Addiction can be a painful disease. Fortunately, it does not need to triple your life. You can run a functional life and even thrive as an entrepreneur.
However, it is still going to be a crunch. You need to make sure that your addiction does not ruin your business. You also need to manage the stress of running a company to avoid the risk of relapse.
Here are some things that you need to keep in mind while running your business.
Don’t be afraid to get help
Getting help is important for anyone with an addiction. Don’t feel too proud to register for rehab or an outpatient facility like Harris House. It doesn’t make you any less of an entrepreneur.
Be mindful of the amount of hours that you work
Finding the right work-life balance is one of the biggest challenges that most entrepreneurs face. Working too many hours can cause any entrepreneur to face burn out, which ruins their momentum later on. Unfortunately, the stakes are much higher for entrepreneurs that are suffering from addiction.
If you feel too stressed or overwhelmed, you may be at a heightened risk of relapse. There it’s no universal rule of thumb for managing your time, because everybody has a different tolerance for stress. You need to know your own limits and avoid working so much that you run the risk of relapse.
View your business as a healthy addiction to substitute your more dangerous vice
Running a business could actually be therapeutic. Try to look at it as a healthy alternative to more dangerous addictions. Reframing this in your mind can make it easier to phase out your old addiction.
Tim Askew wrote a great article about this on Inc., which should be an inspiration to other entrepreneurs suffering from addictions.
“In my life I have been a committed addict of several sorts. Without detailing the specifics of this, suffice it to say I was at times a liar, a thief, a drunk, a seducer, a narcissist, a scofflaw, and a devotee of magical thinking. I was a wastrel using his innate gifts, education, and background to avoid reality, to not grow, to hide his authentic core and to avoid an engaged life. I was a creature of ashen hollowness living in the shadows of a moral and mental abyss, a soulless Gollum caught in a vertiginous descent into life-killing compulsion and escapism… I chose to come to a dead stop with the help of the usual suspects–Twelve Step programs, friends, family, faith, therapy. But, most importantly to me, I discovered, quite by accident, a new vehicle of salvation into which to pour a repairing soul. For me that vehicle was entrepreneurship.”
Be careful about the types of networking events that you attend
In many industries, you need to actively network to find new customers, lenders and other partners that you need to thrive as an entrepreneur. However, some of these events may not be appropriate for somebody suffering from addiction. They often have alcohol, which can be too much of a temptation.
You don’t necessarily need to avoid these events altogether. However, you may want to make sure that drinking isn’t the primary focus before attending.
Choose your business partners wisely
Finding the right business partner is important for any business owner. It is even more important for entrepreneurs suffering from addiction. If your business partner has an addiction or is not supportive of your challenges, then they may increase the risk of relapse.
Think of more productive things to do with your future income
Most entrepreneurs dream of making a lot of money. Deciding how to spend it is even more important for people with addictions. The reason is simple. Earning a lot of money can create the temptation to spend it on the wrong things, which is one of the risks many businesses face. Thinking of better ways to spend it will keep you focused on using it for more productive things.