Have you watched the movie, “Look Both Ways,” directed by our very own Wanuri Kahiu? If you haven’t yet, I am sorry about the spoiler I am about to dish out. In my defense, the spoiler gives context. Natalie Bennett writes a short animation film, The Night Owl, based on her daughter’s sleepless nights episodes. In a scene, Natalie and Gabe (her baby daddy) are seen making fun of their daughter. They’d ask if she is up because she’s “ … got a business to bizz, papers to file, … employees to fire?” Ok, no firing of employees. There are performance improvement programmes and warning letters for a reason. *Take note Founders.*
Point is, isn’t that what a lot of you are thinking about when you lay down at night or when you are at work?
- Did I send the consultant that email?
- Where am I getting money to pay my team?
- We’ve made less than Ksh 5,000 this week, what are we doing wrong?
- I need to call my mom back.
- Did I switch off the iron? Okay, that’s more of a ‘Me’ kind of problem. But you get my drift.
There is so much on your mind that you can barely sleep. The vision can be so motivating at times then on others, daunting. You either have dreams or doubts. Sometimes, when you need someone to motivate you to keep going, you look around and… silence. You are the only one in the room full of thoughts, doubts, dreams and goals. The vision is your baby and sometimes, you are the only one who can get your baby to stop crying, smile and perhaps eat.
Unfortunately that is quite a burden for one person if you do not have a co-founder or a ‘second-in-command’ to help steer the ship. The financial burden can be even greater. Debt knocking on your door, you probably haven’t eaten for days and you most definitely have some debt somewhere because *say it with me*, “FUNDRAISING.” Some days you are a founder and an accountant. On most days, you are the marketer, designer, sales person, HR, admin and the legal officer. You probably haven’t seen your parents, siblings, significant other and/or friends in a while. You also probably haven’t been sleeping enough, have you?
We want you to know… I want you to know that it is okay to rest. It is okay to take a day off. We have had to check ourselves when we are working. We remind each other to take breaks, be it 10 minutes water breaks, 1hr lunch breaks or a 2hr movie break. The mind needs a break. You need a break. It is also a plus for your health, just saying.
Founder’s Mind, take a day off. Take an hour off. Try and get about six to eight hours of sleep. Your body will thank you for it. Go outside. Feel the sun on your skin. Meet some friends. Make some new ones. The world is still moving forward out here. As much as your business might be the one that saves the planet, it won’t be the same if you can’t enjoy it with the rest of us. You don’t have to go through the business challenges alone.
We know we are new here, but if you need someone to vent to… we are here.
You’ve got this!