New entrepreneurs are faced with many decisions. What events do you attend? What relationships do you nurture? What opportunities do you pursue?
This is often a pain point for me, and I know it burdens many of my other entrepreneurial friends. I live in the bustling city of Dallas, and there is always something going on. There are award banquets and accelerator pitch days, conferences and luncheons. The opportunity in this city, my industry, and with my current clients is tremendous.
To make things more stressful, millennials are also prone to suffer from an epidemic knows as the “fear of missing out.” This is commonly referred to as FOMO. Here are ways I’ve overcome FOMO, and hopefully it also helps you on your journey to achieving success.
Document your goals and stay busy achieving them.
It’s easy to get swept up in miscellaneous tasks and events when you’re unsure of what it is you’re working towards accomplishing. Sure — you have your vision. The fantasy of the final outcome. I recommend getting more granular than that. What are your goals this week, month and year? What financial goals do you need to make? Know them and review them weekly, sometimes daily. This will help you when unexpected invitations or opportunities come your way. It will be more simple (not necessarily more easy) to making the decision that best helps you reach necessary milestones for long-term success.
Keep up with what’s going on and prioritize.
Keep up with events such as conferences and networking socials. It’s common for friends and colleagues to message or call hours before an event starts to ask if you’re going to be there. Facebook check-ins and tweets will take over your social newsfeed. If you let these events catch you by surprise, you’re more opt to feel curious or obligated to attend. “What if I miss an opportunity? A contact? A client?” Don’t burden yourself with these questions. There’s always going to be the ‘what-if’ element. Understanding and prioritizing your calendar will help guarantee that only the socials best for you to attend are the ones you’ll actually attend. Practice discernment.
Understand that there will always be something to do.
The business world is a fast-paced reality. There is always something to do. But not all events and socials are equal. Atleast when it comes to achieving your goals. You’re going to miss networking events. You’re going to skip conferences and give your regrets to missing morning coffee. If you accept every invitation, your personal and business finances will suffer. You’ll constantly be socializing, and rarely working. It’s okay to not accept every invitation. Just educate yourself on the best invitations to accept.
Acknowledge the importance of quiet or alone time.
I believe there’s a misconception about the meaning of productivity. Remember there is an appropriate time to work, eat and sleep. There is also a time to be alone, meditate and contemplate. It is when you give yourself the needed time to reflect and the space to get lost in your thoughts that you will come up with the best solutions to your challenges. Everyone is different and thus requires different amounts of alone or quiet time. Learn by listening to your body and your mind. Sit outside and shut out the noise from work if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Sleep if you are tired. Work if you are energetic and creative. Network when you are friendly and inspired.
Be a discerning risk-taker.
An entrepreneur is defined as someone who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk. Risk is essential to building anything. It’s how we realize our dreams, create movements, develop companies, build technology and change the world. Having said that — it’s important to practice discernment. Taking risks may be what brings you success, but it can also cause your demise. Weigh out the possible outcomes of your decisions. Move forward with gusto and an unwillingness to stay defeated even in moments of failure.
Know what it is you’re working for.
Never let your vision waver. Don’t allow immediate gratification to sabotage your journey to accomplishing greatness.
It’s important to be honest with yourself. Ask yourself if you’re doing this because it’s good for your startup or its good for your ego. Whatever your answer — it’s okay. Now you can better priortize and decide the best course of action. Carry on, millennial entrepreneurs.