I hear the chatter all the time on Facebook, at networking events, and even occasionally, I get a phone call…
Someone is whining that they just have too much to do as an entrepreneur. They say they are overworked, overcommitted and overwhelmed. In truth, they are all over the map.
They keep taking on new projects even though they haven’t finished old ones. They are committing to new joint ventures, even while failing to meet commitments to old ventures and partners.
They are about to explode. Except when they are about to collapse… Or disappear from view.
But they keep doing it so much that it seems like they enjoy it. The overcommitment provides an excuse not to meet any commitments. And all of it—the commitments, the problems, the drama—keeps them at the center of attention.
I have a new term for them: “Martyrpreneur”.
And here’s the harsh reality: It’s your fault. You like being a martyrpreneur.
Sure, we all get stressed with our businesses at some point and time. However, if it becomes your standard MO, then you may be a martyrpreneur.
- If you use “Woe is me” as an excuse for not achieving the success you want, then you may be a martyrpreneur.
- If you make new business commitments while complaining that you don’t have the time or resources for your old commitments, then you may be a martyrpreneur.
- If you go to networking events to complain (to the same old people) that networking events are a waste of your time, then you may be a martyrpreneur.
- If you buy the latest “productivity product” because you don’t have the time to implement all the old productivity products you bought, then you may be a martyrpreneur.
- If you hire a new coach every few months to get out of being held to account by your old coach, then you may be a martyrpreneur.
- If you always excuse yourself by saying, “If only…” or “When I finally…”, then you may be a martyrpreneur.
- If you spend tons of money on a new brand, then in a few months decide you don’t like it and start again, then you may be a martyrpreneur.
- If you ask the same question over and over again to the same groups on Facebook, yet never acted on any of the advice you got, then you may be a martyrpreneur.
- If you cry “Foul!” every time some well-meaning colleague calls you on your sh*t about your business (or lack thereof), then you may be a martyrpreneur.
The truth is, all of these problems can be fixed. And you know it. You know you need to plan and prioritize better. You know you need to create systems and manage your time more efficiently. You know you need to delegate more and get rid of other things that just aren’t serving you.
You’ve probably bought a hundred different products promising to do all that. But then you say you are too busy to implement them. Or you were blown off course by something beyond your control. Again. Or you will get around to that, as soon as you finish x, or receive y, or achieve z.
There’s always an excuse, because secretly, deep down, you are a martyrpreneur. And the first step to fixing any problem is to admit you have a problem.
All those products for boosting your productivity and helping you make money are just going to add to your overwhelm UNTIL you admit you are a martyrpreneur.
But once you accept you are a martyrpreneur, then you can move on to the solutions. You can stop working to generate sympathy and start working to generate success.
There. I said it. And I know some people will say I sound rude, unsympathetic, or think I’m better than everyone else. That’s just not the case. You don’t need more hand holding and agreement, that’s part of what got you in this position in the first place. Giving sympathy will just enable the martyrpreneurs to continue as martyrs in their own minds, instead of helping them get on the track to success. This reality check is your ‘tough love’ – not because I don’t care, but because I do.
So, what are you going to do about it? Click away and not take action? Or perhaps write a commitment in the comment section- right here, right now – to stop the cycle of martyrpreneurdom. And of course, if you have something else to say, I welcome that too!