An Entrepreneurs Self-Contradiction: Anxiety Good & Bad
All of my businesses to date have involved a lot of measured risks. Some worked, some didn't, but in all of them, I loved seeing my team's hard work coming to life. The hustle of making deals are all part of the excitement & inspiration. For me, breaking new ground is the knowledge that it has not been done before. That daring feeling is two-fold. All roads lead to the ‘leader’, what will happen if I f#@^ it up? And what will happen if WE succeed? (shared success) As EyeOnIt & our associated entities grow, our adventures change, things get more complex. An entrepreneur's core responsibility is to understand that the team may be less comfortable taking a leap of faith and therefore, more communication is needed to ensure alignment goal alignments. The frequent change can lead to good or bad anxiety both personally and within the team. I think we can all identify with bad anxiety as something that creates paralysing fear (from a business perspective). Bad anxiety bubbles to the surface when there isn't a clear vision, and the team are expected to meet ill-defined milestones. Lack of leadership and not putting good people in a position to succeed is the seed that germinates into bad anxiety. Good anxiety in business challenges people through setting stretch milestones and working for the team to achieve them. Of course, this could be a challenging way of working or a predisposition — with the intent of improving. I am confident that any good team have a desire to keep moving forward as there is also a yearning for a sense of progression in life. It is the story of evolution and humankind. It is what people do — we keep progressing. Depending on what type of hurdle, learning or new skill is needed and what it represents, the level of anxiety will vary as well. Setting a bold vision and significant milestones on a clear journey creates the right type of stress. As a leader, never settling for good enough is justified, asking difficult questions is good anxiety. People on the receiving end of those questions may feel ‘put on the spot’ — but there is a time when penetrating questions are needed. Asking tough questions when difficult decisions need to be made ensures that people will need to contemplate deeply about what they are recommending and different approaches as well. As entrepreneurs, we need to eliminate bad anxiety and create space for good anxiety to be welcomed. How you seek success while driving healthy fear is the paradox we live in. I know I will get it right by explaining the journey ahead and how far the milestones will stretch us collectively. It also requires being transparent that fear is part of every adventure.
If you are wondering, that is our fish tank ...minus the shark
By EyeOnIt C.E.O