Running A Business When Your Brain Doesn’t Always Run Great

It’s no secret that I struggle with a brain that doesn’t always want to get up and go as much as I need to. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for a long time and I’ve written about it here, here, and even here. You can find hints of it all over really, especially really bad long periods when I don’t write anything, but you get the point. It’s a part of who I am and it’s not going to magically get up and walk away any time soon.

It hasn’t stopped me from pursuing my dream of being a founder and CEO in any way. Despite the fact, that it doesn’t take long once you start learning about entrepreneurship to hit:

🚨 BE PREPARED TO BE ALONE! 🚨

🚨 THE SOFT HEARTED NEED NOT APPLY! 🚨

The list could go on and on, but it was one of the biggest hurdles I faced when making the decision to pursue launching Justus Tickets. Would I be able to deal with trying to take this idea that meant the world to me and that I have put so much work into out into the world? It definitely hasn’t been a perfect journey and some days I feel like I’m no closer to launching than I was when I incorporated, but when I actually sit down and look back I’ve come a long way. During my time at Zero Base One, being a founder was summed up to the fact that a lot of the time you’ll feel like you’re staring into the abyss chewing glass and that couldn’t be truer. The key is when you feel like that is to take a breath and look back.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the idea of what you want your company or any venture to be far down the road when you’ll be able to buy a house, travel wherever, and run an amazing team. You can get some serious tunnel vision and the light at the end of the tunnel can quickly move far away and leave you feeling desperate. That’s when you look back and see all the work that you’ve put in. All the ways you’ve pushed yourself. The days you got up and still built financial models or empathy maps even though you could’ve slept all day.

There’s no easy journey for these things and adding something like a mental illness makes it a feel a lot more like a roller coaster you can’t get off.  There are people doing it every day and you can do it too. Ask yourself what would hurt more, the roller coaster or sitting on the sidelines watching other people ride? If you picked the roller coaster, then don’t worry because as with any good one there are ways to build safety into this wild ride. Find a therapist, find a partner that understands how to bring you out of your dark days, and the list goes on and on. The best part about running your own company is that you get to call the shots so you can make things work for you. I listened to a podcast on the topic and the founder spoke about he usually works remotely and that has made things exponentially better. Would that work for me? Absolutely not, but there’s no magic blueprint for success.

Thank goodness because if one did exist, it probably wouldn’t have anyone that looks or thinks like me running a company in the ticketing industry. Believe in yourself, build your safety features, and get on the roller coaster. Those of us that understand how big that step was will be here to welcome you with open arms. A brain that doesn’t always run great can create amazing, beautiful things and I can’t wait to see what yours gives to this world.

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A Deluge of Good Music

There’s an insane amount of great music coming out lately. These are a few I’ve been loving the most.

Mulu – Voices

This is one of my best friends and he’s amazing. If you like the song, follow his blog.

Listen here.

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Chvrches – Love Is Dead

Listen here.

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Knox White – The Morning

Listen here.

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Chelsea Cutler – The Reason

Listen here.

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A$AP Rocky – Testing

Listen here.

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The Front Bottoms – Ann

I Think Your Nose is Bleeding is my fave.

Listen here.

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Maggie Rogers – Fallingwater

Listen here.

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Kyle – Light of Mine

I know I posted Ikuyo already, but I love the whole album. Zoom and Open Doors are my favorites.

Listen here.

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The Rare Occasions – Into the Shallows

You Weren’t Meant to See That is one you can’t miss.

Listen here.

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Camila Cabello & Pharrell Williams – Sangria Wine

Listen here.

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Whew, that was a lot. Let me know what you listen to!

Transparency is Key

This phrase keeps appearing in my life both personal and professional so why not write about it?

You’ll still find a lot of shady things going down in a lot of industry, but as times moves forward it seems to be that gone are the days of being able to lie to employees and the public. Information is easily accessible and as in life, the truth always finds a way to the light.

During my last class with Zero Base One, we discussed this a lot in terms of how to manage a team. The easiest way to sum it up of why transparency is key is that smart people don’t enjoy being lied to. You don’t have to key everyone into every minor detail or freak out when things aren’t going swimmingly, but you have to be honest. No one likes to be left in the dark.

The more transparent without being alarming, then the more trust you’ll garner from those surrounding you. They’ll know they can make mistakes, they know they can be open, and all the positives just go on and on.

The worst thing you can do is just act like you know what is best and keep things from people because when they finally find out that you weren’t being honest, then you’ll probably lose them or very seriously damage their trust.

No one likes being lied to. No one likes being taken advantage of. You know you don’t so don’t do it to others. If you can walk through life, whether personal or professional with a level of empathy and transparency then you’ll be able to build a team up around you.

Music to the Rescue

Here’s a mix of what I’ve been listening to lately. It’s been a little bit all over the place from new stuff to old stuff. Just whatever is keeping my brain happy and functioning at the time. It’s been pretty crazy lately and pretty day-by-day, which always makes me fall back to older music that means a lot to me.

BLVCK JVCK featuring Jessie Reyez – Love Me Still

Listen here.

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Alison Wonderland – Awake *Specifically Cry, Awake, & Happy Place*

Listen here.

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Kyle – Ikuyo

Listen here.

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Elohim – Not Just Your Mama

Listen here.

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Neck Deep – In Bloom

Listen here.

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Set the Pride Aside and Ask for Help

How many times in your life could things have gone more smoothly or maybe even just happened at a faster rate if you would’ve just asked for help? For many people, asking for help seems like a failure. It makes sense when so many “inspirational” posts within the community are based around doing things by yourself and relying on yourself because you need to lead your company.

This is one of the biggest things I have struggled with starting my company. It is often amplified by the fact that I am a first-time founder, don’t have a technical or business background, and I’m a woman. All these things set me out as the person that would probably fail so I don’t want to show that I need help in moving forward. You can’t do this alone though. You need a team.

You need a team not just in the sense of a co-founder and mentors, but you need people behind you that you can turn to when things get rough. Believe me, they will so make sure the people on your team are ready for what they signed up for. Be willing to ask for help whether it is advice on financial models or help with quieting the voice in your head that says you aren’t good enough. Maybe you find that one person fits many of these roles and you only have a small team or maybe by the end of everything you end up with a HUGE team. Either way, what is important is that you set your pride aside and ask for help.

It will make all the difference in the world. If you haven’t quite yet found your team, you can always reach out to me. I’m no giant success story yet, but I understand this journey and I’d be more than happy to share some of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way.

Don’t give up because really everyone is asking “How do I entrepreneur?”

A Little Yin and Yang

This past month with moving, starting new programs, and life, in general, has been a lot of ups and downs. After a long, I’ve learned that I need to let myself be down when my body and brain are feeling that way. Lean into it and let it happen, but not wallow in it. Nothing helps me do this more than music. It’s a little bit of yin and a little bit of yang. Here are some of my favorite songs for when I’m down and when I’m ready to pull myself back up.

The Yin: For Sad Times

Wild Child – Sinking Ship

Listen here.

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Rex Orange County – Happiness

Listen here.

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Radical Face – The Crooked Kind

Listen here.

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Jessie Reyez – Cotton Candy

Listen here.

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Hootie & the Blowfish – Let Her Cry

Listen here.

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The Yang: For Good Times

Elohim – Fuck Your Money

Listen here.

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Lady Gaga – Dancin’ In Circles

Listen here.

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Superorganism – Something for Your M.I.N.D.

Listen here.

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Cardi B – I Do

Listen here.

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Lizzo – Truth Hurts

Listen here.

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