Dealing with loss as an entrepreneur

Article

Article
Posted by:
Andrew Birkett
Date Published:
Sep 8, 2019

Dealing with loss is tough no matter the circumstances. Though, there are additional complications for entrepreneurs who are faced with incredible loss. It’s hard to take time off when you’re in charge. There’s no bereavement pay. It’s easy to either way overwork yourself to compensate and keep your mind off things or to go to the other extreme of not working at all. I’ve recently dealt with the fairly unexpected death of my father, who was far too young (49). In this article I’ll outline some of the strategies/practices I’ve put into place in order to deal with this incredibly tragic time in my life while still operating and maintaining Atheris.

Avoiding the Extremes

As an entrepreneur I am not a very moderate person. I don’t think any entrepreneur is. I find myself constantly veering towards the polar ends whether it is work/life balance, eating habits, or anything else really. When I want to do something I do it, even if it adversely affects me.  I go all in. When dealing with loss I found it was my natural instinct to work more. I felt comfort in staying busy to the point of stressing myself out and suppressing emotions.

I quickly found that was not healthy and ended up taking time off of work and focused on other things such as writing comics (I love writing). Though, as an entrepreneur I know that if I don’t get work done no one else is there to pick up the slack. Even if I had employees that would still be true as owners are necessary to lead the ship.

I found that the best bet was to manage my workload and set timelines for our upcoming projects to ensure that I don’t find myself leaving work undone or lose any publishing contracts for our upcoming games while also ensuring I don’t work far too many hours.

I think it’s incredibly important to regularly reevaluate your goals for the near and far future.

Self-Realization

I think it’s incredibly important to regularly reevaluate your goals for the near and far future. As life changes so do the things you want out of it. Entrepreneurs often get stuck working in their business and not on it. However, strategizing is an often overlooked task, but it’s a crucial one.

I reevaluate my short-term (less than a year) and long-term (over a year) goals every 3-6 months. I’ve known I wanted to get into comics, but didn’t put the effort necessary to start our publishing division until I reevaluated my goals when my dad got sick. Life is short. I started Atheris as a board game company focused on storytelling. The comic medium is one I’ve always enjoyed. I’ve wanted to expand Atheris to other creative storytelling mediums and I am super excited to be bringing comics to our portfolio through Atheris Publishing.

Here’s the cover to a comic I wrote.

Sams-Scams-Comic-Atheris

Talk About It

It’s natural for people to not talk about what’s going on in their lives, especially when in a work environment. Though, sometimes it is best to let people know what you’re going through. Most people are very understanding. Let the stakeholders of your business know that it’s a hard time for you, but that you’re still committed to the business and share what your strategic goals are and if timelines are affected in any way.

For a few weeks I had an auto response that I was dealing with a personal situation, which would cause delays in how quickly I’d be able to get to processing requests such as getting replacement parts sent to our customers. Everyone was very understanding.

Conclusion

Being an entrepreneur is hard. Always. Though, when encountering personal situations that consume your thoughts, time and energy it becomes all the more challenging. It’s easy to want to give up, though if you think back on why you started the business in the first place it is often not the decision that will be best in the long-term. Alternatively, it is also easy to try to focus all of your efforts working rather than taking time for self-care and healing. Unfortunately, that is also not the best decision in the long-term.

Like most things in life it is about balance and self-reflection. It’s possible to get help and have others pick up some of your slack, even as an entrepreneur, but you have to be willing to ask for it.

Have you ever dealt with personal loss as an entrepreneur? What strategies have you utilized to keep your business afloat while also dealing with grief?

Dealing with loss as an entrepreneur

Article

Dealing with loss is tough no matter the circumstances. Though, there are additional complications for entrepreneurs who are faced with incredible loss. It’s hard to take time off when you’re in charge. There’s no bereavement pay. It’s easy to either way overwork yourself to compensate and keep your mind off things or to go to the other extreme of not working at all. I’ve recently dealt with the fairly unexpected death of my father, who was far too young (49). In this article I’ll outline some of the strategies/practices I’ve put into place in order to deal with this incredibly tragic time in my life while still operating and maintaining Atheris.

Avoiding the Extremes

As an entrepreneur I am not a very moderate person. I don’t think any entrepreneur is. I find myself constantly veering towards the polar ends whether it is work/life balance, eating habits, or anything else really. When I want to do something I do it, even if it adversely affects me.  I go all in. When dealing with loss I found it was my natural instinct to work more. I felt comfort in staying busy to the point of stressing myself out and suppressing emotions.

I quickly found that was not healthy and ended up taking time off of work and focused on other things such as writing comics (I love writing). Though, as an entrepreneur I know that if I don’t get work done no one else is there to pick up the slack. Even if I had employees that would still be true as owners are necessary to lead the ship.

I found that the best bet was to manage my workload and set timelines for our upcoming projects to ensure that I don’t find myself leaving work undone or lose any publishing contracts for our upcoming games while also ensuring I don’t work far too many hours.

I think it’s incredibly important to regularly reevaluate your goals for the near and far future.

Self-Realization

I think it’s incredibly important to regularly reevaluate your goals for the near and far future. As life changes so do the things you want out of it. Entrepreneurs often get stuck working in their business and not on it. However, strategizing is an often overlooked task, but it’s a crucial one.

I reevaluate my short-term (less than a year) and long-term (over a year) goals every 3-6 months. I’ve known I wanted to get into comics, but didn’t put the effort necessary to start our publishing division until I reevaluated my goals when my dad got sick. Life is short. I started Atheris as a board game company focused on storytelling. The comic medium is one I’ve always enjoyed. I’ve wanted to expand Atheris to other creative storytelling mediums and I am super excited to be bringing comics to our portfolio through Atheris Publishing.

Here’s the cover to a comic I wrote.

Sams-Scams-Comic-Atheris

Talk About It

It’s natural for people to not talk about what’s going on in their lives, especially when in a work environment. Though, sometimes it is best to let people know what you’re going through. Most people are very understanding. Let the stakeholders of your business know that it’s a hard time for you, but that you’re still committed to the business and share what your strategic goals are and if timelines are affected in any way.

For a few weeks I had an auto response that I was dealing with a personal situation, which would cause delays in how quickly I’d be able to get to processing requests such as getting replacement parts sent to our customers. Everyone was very understanding.

Conclusion

Being an entrepreneur is hard. Always. Though, when encountering personal situations that consume your thoughts, time and energy it becomes all the more challenging. It’s easy to want to give up, though if you think back on why you started the business in the first place it is often not the decision that will be best in the long-term. Alternatively, it is also easy to try to focus all of your efforts working rather than taking time for self-care and healing. Unfortunately, that is also not the best decision in the long-term.

Like most things in life it is about balance and self-reflection. It’s possible to get help and have others pick up some of your slack, even as an entrepreneur, but you have to be willing to ask for it.

Have you ever dealt with personal loss as an entrepreneur? What strategies have you utilized to keep your business afloat while also dealing with grief?

Sam Scams - Issue 1

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An adult-only comic about a stoner alien sent to Earth to scam the geriatric community in sunny Florida.