How to get through tough times and quiet the brain

Boy was my head all over the place last week.

If you read my previous blog post (why the heck wouldn’t you?), you know it’s a weird time right now. Things usually slow down a bit in the summer, but the economy isn’t looking all that great.

And it could get worse.

So we’re thinking about what to do about it, and how to stay on the offensive. So far, it’s been a good amount of brainstorming, followup research and discussions with the team, advisors, etc. to narrow down a few other services or products we can test.

Luckily I have some good people I can talk to who:

1) are much smarter than me, and
2) are older and more experienced, meaning they’ve been through business cycles and downturns before

Having people like that in your corner is so important, especially in times like these. So I highly recommend, especially if you’re a solopreneur, to have some people in your network – whether they’re formal advisors, informal mentors, or even just older friends who’ve been around the block.

In my case, I have a trusted group of advisors through Visto who I talk with every 2-4 weeks, and also a few other people in my network who I’ve kept in touch with that I can reach out to in times like these. Always very reassuring to be able to set up a few calls and get amazing advice, even if it’s just to refocus and keep you sane when times get tough.

Anyway, just sharing what’s been really helpful thus far and I’ll continue to share where my head is going and strategies we look into.

This also means it’s been a much less “structured” week.

By that, I mean that because we’re taking a fresh approach into what we should be focusing on, technically anything goes. It’s not just “another week” of doing sales, doing admin work, etc.

It’s been a week of “holy crap, we need to start figuring out and testing some new stuff asap, so we gotta move move move!”

It’s part of startup life, so it’s not me complaining. Instead, it’s me realizing that in times like this, we – as solopreneurs or founders or business owners – need to pay extra attention to staying calm, cool and collected.

During more hectic weeks like this, it’s easier to get caught up in the craziness, get more worked up and next thing you know, it’s 10pm and your brain is still spinning in circles and it’s hard to fall asleep.

I caught myself facing that Wednesday after a bad night or two of sleep. It happens, of course. But we need to spot and react accordingly.

For me, that means making sure to continue to maintain the right boundaries and schedule. Especially to ensure a good sleep, it means:

  • no more computer/laptop/TV after 930pm
  • get brushed and into bed as early as possible to start reading (a real book – I don’t do any Kindle or audiobook stuff)
  • phone on airplane mode by 10pm
  • lights out by 10:45 (most nights it’s earlier)

It’s when things get crazy and I fall out of that habit when sleep goes downhill.

Anyway, food for thought. Have a great week and keep grinding.

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