“Cult of the Grind”
If you spent any time around entrepreneurs, you probably heard many times that “working hard” and “always be hustling” are the ways to succeed in business.
In other words, if you’re not working your butt off, then maybe you’re not serious enough to be truly successful.
I call it the “cult of the grind.”
The cult of the grind almost puts you to shame for not being willing to put in long hours, sleepless nights, and doing what needs to be done to reach success.
There’s honor in the grind. People respect your ability and willingness to work tirelessly to achieve results.
I remember feeling totally embarrassed about not being willing to stay up late on my “cart close” day during a product launch. After all, everyone else does it, whether it is to watch the sales coming in, manage their team, or send “just one more email.”
The cult of the grind implies being willing to do whatever it takes:
- Need to do five live webinars in three days? Sure.
- Need to jump on a new social media trend? No problem.
- Speaking at two live events in one day? I am there!
- Have to fit three promotions in one week? “Gotta do what you gotta do!”
- Need to write another email, even though it’s 11pm and you’re already in bed? I’m up!
You guessed it right – all of these are examples from my own business. And I know I am not alone.
When I announced that I was taking a 90-day sabbatical after leaving my previous business, the biggest feedback I got from my peers was this:
“I am so jealous! I wish I had this opportunity to just walk away. You’re so lucky!”
“The New Normal: Brink of Burnout”
Some people shared with me that they wish they had a chance to start over. I could feel their pain and exhaustion. They have to maintain and manage what they created, and continue to grow.
They’re on an entrepreneurial treadmill and cannot stop. Their business is wearing them out but they have no idea how to do it any other way.
Unfortunately, this has become the norm. It’s normal and even expected to become a “business warrior” if you want to succeed. It’s normal to hold 24-hour “marathons” during a big promotion. It’s normal to hire three new people in one month then keep creating work for them so you don’t lose “great talent.”
I’ve talked to people who were “on the brink of burnout” and they’re starting to re-evaluate their entire business models because they realize they can’t go on this way. If they’re lucky, they start seeing red flags early enough to do something about it.
So the question I’d like for you to ponder is this…
- Question #1: If I keep doing what I’ve been doing, WHEN and HOW might a breaking point show up in my life?
It can show up in your health, relationships, or both. Since I started sharing my story of burning out and leaving the business, many people have told me their painful stories of divorce, cancer, or bankruptcy. For me it showed up in sudden panic attacks. Although at the time I had no idea what they were and why they were happening, today I know it was a warning. I was in complete misalignment in my business and something had to change.
My intention is not to scare you, but to make you pause for just a moment today and ask yourself 3 more critical questions:
- Question #2: What does “taking my business to the next level” look like?
- Question #3: What am I willing to do to get there?
- Question #4: What am I absolutely NOT willing to do?
I think we are all great at asking and answering the first question. But take your time to answer the other two questions, because this is the only way to create personal boundaries and avoid having to sacrifice the things that matter most to you.