Self Care November 9, 2020

Reason not to start working on a project/side gig?

Jesse Cheng @jessegrownup

Has mental health ever been a personal reason for anyone to NOT start a side gig or a startup? I was starting to see it as a reality possibly....

But then life happened.

And I found it hard to 'get back on the saddle'. And even now, it still feels hard to allocate time in my brain space to do it. I wonder if this is just me finding an excuse or if it's the universe/my body telling me to take it slow. I don't have the impression that starting a company is easy or sexy. I just want to make sure when I start the process again, I'm taking care of myself and in a good mental place.

Not looking for any spectacular answers but seeing if anyone has ever felt this way before.

  1. 2

    I've learned to listen to my mind and body. I used to tell myself to ignore the depression and anxiety and power through it. For me that only made it worse.

    Then I tried just taking time off anything remotely connected to what I'm working on, and made sure I ate healthily and got a lot of exercise in, and that improved my state of mind. I only got back to my business/projects when I felt it calling me, instead of forcing myself on it.

    Everyone's different. You just need to find what works for you. But I think giving yourself a break, being kind to yourself, and just remembering that you're here for a very short time and to smell the roses along the way should help.


    1. 1

      Hi Farez - thanks for sharing. Hard to listen to the mind/body sometimes. Esp with other goals/desires.

      Eating healthy + exercise...sounds like a good plan lol.

      Do you have a personal self checks as you go about your weeks then?

      1. 1

        Hey Jesse

        I agree, it is difficult, but I think that's only at the beginning. The more you are conscious about listening, the easier it will get. Well, it did for me.

        I don't really have specific self-check methods. When I start feeling really negative about something, especially "little" things, I know I'm stressed. Or if I start being distant with people I love, or if being social feels like a heavy burden, then I know that depression is probably setting in.

        When that happens I try and force myself to take time out and do healthy things. Sometimes you just need to pull yourself out of the rut to do things that will nourish yourself again.

        It's tricky man. I think that's a price we pay for pushing ourselves.

  2. 2

    Of course. For 1.5 years after I sold my last business, I couldn't stand seeing a computer screen. I was in a devastated state mentally. For me, things came back naturally. In the meantime, I tried to do other things, different things. Be it woodworking, exploring other career options that seemed interesting, even continuing my education.

    1. 1

      Props on selling a biz!

      Your woodworking is just me raking leaves in my back yard. Same effect possibly lol.

      How did you know you were in a 'devastated state'?

      1. 1
        • Spending one day in the office caused an inability to sleep for three days
        • In the office, I would often be really nervous, just pacing up and down the room
        • At one point I had two car accidents within 3 months because of this extreme state of stress/distress
        • When I took my laptop with me while travelling I noticed that just seeing the laptop fu**ed me up emotionally

        This kind of stuff happened, even though I WANTED to work, I WANTED to work so hard and the amount of time it took me to recover after I sold the project made me realize again that it was kind of serious.

  3. 1

    I’ve definitely felt this. I get a lot of joy out of side-project work, but when they get pressured with goals or revenue targets, it takes all the joy.

    Recently, I’ve got two little kids at home and a pressured day job. I can’t handle any more pressure. So, I’m not doing anything that isn’t fun for a side-project.

    I’m trying to NOT have goals, except to have fun and learn stuff along the way—for now, that’s ok for me.

    1. 1

      Feeling the 'goals/revenue targets' sucking the joy...but it makes me internally conflicted if I'm just not wanting to be measured..?

      I like the end sentence - 'for now, that's ok for me'. Feel like you know yourself pretty well if you are able to be confident in a stage that you know possibly you won't always be in

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