The Dark Side Of Success
Someone made a great point in CWD the other day
The nutshell version was that they were chasing the ‘6-figure lifestyle’ and as result their happiness and health suffered as a result.
I would like to say it goes further than that.
When you work a ‘9-5’; you clock off – do the commute home – and as a rule, thats it to till the next day.
Some of us, the very ‘special’ types pursue the entrepreneurial lifestyle – lets face it; its very alluring:
But many who reach the upper echelons of this world, the ones who don’t have robust psychology of the sociopath, experience different emotions.
Could you imagine lying on the floor, crying, when all that you want is your mum…ESPECIALLY when you have more money than you could possibly need…
Exactly, who feels sorry for a prick like that eh?
Personally, I wouldn’t of given two shits about that person in a previous life…but then I became that person.
I chased my **dream**, more aggressively than anyone I have ever known; as a result I lost friends, my partner, my abs (you could see them in the good light in the bathroom, I swear), and to a degree – my sanity.
You see what no-one wants to talk about in this world is the profound and deep psychological impact chasing the entrepreneurial dream can have on a person.
No one prepares you for it
Guess what, if you make it, no-one gives a shit either
Sure they want they money, the connections, the ‘fame’ – but no one tells you the price you have to pay.
The piper needs to be paid, and he doesn’t give a flying fuck how you feel – and neither will anyone else.
When you are making your way up the greasy success pole, its natural to look at those above/further ahead of you and kinda hate them a bit…I know because yeah, I did too.
(don’t feel bad)
But, if you keep going – and you get where you want to be – you start to notice some things:
Good friends in your industry/peers start to resent you for your success – in fact people you would of gone to bat for suddenly vanish from your life.
I know it was for me
Then there is the feeling you are never good enough.
You can be invited to all the industry bashes, stage events, JV’s and christ knows what – but there is still that little voice at the back of your mind that tells you that you are never good enough, that you’re not worthy, you’re a fraud, and you shouldn’t be ‘here’.
That never goes
I’ve been fortunate enough to hang around a lot of up and coming entrepreneurs; the amount of alcohol & drug abuse, risky sexual behaviour, anger, sadness, rage and un-fullfillment – along with ruined relationships – I have seen is more common than you think.
‘fuck you Dan, that’s B.S.’
To those solid souls who don’t succumb to numbing vices, seem to find themselves working the most crazy of hours – i have more than one well known entrepreneurial friend that is vice free, but has hospitalised themselves with auto-immunes diseases, stressing health issues.
Its all to common to think the grass is greener, and to an extent it is (‘in a way’) – but if you are going to go full-bore into this world (and Im not saying this will happen to you), you need to be aware of the pitfalls as well as the prizes.
As an entrepreneur, your brain is one of the most prized assets you have – yet its also one of the things that is likely to take a nose dive.
The mental health of folks like us is – from my observations only (and I wouldn’t be so vulgar as to make a medical diagnosis) – often an afterthought.
We push, hustle, grind, 24/7, non-stop, work.
Its in our blood.
Thing is, we can eat the best foods, take all the supplements in the world, meditate to our hearts content, cut down on red meat, ditch the booze – you name it….but if we don’t take care of the the 8-12lbs that rests upon our neck?
We are as good as fucked.
There is such a huge stigma (especially in the UK from what I have seen) when it comes to psychological issues. The idea of speaking to a therapist is an anathema to many of us in Blighty
(you Yanks have us beat in that regard)
But I ask you, would you rather have a trained professional help you though issues, or would you rather suffer in silence?
Imagine if you break your arm and even when all and sundry can see it is bent out of shape tell people:
Course you fucking wouldn’t.
Yet when it comes to feelings such as:
Low self esteem
So many people simple bottle that shit up; which results in some REALLY bad shit later down the line from what I have seen.
I used to be the same
Im tough, I don’t get sad – fuck that
Yet, when I found myself drinking a litre ‘o’ goose every night to avoid the feelings that I was having…it took me close to a year to realise that that ain’t normal…and Goose is bloody expensive. 😉
So I reached out
Its a damned sight harder than you think…in fact harder than anything I have ever done before.
To tell your partner, family, friends, that you don’t feel right in the old noggin (ESPECIALLY if you have – too all intents and purposes – everything you could ever want) is beyond hard.
But Implore you:
Don’t be like me
learn from my mistakes
If you don’t feel ‘right’ – reach the fuck out
It may feel uncomfortable, frightening or simply fucked up -but its better than finding yourself in your boxers, teary eyed, singing ‘hey jude’ on your balcony at 1am with a triple goose and ginger….not that thats happened to anyone I know…
^^^ see that?
I still can’t even admit that was me!
(wasn’t that hard to guess though…dick lol)
But it was me
At my lowest point
And quite frankly if it weren’t for my family, I didn’t think I had much to keep going for.
Sometimes, you can’t fix the shit thats going on in your head, stress ‘manifests’ (don’t) itself in many ways – the human mind is a complex fucker at best.
(hence if someone wants to ‘fix your mindset’ at least make sure they have some qualifications – they can do more harm than good if they don’t)
Sometimes you just need to out your hand up and say:
‘hey, can I get some help’
And thats OK
And if you’re cool A.F. and have the psychology on par with tempered steel, then I am truly envious and wish you the best
Blaze a trail of glory!
But if, at times, you are feeling backed into a corner….
That there is no way out….
Or you feel low, depressed or simply unhappy.
DONT suffer in silence
Fuck, PM me if you have to – I may come across an an asshole, but Ive been there – and Ill probably still go there from time to time…
I know for a fact that if it weren’t for people offering a helpful hand, Im not sure where I would be now..
Its a tough path have chosen, it gets rocky at times – don’t talk it alone