As you read this article you will occasionally nod your head in affirmation and then drift away to think about your new idea. Or a version of your current idea. Or the application of that new marketing idea you just read about in Inc. Better check my Twitter feed to see what's happening. Anything posted by @jason today worth re-Tweeting? Hey there's a notification from Facebook. I wonder if . . .
These are all symptoms of a larger disease that when applied to your small business or startup will create barriers to your success. Its one thing when your personal life is living in the moment (that second to second moment). It's completely different and extremely dangerous when the same mental approach is used to operate your business life.
Great decision-making is not a result of 2 seconds of forethought, at least not consistently. That is called lucky not good.
I believe that FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) derails more startup companies today than any other factor.
But it seems like younger entrepreneurs are not only suffering from the disease but also seemingly embrace this as a way of life. More is better and these new technologies enable me to do more faster than ever before. The thinking is that if I can do more than my competitor then I will win.
You are not winning when you are holding on to your business by your fingernails. You are not winning when you slip into a depression. You are not winning when your team begins to dislike being in the same room with you. You are not winning when customers begin to leave. You are not winning when your significant other gives you the same advice (for the 5th time) and you continue to ignore it.
Once of my favorite startup bloggers, startup investor and community builder, Brad Feld writes frequently about the high rate of mental health issues among entrepreneurs. The best and simplest advice he gives is to slow down. He himself takes a digital Sabbath every weekend. That's right, no email, Twitter, Facebook, text messaging or connection to the digital world.
I struggle with focus myself and constantly have to remind myself what is important. I am lucky that I have wives (my actual spouse as well as my business wife, Dave) that will remind me that I am getting a little manic.
At times I decide to work all weekend to catch up and I invariably pay for it later in the week. Sometimes I have no choice but did I gain anything really? As I get older, travel wears me down. It's that "being on" for multiple days in a row that takes bites from my brain. Years ago I put an end to Sunday business travel.
Do yourself a favor and disconnect during the day. Take a walk. Turn your phone off. Give your brain a rest and maybe, just maybe you might find yourself in a better place to make better decisions.