I was having a conversation with my wife last week. I have this pattern – of doing a lot of work, building something, and then running straight into a rut.
We were talking about it.
She said, “You have amazing potential, you’re one of the smartest people with a legal mind that I’ve met. However, you’re not developing it fully. You work hard and you work a lot, but there’s a huge leak somewhere because you don’t enjoy the fruits of your hard work. If you were in a law firm or you were a litigator, you would have achieved a lot. I believe you can achieve that and much more, even with what you are doing.”
“It’s also not that someone else bears fruit. It is your business anyway.”
I’m really peaceful. I love comfort. I love settling down. Above all else, it really gives me calm and stability.
However, in business, this was costing me.
I just realised, my mental choice had nothing to do with how I ran the business.
Spending 10 hours working in office on two different days could show productivity that is poles apart. If I was anyway a workaholic, why think small?
I got out of my comfort zone. My co-founder Ramanuj has very ambitious plans. So do I. I didn’t say no to the big plan because I want the same for myself.
We discussed, and made a plan for growth for the coming month.
Guess what I found?
- New version of my anxiety. There are too many new projects and I don’t know how to get things done, even how to delegate.
- Anger at things not being ‘ideal’, not happening my way, or not being perfect
- New way of being upset with people who don’t deliver up to my expectations – There is urgency to move on to growth work, and I need my team to step up the game.
I had a horrible Saturday and a horrible Sunday to start with. I wasn’t willing and aligned to do what it takes. My wife wasn’t understanding what I was up to.
My earlier way of dealing with such situation when it cropped up? Finding escape routes in the following ways:
- Finding additional training programs,
- Finding other things, invalidating what I do
- Saying this is not ‘my thing’
- Deciding – ‘this strategy does not work’ and taking something simpler/ easier
- Logging out, without communicating that I’m not really in on the plan
My way of dealing with things now?
Is the problem resolved? No.
Am I progressing? Yes. I’m clear.
I spoke to my wife and communicated how I got real value from her inputs. I explained how I’m using that to make forward-looking plans to stabilise and grow at a higher level this month. I explained how having a bad month now can impact and demoralise our team, and slow down the forward momentum we have been building. I explained how I can break the rut, with a month of unreasonable work, and without killing myself or us.
(This situation would have been more cut and dry in a law firm setting – my boss or client would have demanded something, and I’d have no say. Many people hate their careers for this.
Guess what? I changed my career, but that doesn’t change the requirement for the situation. Escape is not an option.)
So, what’s the way forward?
Step 1: Taking on a big challenge, without an escape route.
Step 2: Dealing with the challenge head-on like my life depends on it,
Step 3: Not making it a big deal if I fail.
The last step is the hardest part. By the end of step 2, I’m hard-wired to take failure personally.
Kids change gears and games so fast. It doesn’t matter if they lose. They want to keep playing so that they have fun.
I can really be a kid. With serious challenges, but enjoy them the same.
That’s the growth curve that lies ahead of me to conquer.
What’s your big challenge going forward?
When was the last time somebody gave you a wake-up call?
Are you waiting for someone’s wake up call?
Take on a bigger challenge this month. Here are some courses to choose from, which I promise will challenge you to grow:
- Diploma in Industrial and Labour Laws
- Diploma in Companies Act, Corporate Governance and SEBI Regulations
- Diploma in Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment laws
- Diploma in Cyber Law, Fintech Regulations and Technology contracts
Executive Certificate Course