Stress is a monster. Having to deal with it, to live with it, and to focus on work or business, while grappling with it, often changes the way one views life. It alters ability to achieve goals.
Mounting ambushes can turn a perfectly well planned day into a nightmarish series of events, prompting normal people to pray for nightfall with hopes of finding momentary peace. Instead, when the moment arrives for restful catch-up, they face intervals of sleepless tossing and turning, making the thought of morning more tiring.
Productivity then declines. The downward spiral begins and the tailspin is almost uncontrollable. Closet stress, those forces that tug and pull at emotions and talent adding tension and turmoil, disrupting serenity, while we attempt to hide one thing or another is an enemy of everyone in business, today. Restaurant owners are particularly susceptible to this scenario.
The pressure of funding payroll with empty dining rooms, keeping the electric flowing while being haunted by a soon-to-be-processed shut-off notice, trying to scrape together enough money to make a tax deposit, and dealing with vendor collection calls are just a few of the small events that divert attention from the day to day tasks of running a restaurant smoothly.
In these tumultuous economic times when the struggle seems more surreal than ever before, it is almost impossible to purely focus on tasks at hand. Keeping the dining room running with a pleasant rhythm, perfecting professional service, making sure the food is prepared as perfectly as it was the day before, and prompting everyone to be smiling is simple compared to the juggling act one has to perfect to keep the dining room doors open.
Yet, many of us take these duties as regular assignments and live our lives adapting to a fire-drill mentality. Sleepless nights, thinking about yesterday, tomorrow, and what next week will hold in store – if we can make it that long, soon become a ritualistic regimen that we accept. And we still endure, although more frazzled, frumpled and rumpled than we were the day before.
The often insurmountable difficulties eventually hit a peak. While defining our attitude, the mood we maintain with our family and friends, and the way we carry on with the rest of our lives, we can alleviate the stress once we make a decision to stop the negative forward motion and grasp the problems, developing a solution and acting on that solution. Often the only way to stop the tail spin is to pull out of it by adding a partner or selling the business.
Think for a moment if you didn’t have any of these problems. Picture a week where nothing went wrong. Nobody called in sick, the bank balance was a single digit- any digit- with five or six zeroes behind it, and the property you sunk your heart and savings into was performing like a fine tuned athlete. A golfer, perhaps.
Let’s look at golf, for just a moment. When was the last time you played? Years ago? As it was, it once was a game played to take your mind off business. The stress you are now experiencing because of business would probably leave you with nothing more than a ripped and tattered score card if you attempted to play with extra baggage and mental clutter.
How could you possibly step up to the tee on the fist hole, pull out a driver, and begin to concentrate on your swing? The electric bill would surely pop into mind. The thought of having to keep a calm demeanor while your world is crumpling would certainly divide your focus and concentration.
Keep your eye on the ball – come on. You have so many problems dancing in front of you, you can barely see the ball once it is launched from its little wooden perch. And when your buddy asks “How’s it going?'”, do you really want to confess to the mess you have created. Of course not.
That’s why you stopped playing golf. Mental clutter, closet stress, insurmountable problems that interfere with your game. The list is endless, I bet.
That’s why so many players stop playing golf.