Lonely at the Top?What happens when you become your own boss? Who is there is put an arm around you and give you that advice you need and become a sound board for your ideas?
Jessica Bruder wrote an article some months ago about the psychological pressure of running your own business. She highlighted the story of Bradley Smith, a multimillionaire CEO of a financial services company in California. He struggled, sold his pension, was as close to the sun as he could manage but managed to hold it together.
Others have not been so lucky. Jody Sherman, owner of Ecomom commited suicide. Shock and disbelief followed from the community. Except the CEOs who have started their own businesses didn't really seem so shocked. The truth of the matter is, unless you have looked into the abyss you cannot understand the stress, anxiety and sleepless nights of running your own business. The real shock is that more business owners haven't gone the way of Jody.
There is no right or wrong way to cope with the pressure of your own business. Some people simply ignore the stress, others have an extreme sports addiction whilst some work through it. As a human being you have your own stress mechanisms for dealing with life events, each to their own as they say.
What we need to do now is appreciate that the world is completely different in 2013 compared to 1973. Life is much, much faster, information has increased tenfold and we are working differently. We have radically changed our diets (for better or worse) and now understand what we can do to eat healthily.
If we can understand our physical selves in a more educated way, why is the psychological side lagging behind?
The Life Coach - the future?Recently I sat down with Pete Yeoman who I have known for several years. He has always struck me as an ideal mentor for young start-ups. He has the aura of experience, softly spoken and someone you immediately feel comfortable in the presence of. He has recently qualified as a personal counsellor which gives him the full arsenal of skills needed to sit with a professional and discuss every part of their life, from personal relationships to unruly staff.
Where does he and others like him fit into business? Do they have a place? I think so. The holistic approach of a Life Coach gives them a better insight into your personal and business life. For example, a messy divorce can seriously impact on your performance at work and vice versa, tough times in the office can lead to family problems.
The role of the Life Coach is to find your centre, your balance in life. This may sound like some American nonsense but life IS about trade-offs. Working 14 hours a day may make you rich in ten years time but it may also mean you are single and lonely. Finding this balance and harmony in life is what the Life Coach is about.