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Entrepreneurship: It’s Ok To Take A Break By Samanah Duran

3 missed calls, 36 messages and my Whatsapp notifications still continued to force my phone to vibrate. It was Friday morning almost 9am and my 7am alarm had already been and gone. I’d just walked my puppy for 30 minutes, scanned my emails and made sure all of my social media platforms were updated. Then I paused, I sat on the sofa and paused again for what felt like a really long time. In fact, I paused so hard that the next hour went by in a blur. 

I remember forcing myself up, making a green tea whilst examining my fingernails and telling myself that today was going to be another amazing day of life, only it wasn’t and I had no idea why I felt that way. My gym bag was already packed and ready to go for my 11am training session, and as I pulled up my Apple playlist to listen to Pat Flynn’s podcast, I stopped. I just simply felt like I couldn’t listen to any bullshit nonsense, it isn’t, I just couldn’t bear to listen to it. Actually, I couldn’t bear to listen to anything, not him, not another TechCrunch or TEDx Talk, nothing. Instead, I just grabbed my phone and keys and walked out the door and went for a very long walk. You know those kinds of walks where you talk to yourself and ask yourself philosophical questions?

As I continued to walk, I phoned one of my greatest friends of 20 years and my current training coach and asked him whether he ever had ‘one of those bad days’ where he couldn’t explain as to why he felt that way. To which he responded, “Of course I do, we all do, we are ALL only human.”

I don’t really know if I actually liked that answer, strange I know. But I had always felt on top of the world, indestructible at best, 110% of the time, and maybe somewhere along the timeline of entrepreneurship, I had convinced myself that I wasn’t human and that I am meant to take over the world with zero f’cks given. I continued to walk and promised him I would call him later since I never really was this kind of person to show this particular sensitive personality trait he was concerned.

Cutting a long story short, I didn’t call him back when I got home, I didn’t call anyone back or answer any of my WhatsApp messages, emails, Instagram DM’s, LinkedIn messages, Facebook voice notes, Twitter mentions, actually I did nothing. I simply got my duvet on the sofa, loaded the Batman trilogy box set up, switched off my light, grabbed my puppy, wrapped up snug and within minutes I fell to sleep.

I woke, about 5 hours later and it was dark outside. I remember lying in the dark feeling completely pissed at myself for missing out on my training session, not getting back to people that I should of and letting a day go to waste when quite frankly there should be no leg room for excuse’s especially if I really wanted to achieve my daily/weekly/monthly milestones so badly. Because that’s what we tell ourselves right? That as entrepreneurs, we are supposed to be hungry, passionate, determined go-getters living on fumes and chasing the bright lights of success to which, we should stop at nothing, absolutely nothing to get it. Bad day or not, we absolutely should get out of bed, show up and make shit happen. Needless to say, I couldn’t fathom that thought and I turned straight back over and went to sleep.

As an entrepreneur, how many times have you told yourself you should have already done that or should be doing this bigger, better, stronger, faster? How many times have you slapped yourself silly for feeling slightly sympathetic for yourself when there are tonnes of people out there who want success? I am no stranger to this feeling, and let me tell you, the pressure you can pitch upon yourself as an entrepreneur is none like no other. Running here, popping there, cemented appointments over there, meetings elsewhere. No, there isn’t time for feeling lethargic, energyless or maxed out, because we are out there, frontline, with our archery set shooting down targets.

Now I can’t say that I won’t ever feel like I did on Friday again, but what I can say is, the advice I got the next day when I forced myself to the gym for a Saturday morning training session with my coach made me realise that sometimes its ok to have a bad day. Sometimes its ok just to take a day to do nothing and disconnect. Sometimes its ok to take a breather or a break to recuperate, because there is always tomorrow and that particular tomorrow is a brand new day. It didn’t matter that my emails continued to ping, or my phone still buzzed as I slept through my woes because it was still going to be there when I woke up. I now see those bad days do exist, it happens, and for whatever reason, you cannot explain it, you just have to accept it for what it is.

For all of you warriors out there battling on the front line having a bad day, don’t sweat it! Remember, it doesn’t matter what mission you set yourself out to do, you are only human and you are entitled to feel as you want to. Life is there for you to control, not the other way around. You won’t be letting people down, you won’t be missing goals and your life will not simply fall apart by stopping to take a breather. As difficult as it may seem to allow yourself a timeout period, try committing to one day a month entering a space of nothingness. When I look back, Friday was bliss for me, I disconnected and took a break because I needed to and I know its worked in my favour. It’s now Sunday, I tackled another training session, caught up with friends over afternoon tea and now I feel fully pumped and ready to go next week. I also still haven’t answered any emails, calls or texts.

Ending note, I am not telling you to sleep the day away, but that was the only way I felt worked for me since it was a tad bit too early for me to go and smash tequilas down the local pub on a Friday morning.

 

 

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