As an entrepreneur, being present for your team and clients is essential in maintaining relationships and accomplishing your goals. What about being present for yourself? After all, how can you be present for others if you aren’t present for yourself? I recently came to the realization that I wasn’t doing the best job of that.
Learning to Accept a Gray Area
As an entrepreneur with Asperger’s, my behavior tends to be extreme. I’m either one way or the other, black or white, yes or no. Unfortunately for me, reality doesn’t work that way. Almost every situation has a gray area, and I have trouble realizing that sometimes.
My extreme behavior extends into my work life, too. For example, starting a project late in the afternoon often means I’m staying up until three or four in the morning trying to finish it. As I said, it’s all or nothing in my head sometimes. My extreme way of looking at things also affects how I connect with others.
I was recently talking about my podcast with my friend Cara. I told her about the goals for the podcast and how I have a deep desire to connect with people. After discussing this with my partner, Rachel, she told me that I often set unrealistic expectations when it comes to my connections with others.
The Danger of Hyper-Focusing
Going back to how I view the world, there is no gray area for me. I expect to connect with someone instantly and deeply, or not at all. In reality, most connections are somewhere in between. I expect connections to be continuous and good, which is not always the case.
I realized that I’ve been so hyper-focused on things that I sometimes fail to zoom out and look at the big picture. Instead of dwelling on what’s right in front of me, I need to step back and look at all that I’ve accomplished.
The same goes for my connections with others. Instead of having these unrealistic expectations for people I interact with, I need to step back and appreciate the connections I’ve made.
For example, I was recently telling a colleague of mine that I was focused on growing my sales team and not worried about anything else at the moment. He told me to take a step back and be proud of what I’d accomplished leading up to where I am now.
In over 20 years as an entrepreneur, I’ve had a lot of success. It’s hard to recognize that when you’re hyper-focused on the problem at hand. Even if you aren’t where you want to be yet, it’s still good to look back on what you’ve done so far and be proud of where you are.
Look at the Big Picture
So, my advice to you today is something that I’m currently working on myself. Don’t be afraid to take a step back. Zoom out and look at the bigger picture once in a while.
Almost everything will have variables and gray areas, and that’s okay. Remembering this will hopefully give you a fresh perspective on your own behavior and how you connect with others.
Another thing to remember is that it’s okay to work on yourself. We are constantly learning and evolving. Don’t be afraid to reflect and work on certain behaviors so you can grow to be your best self.
I hope that my experiences can also help you on your entrepreneurial journey. Let me know what you think in the comments below and contact me with all your entrepreneurial questions.