, or we’ll miss an opportunity. This creates enormous pressure to fill every moment with action and takes away from your ultimate goal of building an empire — the long-term vision of your life and impact as an entrepreneur. It also robs you of the chance to enjoy what you have built!
In too much doing, we start to burn out. That’s not what I want for you. How will you build more “being” into your life?