Becoming an entrepreneur can be attractive for many reasons. You create something where there was nothing before. You innovate and push the envelope. You're your own boss. You set the rules and call the shots.
But starting your own business requires a continuous amount of dedication and hard work. And sometimes an entrepreneur's laser-sharp focus on starting up can turn into tunnel vision. This means you lose sight of the journey and more importantly you become separated from the people that you have the pleasure of interacting with through that journey.
Great entrepreneurs know that the pursuit of success doesn't need to make them blind to everything else that's important in life -- like family, health and happiness.
Here are warning signs that your quest to become successful in business might actually be ruining your personal life:
You don't celebrate short-term successes.
It's important to celebrate every small success and everything that you've created. The reason is simple: you are worth celebrating. Winning is not always tied to money, and so it important to celebrate all types of successes like growth in users or market share, or even something as simple as improving the user experience.
If you find yourself not winning often enough, then perhaps you might want to look at how far you've come both as an individual and as a business. Celebrating short-term success enables you to improve your life and boost your confidence.
You connect with clients and friends on social networks more so than in real life.
While online networking is an important element to starting a business, it is different from meeting people over lunch and holding a face-to-face conversation. When you only use social networks to interact with your friends, you tend to stay more disconnected from their lives as the majority of the interaction is a "like" or "comment" on their page. The power of discovery through conversation is powerful and should be part of your routine to ensure you don't miss out on important moments in the lives of those you care.
This is where apps and other tools can come in handy. One example is OverNear which allows you to connect with friends in real life instead of behind the screen.
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You find yourself talking about things to come rather than things that are.
If you are more focused on tomorrow than you are on today, perhaps it is time to slow down and pay attention to those around you, right now. It is easy to get blindsided and always worry about the next sale, or the next big hit rather than paying attention to day-to-day operations and everything else that's happening around you. Sometimes it's important to focus on logistics rather than vision all the time, to balance future plans with current priorities.
You start feeling disconnected from other people's emotions.
The saying is true: people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. As entrepreneurs we are trained to fix issues and come up with solutions quickly but are we considerate of those impacted by the issues or do we simply fix and move on?
Always check in with people involved and make sure they understand the why, how and what of the things you do. By communicating these things, you can build even more trust with those closest to you.
The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.