Andrea Polito is an author, coach, speaker and internationally acclaimed photographer. As a business owner and creative, Andrea openly admits that she can become absorbed--even consumed--in her work.

When speaking about being at home with her husband and daughter, Andrea said, "I'm oftentimes distracted."

This isn't anything very unique. Many (probably most) entrepreneurs get wrapped up in their work. It's easy to get obsessed. There's a million things to do. And in today's hyper-connected culture, it's almost expected that we're always working and always available.

However, Andrea caught on to the idea that this isn't actually a good thing. It's not good for herself, her family, or her business.

Being busy and being productive aren't the same thing. Being busy is not a badge of honor, as author Greg McKeown has said.

According to Andrea, a big problem with becoming absorbed in your business is that you can lose your identity. Put more directly, your identity and your business become one and the same.

When this happens, you have no foundation or footing as a person.

If things are going well in your work, you're on top of the world.

If things aren't going well, life (and you) suck.

Andrea's work is globally recognized. She's brilliant at what she does. Yet, she said when her identity was tied to her work, that getting even one negative comment had the potential to throw off her whole day, despite having thousands of positive comments.

As a writer, I've had this experience myself.

If you and your work are the same thing, then any negative outside opinion about your work is reflected on you.

That is, unless you protect yourself from this self-destructive cycle that so many entrepreneurs find themselves.

The secret is building your personal foundation and compass. And that's exactly what Andrea is doing.

Here's how she does it:

1. Build A Powerful Circle of Influence

It's very common among entrepreneurs, especially those who get wrapped-up in their work, to have a small or non-existent social network.

Andrea believes her circle of influence is huge. Consequently, she joined a high level mastermind group called Genius Network.

In Genius Network, she's surrounded by "better humans" who inspire her to be a better person herself. Having a powerful and inspiring social network has changed Andrea's life.

It's helped her build her inner confidence.

It's helped her find balance, and to stop caring so much about stuff that doesn't matter--like negative reviews or comments.

2. Putting Herself First

Andrea used to get crushed when things weren't going well in her work.

And of course, she's not perfect. She still gets overwhelmed like the rest of us. But she's learned to put her own health and well-being before her work. And it's making a huge difference in her life and business.

She does this by taking time for herself.

"Taking time for herself" means writing in her journal, meditating, going on morning walks, and being with her husband and daughter.

By putting herself first, and by daily doing these super-health habits, she's found her inner compass and built her inner foundation.

Conclusion

These two strategies provide Andrea the strength and clarity to keep things in perspective.

Little things are far less likely to derail her.

Her identity is far more powerful and clear than simply the work she does.

More entrepreneurs and creatives need to prioritize their circle of influence and themselves.

Published on: Sep 13, 2017