Ben Horowitz, co-founder of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and former CEO of Opsware (sold to HP for $1.6b) recently wrote a book called The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building A Business When There Are No easy Answers.
In the book, Ben talks about the ups and downs of entrepreneurship and how to deal with them. People often see the successful moments in the press, but the hardships are hardly discussed. Ben doesn’t hold back in his book. He provides practical advice on how to deal with tough situations such as firing executives to making unpopular decisions that will largely impact the company.
The chapter that really stuck out to me was titled ‘The Struggle‘. The Struggle is basically something all entrepreneurs go through when the going gets tough:
- It’s when you question whether you’re the right person for the job or not.
- It’s when food loses its taste.
- It’s when self doubt becomes self-hatred.
- and more…
The Struggle is something that really resonates with me and I think it’s something worth talking about. But how do you deal with it?
Here are a few things I do to handle ‘The Struggle’:
- Remember that you’re not the only one – Whenever things get bad for me. I remember to tell myself that things aren’t as bad as they seem. The worst case scenario really isn’t that bad at all and in the grand scheme of things, whatever I’m dealing with isn’t such a big deal. I have an article about a Reddit co-founder that went through a series of devastating losses in a very short amount of time. Whenever I have a bad day, I read that to help put things into perspective. Then I move on.
- Meditate – I try to spend 10 minutes in the morning to clear my mind and just be. No e-mails, texts or calls bombarding me. Just pure peace. There’s something unique about the calmness that follows you after a meditation session.
- Join a peer group/mastermind – In Entrepreneur’s Organization, there’s a peer group called forum where I meet with a group of likeminded entrepreneurs with different businesses each month. We reveal virtually everything that goes on in our personal and business lives and try to help each other out. Entrepreneurship is a lonely game and it’s tough to find people that have been through similar scenarios to yours. Masterminds are another great tool to use to build relationships and share helpful information with your peers.
- Exercise – Exercise is said to release endorphins that put you in a better mood throughout the day. The health benefits are given. I especially like exercising when I’m stressed or angry.
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