entrepreneur

Is This Just A Funk I’m In Or Is It Something More?

By Catherine Lang-Cline

Let me start by stating the obvious, I am not a doctor, nor a professional in the area of mental health, but what I do know, like most people, how great it is to be healthy, both physically and mentally.

When you are an entrepreneur, your mind is a constantly whirling. I swear that when it is really quiet, I can hear it hum in perfectly balanced chaos, but we are people and people develop issues and things occur that break up that normal cadence. Those things can take the shape of stress, depression, and/or substance dependence, to name a few. What do you do?

Some of the things that an entrepreneur can encounter are:

  • Employee issues - a team that doesn’t work together, counter-productive employee, maybe someone is embezzling,

  • Client issues - clients demand more, treat you poorly, leave for a cheaper company,

  • Funding issues - a client won’t pay, a bank won’t loan you money,

  • Personal issues - problems with children or relatives, problems with your home, Illness or death of a loved one.

These issues, on top of what you work with day-to-day, can put you in a tailspin. You find yourself feeling like you are living in a hole, or underwater and hoping to come up for air. You get down on yourself or you are finding yourself angry all of the time. What can you do?

First ask yourself:

  • “Can I solve or work through these problems on my own?”

  • “Can I talk to a mentor about my concerns?”

  • “Do I need to see a professional?”

Most of us deal with challenges and mental fatigue that starts to eat away at our quality of life. It can come on you like a heart attack, either building up over time or it will just hit you hard all at once. You find yourself stressed, crying, or throwing something across the room. It is common and it does not mean that you are weak or flawed. Keeping our minds healthy is as important as keeping our body healthy. You ate well today, what did you do for your mind?

Let’s start with:

Solving your problem on your own:

Can you do something to clear your head? Vigorous exercise, take a walk, meditate, get a massage, or just step away for a bit. Indulge in yourself. Dig more into a passion you might have, something completely different! Sometimes recalibration can be that easy.

Talking to someone else:

Grabbing a drink with your crew can bring relief and talking to a family member or mentor can also help for some quick problem solving, especially the people that have lived through what you are going through right now. I promise you, someone else has had the same struggle as you, find that person.

But if you have tried these things and you are really struggling or the problem seems bigger than you are, make an appointment with a professional. A professional can be anyone that specializes in that finance issue you have to a therapist that can help you unwind your issue. Computers need to be rebooted and so do you. Sometimes getting back to mental health is not just about relaxing, it is about fixing. There is no shame in feeling overwhelmed or in asking for help. You are not always in control of what life throws at you, it is just knowing when you have hit your limit and need to contact the pro.

Just a brief comment about mental illness. Mental illness is vast and wide in its scope and its impact. It needs to be treated like any other issue with the body and not carry a stigma. There are many programs in place to get you or a loved ones help. Still not sure if you need help? Read some of the warning signs listed at the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ website. Need even more help, reach out to the national organization of Mental Health of America. 1 out of 5 Americans have a life-altering mental illness or have experienced a mental crisis. You are not alone. #CureStigma

Of course if you or someone you know is in an emergency situation, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately. Hang in there. Get help. It gets better.

For those of us that just know that we are in a “funk”, don’t neglect any part of you. If a run or bike ride can truly clear your head, do it. Maybe you need as much as a two week vacation? Keep working on fine-tuning you. Not only are you worth it, but your friends, family, and co-workers will thank you.

Viva Nica! The Power of Peer Groups and Getting Away

By Kristen Harris

My entrepreneur peer group took a trip to Nicaragua last week.

This one sentence and trip touch on three things I believe to be important in my life: time away (a trip), new experiences (to Nicaragua) and finding a tribe (my peer group).

Time Away

Today information is always available in the cloud and on our devices. We have the ability to work 24/7/365, but should we? I say no, and there’s evidence to back me up.

Over the past few years, there have been several studies and articles in publications like Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and Inc Magazine touting the benefits of taking time away from work. Stepping away from work, taking a break, and going on vacation all have been shown to improve both the quality and quantity of work done when we are back.

Taking time out of the office allows me to gain clarity, changes my perspective, helps me see the bigger picture, and leaves me refreshed mentally and physically. Taking a trip is great, but I also try to enjoy the weekends, take a short walk during the day and step away from my desk for a few minutes during the workday. Even small breaks can have a big impact.

New Experiences

A lot of the work we do today is not physical labor, it’s mental labor. We have to figure out issues, solve problems, build relationships, research information and develop new concepts, then we might physically build something (or not). There is a lot of thinking done every day where we’re drawing upon prior knowledge and experiences.

Having a broader range of experiences gives me a deeper well to draw from. New experiences add more data, ideas, visuals, thoughts, and perspectives to my mental database.

New experiences also allow me to get out of my “bubble”. When I do the same things, talk to the same people and go the same places, my ideas tend to stay the same as well. When I do something new my potential ideas and solutions are expanded as well. In Nicaragua, I surfed (not well) and saw an awe-inspiring active volcano, two completely new experiences.

Finding a Tribe

While it’s good to expand horizons it’s also important to find your peer group, your tribe.

Humans are social and tribal. We connect with others where we have something in common and seek support from those who understand us. This can be done formally or informally through family, business groups, social clubs, neighbors and special interest organizations.

Like most people, I have different tribes related to different parts of my job and life. I’m a member of formal peer groups, like the one that took this trip, and informal groups that share a common connection, like all the dog-owners who live on my street.

These groups allow me to share issues and challenges with people who understand what I’m going through. They may have had the same experience, can share an idea or solution for me, or just be supportive as I figure it out. And, because we usually share one interest but are different in other ways, I find that I often become friends with people I would never have met otherwise.

Together all three of these things–time away, new experiences and finding a tribe–help to expand my perspective and enhance my work. Who knows what new idea that active volcano might inspire!

 

WOW! We've been in business for more than 12 years. We love being in Columbus -- check out 12 reasons we're unique and make a difference in our community. We'd love to get to know you!

1. This business was started by two women, Catherine Lang-Cline and Kristen Harris, that graduated together from the LBrands boot camp. 

2. We believe in serving the community, so we get involved. There are a number of boards that members of our team belong to, and have been for years. Such as, Greater Columbus Arts Council, Columbus Chamber of Commerce, American Marketing Association, Columbus Society of Communication Arts (and more!) 

3. Our clients are always given very customized service. Mostly because creative is unique and we recognize that. 

4. Our talent never pays anything to work with us. 

5. We do direct hire, both contingent and retained

6. From day one, we've been solely focused in the creative industry. That's our niche.

7. We can offer workforce solutions

8. We believe in philanthropic efforts, so much so, that we have an internal team committee (Life Values) to focus on our ongoing outreach efforts to give back. 

9. Everyone that works for us shares our values. 

10. Did you know that we represent an exclusive list of artists?

11. We're experts. We understand the competitiveness in the creative marketplace. Our talent and clients trust us to bring the unique needs of both parties together, making the ideal match happen.

12. Our clients are not dollar signs, our talent is never a number. We are not just filling seats. Not now, not ever. We are all personally invested in making sure that this creative community thrives. 

Masks and the Roles We Play In Business

By Catherine Lang-Cline

Halloween is not the only time that we put on masks and costumes and play out our chosen personalities. We actually do this every day in business.

You may not want to wear a dress or a tie and jacket everyday, but the role you play in your job dictates that you need to. Why do we do this? We want to create an image of professionalism. We watch our language and the words we choose, we speak nicely of others, and have the best of manners. We dress for the job that we want. Think about how you dress, act, and speak around your friends. It is probably completely different. When you step into the office, your professional role starts and you know this will get you ahead and you play the role perfectly.

Sometimes these roles or masks go beyond the attire. Sometimes we need to play the good guy or the bad guy or the tough guy. Sometimes we need to embrace being the boss. These are all roles that we may not be immediately comfortable in but are necessary to get the job done. We take a deep breath, put on masks and play that role in order to get through the day. Maybe we need to put on our happy face?

This all seems negative until we think about how we can use this to advance our career, our business, or to get the job done. Do you have a meeting with a big client and you are a small fish? Go in and play the role of a big vendor. What would a big vendor say? Clients want to know that you can heal their pain, fix their problems, and trust you in all that you do. So always say “we.” “We can help you,” “I am confident that we can solve your problem,” or, “We have worked with many companies like you.” Best part, it’s really all true.

Are you entering a room of people that you do not know? Slip on the mask that says, “Everyone here needs to know me.” Think about how the ultimate networker would work the room. Be that person! Need to speak in front of a group? Get ready for your best acting role yet as the amazing public speaker! Think about other public speakers you have seen present themselves. Now do that. You may be stepping out of your comfort zone, but if you see it as playing a role, wearing a mask, or sporting a costume and you are effective…people will believe.

This type of role-playing is the “fake-it-‘til-you-make-it” style of doing business. It will help you gain the confidence you need to move to the next level. And it will allow you to try out and exercise some skills that you may not have had realized you had in you. It will actually reveal the real you. Trick or treat!