Brian woke when it was dark. Kissing the cheek of his still resting wife, he grabbed his favourite jeans, shirt and boots, and headed to the kitchen for coffee.
Catching sight of himself in the glass splashback he noticed the once slim figure was showing signs of neglect. The early morning gym sessions had given way to before-dawn office starts. He promised himself he’d go after work; but this gave way to long days, working weekends and too much travel, not to mention the management team’s constant demands on him (and his demands of them). There were only rare moments dedicated to catching up, and never enough of these to make a genuine dent in the unrelenting stream of work.
Early on, he’d told himself the busyness would abate. He knew that building a business from scratch would take everything, in the short term. It wasn’t going to just build itself, was it? That was over a decade ago. Always feeling behind he managed his daily anxiety on five double espressos, a six-pack of beer and often finishing with a late-night double whisky and potato-chips before returning home.
Leaving just before 4.30 a.m in his Mercedes, one of the first business-related rewards he’d allowed himself, he had determined that today would be different. Things were out of control. Conquering the desk-mess was first on the agenda and then bringing order to his diary; check-in with the team, respond to the mounting piles of overdue calls and emails. Maybe he’d even make it home to share dinner with the family tonight.
Unlocking the building’s front door, he walked down the dimly lit hallway to his office, feeling lighter already. It was quiet – just as he had hoped. He knew he could get through almost a day’s work before everyone arrived. Sliding into his chair, he took in the scene—numerous unread emails populated the screen, paper stacks and miscellaneous items lay about on the desk and floor. Notebooks, the whiteboard…
Overwhelmed, he went to the kitchen.
“You’re here early,” a bright voice broke the silence from behind. It was Sheree, his general manager. “I thought I’d be the first one here but you beat me to it. Don’t you ever sleep?” she asked. “I thought I’d try and get some shit cleaned up before the interruptions started” he replied. Walking to the door, Sheree turned and said, “Do you have a minute to discuss last month’s reports? I’ve found some significant performance issues that may impact the next quarter’s results….”
Two hours later, he emerged from Sheree’s office, exhausted. Heading for another coffee, Steve, his operations manager stopped him. “Could I see you for a moment?” he asked. “Sure,” Brian said, “take all the time you need.”
Arriving home well after dark, Brian hauled himself into bed, kissed his resting wife, and hoped tomorrow would be different.
Our main character Brian is fictional. However, parts of his experience were evident in the early days of starting my own business, many years ago. Thankfully, I got help and found a way through and out. It has been a great pleasure to have coached others over the past decade to find their way forward – to keep pace with business growth whilst simultaneously expanding their capacity to create and enjoy personal ease and a more balanced lifestyle. Touch base with me if you’d like to discuss your situation further.
*Photo by Wonderlane