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Psychological Challenges of Business Ownership

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by James Burke, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

    Jan 2, 2010
    Mitten State
    Well, it's year number six for our business and I'm finally getting into the "psychological" challenges of being in business for myself.

    Now that the adrenaline has faded away, I'm noticing some "self-inflicted" casualties that have slowly crept in. I need to get rid of them before they do any damage: lethargy, wasting time, lack of direction / motivation...ect. I've been here before (as an employee), but it seems as though it's a little more challenging this time around.

    I'm a dedicated life-long learner and have been doing a lot of reading up on the subject. It goes by quite a few names such as "burnout", "fatigue", and a few other trendy names as well. I could use a few good battle tips from any long-term business veterans out there.


  2. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

    Mar 25, 2006
    Mars Florida
    Just keep taking on and learning new skill sets to keep the brain challenged. I'm in my 38th year full time and have hit one or two of those snags along the way. You have to make sure this it what you really want to do in life. Any doubts will make you question your choice.
  3. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006

    The next day always seems like a totally new outlook on life, since ya can't remember anything from yesterday...... on back........ :ROFLMAO:

    Find a hobby or two...... take up tiddlywinks, checkers, bungee diving or some other meaningful time-taker-upper.

    My wife and I go Ballroom and Latin dancing, gun shooting, casinos, parties, short trips and lots of day or weekend things. We also share interests in gardening and outside the house pleasures, including watching our neighbors go skinny dippin' or watch the animals wander around the property. Burnout is something which usually happens to those in over their head. Sure, ya need to recharge your batteries from time to time, but if you don't have a boss, ya need to be more disciplined and follow your goals. Don't let simple problems creep into your workplace and run your life.
  4. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

    Aug 28, 2007
    I'm not mega motivated to go out and search for new work, and I've been mega lucky to always have enough coming through the doors to pay the bills. I'm a one man show, and it is easy to sometimes not want to even face the mountain of "stuff" that there is to do in a day.

    I do manage to get away on several "short trips" a year with my friends. We go on probably 5-6 two to three day trips out riding our quads in Michigan, and there's something about that for me, that totally shuts my brain off from what I had to do in the office.

    I think that's the key for me. Finding what takes your mind off of work, and just lets you do what you enjoy without reminding you of what has to be done when you return. I see a lot of people that hate being self employed because of how many hours they have to work. I would rather be scrounging for money and spending time with my family than have a fat bank account, and never see them.
  5. vinyl jedi

    vinyl jedi New Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    West Palm Beach
    Do you have a store manager/productions manager? If so you could pass on a few responsibilities to them to give you a little more time to enjoy a hobby or time with family. An easy way to make this benefit both of you would be to make a bonus structure. If he/she is to obtain that monthly goal there would be a little $ kickback at the end of the month for them. This is to ensure that while you take your extra time out of the shop they are self motivated to hit the monthly goal.
    If you're running things on your own, same strategy. Try to set new challenges. If you push yourself to get X amount of work done by
    Thursday that could mean you could cut out at noon on Friday, or take it off for a long weekend. You would basically be rewarding yourself with time instead of money. Another thing you could look at is the opportunity cost of another employer if you're not running things on your own. In this situation opportunity being another employer and cost being the money you pay him vs work load. Hope this helps!
  6. lexsigns

    lexsigns Member

    Dec 24, 2007
    Burlington ma
  7. ThinkRight

    ThinkRight Active Member

    Nov 13, 2011
    Atlanta Ga
    Could it be you are bored and not just challenged ?
    Maybe work your brain a little ...
    Turn a hobby into a part time business .
    Mentoring people will help motivate you .
    Volunteer somehow or someplace.
    Also get a checkup, health problems can cause this also.
  8. FireSprint.com

    FireSprint.com Trade Only Screen & Digital Sign Printing

    I think just about everything is cyclical. I am cyclical in my motivation to get real work done. Don't get me wrong, I come in and put in the hours every day, but some days are way more productive than others.

    I too am a lifelong learner and when I realize I'm getting a little lethargic, generally for a couple of weeks every few months it seems, I look for something exciting to work on in the company. For me that's usually looking into new technology or a better way of doing things. Sometimes I find it and that kicks me back into 'working mode.' Sometimes I don't find anything new, but the search takes me long enough that a new set of challenges and customers have come down the pipe which re-motivates me.

    I think the path of a entrepreneur is 80% understanding our own strengths, weaknesses, motivations, and turn-offs and 20% finding a product or service that people want to buy. If we can figure out what we do well, and how to keep ourselves motivated, finding & keeping customers happy is much --do I dare say?-- easier.

  9. g&eprinting

    g&eprinting Member

    Jul 21, 2011
    Everett MA
    Buy a new piece of equipment. Expensive one , Kern Laser, Trumph laser, DTG, Mutoh rj900, bizhub pro, That'll get you up and ready to pay some bills.

    Start wholesaling.

    Start thermoforming, airbrushing, sublimation, glass etching, doming, moulding, guilding, foam creation... GO CRAZZZZZZZZY!
  10. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    stay off the internet at work, you'll be amazed at how much extra stuff you can get done around the shop.

    web surfing = wasted time
  11. 401Graphics

    401Graphics Very Active Member

    +100000000000000000 this is my biggest problem
  12. Hero Signs

    Hero Signs If they let me make it, they will come

    Sep 19, 2011
    Dead on, that is why I get on here at 8pm. I am 7 months into sign shop ownership. I have to say I have brought on the high levels of stress myself by taking a 34 year old sign company who did vinyl and digital print shop to utilize the vendors who are in the backs of the trade magazines. Bring in the internet and print services that I used to sell and keep up current production with only 3 employees.

    This is refreshing post to read.
  13. MichaelAlmand

    MichaelAlmand Member

    Sep 27, 2008
    For the past 3 years I have been struggling with anxiety,nervousness, stomach issues etc... Afraid of failure i am always trying to cope with it but not even close to what I used to feel like. I have a lot of pressure on me and not sure what triggered my feelings. It sucks. But just gotta keep on keepin on I guess
  14. kanini

    kanini Member

    Jul 13, 2012
    I felt EXACTLY like this in the beginning of this year, got my first full-time employee, work up over our ears and then poof... just like the air (hot steam) got out of me and I just didn't care about work or anything. Took 2 weeks off, shut off the phone and just spent time with my family and long-time-no-see friends. I made the mistake to visit the shop one day for an hour or so, and really felt the stress coming on, so I knew I had to just have a vacation.
    Now I feel very energized again and started "fresh" after the vacation with new estimating software, another new (used) printer and seem to get much more productive.
    For me the estimating software has been a GREAT relief since I did my estimating manually before = time consuming, energy consuming and often underpaid. Now I directly see how much money I make and don't have to spend time on jobs that pays less than I'd get if I was at home doing gardening or barbeque... I noticed this when I let a lot of quote requests just slip away for weeks and weeks until I with long teeth answered some of them, and of course that got stressful as well.

    Maybe you have some specific work tasks that you are dreading for or just hate to do? For me it was just that - the estimating part. Maybe you could find something (equipment, software, computer, outsourcing or staff) to ease those dreadful work tasks, and focus more on the things you really like about work?
  15. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    start eating healthier and exercise, then your mind will follow
  16. GB2

    GB2 Very Active Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    Connecticut, USA
    What is this miracle estimating software that changed your life, if I may ask?
  17. kanini

    kanini Member

    Jul 13, 2012
    I went with Estimate, and I think it works really well for me. Great customer support from them also! I have heard a lot of good things about SignVOX also, but it feels like it's too much of software for us at this point, only really needed the estimating feature.

    Miracle and miracle... well it eases my everyday life at the shop and since estimating was one of the things I neglected and didn't really seem to find the time for (anymore), I got surprised how well it works and how much it speeds up the estimating process. It has also helped me to improve profits in the shop a lot!
    When I started out with my business I thought it was fun to make estimates "by hand" and try to figure out the margins etc. but lately it became one of the things I dreaded the most. This software has really helped me out.
  18. signworldusinc

    signworldusinc Merchant Member

    May 16, 2012
    Rancho Cucamonga, CA
    Being a business owner is tough; there is a reason why 95% of businesses fail within the first 2 years of opening. Perseverance is essential to the survival of any business and the lack of motivation should be eliminated by trying new things or perhaps taking a small vacation to reset the mind like others suggested. Good luck with your business and do not give up so easily on something you have worked on for so long.

    Best regards,

    Signworld team
  19. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

    Jan 2, 2010
    Mitten State
    As mentioned earlier, it gets especially lonely if you're a one-man (or one-gal) show. I'm thankful for this forum and to all the great people who make it a fun place to be.

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