When In Doubt, Focus Out

The past year or so has been an interesting one for myself, my family, and my business.  “Knock on wood” nothing has tragically happened, yet I’ve experienced more anxiety than I think I ever have.  My grandfather did pass away, and it was sad yet I was surprised at much inspiration I gathered from him.  He lived a long life and while it was certainly sad that he passed it was also a great time of reflection for me about being a good man, father and husband.  So I really walked away from his passing more inspired, to be honest, than devastated.  As far as family goes, my wife and I continue to get more in sync with one another, my kids are healthy, so things are good there.  This month marks my two year anniversary as a business owner…here is what’s led to my anxiety.  Don’t get me wrong, starting my own firm, along with my business partners is the best decision we’ve made.  The first year was definitely the honeymoon stage.  Everything was confirming that we made the right decision to start our own Registered Investment Advisory firm and we continued to do good work for people.  Now that the honeymoon stage has passed, it took a while to realize, hey, we are running a business here.  As far as the work goes with clients, no problem, we had that down.  It’s all the other things; how do we continue to grow? How do we onboard other advisors?  Let’s make sure we are staying compliant? How do we file taxes as this new LLC? How do we handle payroll, partner distributions, etc?  And I’m the compliance officer of my firm!  I am the first to admit that I grew up in a great family and with a great life and never dealt too much with anxiety.  There have been moments this year that I felt that heavy fog bear down on me and crush my chest making it hard to breath.

I’ve tried several things to cope with this.  And am a huge believer in fully diving into strategies like meditation in the mornings, exercise, and sleep.  What I was most surprised about was the feeling and relief I got when I would just send someone a text message, out of the blue, that just told that person how grateful I was for them.  I love it!  If you’ve never done it, just do it.  Think of someone you’re close with and get intimate for a moment and tell them how grateful you are for them.  When you think about this life and everyone having different life experiences it blows my mind, when I think about it, that this person chose to like me, to befriend me, to care about me.  Why?  What makes me important enough for them to expend energy thinking about me and interacting with me?  It’s flattering and I found that much of the time it would melt the anxiety away.  So I encourage you, give it a try.  If you’re stressed or anxious send someone a kind text about how grateful you are for them.

Be a better human.

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