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Asking an entrepreneur whether they’ve experienced frustration is kind of like asking whether rice is white.
But as entrepreneurs, we’re used to solving problems with more action. So, when frustration takes root, our first thought is that we’re not doing enough. More action will solve the problem. Even if we’re already grinding out 12- to 16-hour days.
But what I’ve experienced in my own journey and coaching efforts is the opposite. Doing more when you’re frustrated tends to lead to more frustration. The actions you take don’t lead to better results.
Action is one of your superpowers. But trying to solve frustration with more action is a form of insanity.
Taking breaks, changing your environment, thinking, and reflecting are severely underrated. Taking these steps can loose you from the chains of frustration if you give them the attention they deserve.
At times, a short break is more than enough to help you clear your head and feel excited about your projects again. Sometimes, a longer break will be necessary.
But if you are caught in the grips of frustration, there is no easy exit. Doing more is rarely the answer. Even in small ways, your frustration can begin to affect your output, your team, and the way you communicate with prospects and customers.
I understand the hustle as well as anyone. The hustle, at times, is what sustains my output. But only at times. Not all the time.
Because I’ve realized that you can build your business around the life you want to create. When so often we end up focusing on building our life around the business we want to create.
It’s a trope to say that you should work smarter, not harder. But the question is whether you have taken the time to figure out the 20% of work you’re doing that leads to 80% of the results. Because only then can you identify what working smarter might look like.
This is a specific tool for a specific situation. It is not meant to be applied unquestioningly. But if you are in the throes of frustration, unable to move forward, then consider that you’re only becoming more entrenched in frustration by taking more action.
P.S. My new course, the Entrepreneurial Essentials for Musicians Masterclass is available.
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