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My moments close to suicidal emotions while scaling up business

When I read the sad news of VG Siddhartha, entrepreneur & founder of a leading coffee chain in India, “ending his life” due to stress related to business, a number of not so comfortable stories and emotions cropped up in my mind.

Suddenly, my mind started showing me pictures of the moments from my last 16 year in business where I had felt almost close to experiencing feelings of “ending my life” – a suicidal emotion !

Hence, I decided to write this blog of sharing my moments close to suicidal emotions while scaling up business, with an intention of maybe it can help you in connecting with suicidal emotions from your past business journey & identifying your unique ways of how you overcame it.

here is my story…. in three parts.

I) Moments during my business journey which created close to “suicidal emotions”

II) Actions which further accelerated my feelings of “suicidal emotions”

III) Actions which helped me reduce or eliminate those feelings of “suicidal emotions”

I) Moments during my business journey which created close to “suicidal emotions” :

– when I joined my family business , few seniors team members could not accept me for a long period, which lead me to intense feelings of frustration.

– when I could not achieve my business goals within timeline – I felt low on confidence and heard my inner voice asking me “Are you capable enough?”.

– when one of our business associate would not show flexibility or agree and budge & a lot depended on the partner for us to achieve our business goals, I experienced deep fear within me.

– multiple unexpected challenges appearing in front of me on the same day when I was in the mood of expecting some positive news.

– relationship with a key business associate going negative due to non-agreement on certain points and leading to a stage of “lifelong exit” in that key relationship !

– our failure to deliver in time to one of our key business associate creating a negative image for the company & for myself as a leader to this company. The thought of how negatively others will think of “me & our company” due to this failure made me intensely anxious.

– repeat of same negative incidents again in spite of installing best practices within business leading to continuous negative thoughts of “are we in right direction?”.

– moments when negative stories just wont stop playing & would continue playing continuously in a round loop with the same unhappy ending. I felt my subconscious mind knew – it’s not a big deal and I can come out of the challenge but my mind “just won’t stop” the continuous loop of the story leading to further self-sabotage & taking my emotions closer to “suicidal emotions”.

II) Actions which further accelerated my feelings of “suicidal emotions”

– neglecting it , not accepting it & taking no actions !

– browsing through my social media: face book, what’s app.

– talking or sharing with a person who starts giving advise/ solutions immediately or start sharing his/ her problems and giving a feel of “your problems are nothing compared to mine”. Due to this, I getting an experience of not getting heard properly.

III) Actions which helped me reduce or eliminate those feelings of “suicidal emotions”

+ Connect with my Coaches & mentors : share my feelings & thoughts with my mentors & coaches immediately. These are people who have been great listeners for me & who asks me the right questions helping to deal with my suicidal emotions.( they don’t necessarily give me solutions ! )

+ find a quiet place to sit and “write” all my feelings and internal stories running in a loop on a piece of paper or in my mobile by asking questions like “what do you feel, why do you feel that way , how can you overcome it ?”

+ picking up the day’s newspaper – the negative news in the news has helped me to see my life as “ My challenges are nothing compared to what others are facing”.

+ Work outside office : I consciously work outside office one day per week at a coffee shop or a library or a book store. This gives me quality uninterrupted time to introspect for reviewing the direction & future vision of the business. During this time, I also connect with my “Why” (purpose) of doing business, which is beyond numbers and profits.

+ Treat Myself : I treat myself few hours per week where in do activities which I love doing & which are highly relaxing for my mind- watch movies alone, playing sports, etc. During this hours – I visualise this hours as a way of celebrating all the small successes in business. I also imagine a picture of worst case scenario of failing in business & how can I still live with that , this exercise gives me lot of mental strength of dealing with my fears of failure.

+ spend 30 minutes minimum daily on my physical fitness – running , walking, playing sports, gym etc. If I feel a strong negative emotion during office hours, I go for a walk in fresh air ( leave my Cabin ) , just go for a small walk in natural environment without touching my mobile.

+ Inspiration hours – invest 20 minutes daily in the morning for my mind – I read inspiring books, listen to positive talks on you tube. I call this actions as visiting “Morning Mind Gym”. I also met up few close friends one on one few times in a month to share & listen to different business challenges.

+ Relationships within my business – my team , I connect with them one on one & also as a group at least once a week , where I have sharing and listening sessions beyond business. We also have “Saturday Innovation & Inspiration hours” at our company, where we come together to learn something new at least twice a month.

+ Giving back- one activity per month. I do multiple activities under this like coaching and mentoring for young entrepreneurs, inspiring slum children staying near my office for connecting them to their passions and strengths,Eg recently I took 25 slum children to watch the movie “Super 30” during my birthday & received a wonderful gift of various letters from them on what they learnt out of this movie.

Have you experienced moments or feelings close to “suicidal emotions” during your business journey?

In present times, where in uncertainty within business is a part of daily life , how do you deal with feelings which can lead you to suicidal emotions ?

When I think of responding to this question, I see two choices in front of myself:

1) I avoid accepting that I will not have any moments of suicidal emotions in as I continue scaling up my business!

2) I accept that I will continue to have moments which can lead me to suicidal emotions & will continue finding my unique ways of dealing with it consciously.

I chose the second option. What have you chosen for yourself ?



Founder of Happy Business

“Scale up business happily!”

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