The Adversity Coach: Your Trusted Adviser
"A brother is born for adversity - Proverbs 17:17"
Not being in a peak mental state can absolutely sabotage your health, wealth and relationships!
And with those areas out of order, it is virtually impossible to be happy! That is why it is so critical to have someone help you keep yourself in a peak mental state!
Tony Robbins, one of the first main-stream coaches to focus on adversity and performance, has been speaking for years on the importance of maintaining a peak mental state.
As the world's leading authority, (or certainly the most recognizable one), on the subject, Tony has stated that without achieving and maintaining a peak mental state, you can never reach your full potential in any other area of life!
Think about it... what happens when you are NOT in a peak mental state?
Stress... Anxiety... Insomnia... Short Temper... Depression... Impaired Decision-Making Ability... and that's just for starters!
Eroding these foundations leads to MASSIVE problems in your personal and professional relationships and takes a serious toll on your earning ability!
Have you ever had one of those days that started off terrible... and just went downhill from there?
It's because you started off in a compromised mental state and it crippled your potential for the rest of the day!
For entrepreneurs, this negative cycle can go on for much longer periods of time, wreaking havoc in every area of your life.
What is an Adversity Coach?
An Adversity Coach builds and expands on our Consulting Strategist program. In addition to the services provided by a consulting strategist, the Adversity Coach gives you an on-demand consultant to act as your advocate and trusted adviser, creating an authority figure you can rely on for unbiased and objective consultation.
This coach is a vetted and veteran entrepreneur or business owner, retained to act in your best interests and offer you a "safe zone" to address problems and concerns not easily discussed in other outlets.
Many top CEOs and entrepreneurs retain an adversity coach (under various names such as performance coach, consulting strategist or management consultant) to act as a trusted adviser. However, our coaches are specifically trained to act as your advocate, providing services designed specifically to relieve the burden of running a business.
They are trained to help you systematize your processes, record the data, and create more efficient systems designed to eliminate the tasks that have become a grind and allow you to focus on your strengths.
Imagine... how much better would your personal and professional life become if you could have someone DELEGATE the things you don't want to do, and FREE YOU UP to do the things you actually want to do!
Why you need an Adversity Coach
You can't let your guard down. Your spouse, your employees, your partners, they all trust you and look to you for leadership. Your bravado shield has to stay up 24/7/365.
But you are only human and who do you turn to when you need someone?
You feel like your spouse has no idea what it is that you actually do. You are afraid that if employees see you crack under pressure, you might lose their respect. And you are just too proud to admit to your peers that you are struggling, either personally or professionally.
Let's talk about the poison of perpetual stress.
Left unchecked, stress is a stone-cold killer. Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade had both reached a pinnacle of success that few attain, but the success couldn't save them from the chilling grip of entrepreneurial depression. The need to be "always on" for your audience, the inability to be vulnerable to anyone, and the requirement to act professionally as if you had a perfect home life, and vice versa, are in the most literal sense, more mentally and physically draining than most serious illnesses.
The snowballing stress adds up, and it adds up quickly...
Let's talk numbers:
UC Berkeley Institutional Review Board and published in the journal Small Business Economics found:
In addition, entrepreneurs were more likely than comparison participants and the general population to experience:
Depression: 30% compared to 15% and 16.6% (APA)
ADHD: 29% compared to 5% and 4.4% (NIMH)
Addiction: 12% compared to 4% and 8.4% (SAMHSA)
Bipolar diagnosis: 11% compared to 1% and 4.4% (NIMH)"
If that's not terrifying enough, let's break that down more simply.
200% more likely to be depressed.
300% more likely to struggle with addiction.
600% more likely to struggle with ADHD.
1100% more likely to suffer from Bipolar Disorder.
And that's not even addressing suicide, self harm or DIVORCE!
The mental health of entrepreneurs is an epidemic, and left untreated can be at best crippling, but at worst, absolutely deadly.
*(NOTE: There is a MASSIVE difference in a pre-existing medically-diagnosed mental condition and circumstance! When in doubt, ALWAYS see a doctor!
…Actually, just go see a doctor regardless, they WANT to help you and they are the ONLY ones qualified to do so if you have a medical condition!)
Why are entrepreneurs exponentially more likely to experience these conditions?
Let's take a closer look at what's involved in a life of entrepreneurship.
2.) Extreme levels of isolation. We've all been told to "go dark until you get it." This advice, while sound from a business perspective, is extreme for anyone not accustomed to the drain of solitary confinement. Humans are generally social creatures, and extreme isolation for continual periods can create a very unhealthy environment that is actually counter-productive to your need for increased productivity.
3.) Extremely long work hours. We assume it will slow down eventually, but the reality is that it never does. And when that reality finally kicks in, the adrenaline you've been running on drains from your body, leaving you depleted and without energy, purpose, drive or sometimes even hope.
4.) Extremely unnatural and highly volatile risk/reward cycle. The average employee dreads Monday, then gradually increases in mood through a certain Friday payday. Followed by a weekend enjoying the fruits of their labor and the knowledge that come Monday it all starts over again. It is a comfortably boring cycle that numbs the fight-or-flight response in their brains.
To an entrepreneur, this sounds like a living Hell, hence the career choice to pursue the unknown. But success for an entrepreneur is NOT a straight line! It is not a mountain top with continual climbing progress.
The entrepreneur's journey is epitomized by the euphoria of the sweeping highs of success and the devastating lows of failure. This unhealthy roller coaster is entirely unnatural for a brain that was designed for the far more simple and straightforward task of "hunt, kill and eat"...or run away.
With conditions like those, it's no wonder that we are under constantly under the immanent threat of these dangerous conditions.
So WHY do we suffer in silence?
The Bravado Shield: For many entrepreneurs, they have crafted a carefully constructed image for the public eye. For some, they have hidden behind this mask so long they can't actually remember who they really are without it. The idea of dropping their defenses and allowing themselves to become vulnerable is a concept so foreign for most they can't even fathom it.
And for good reason...
In their minds, one slip up and the house of cards comes crashing down. Imposter Syndrome tells them that "No one wants my product if they find out my marriage is struggling, I went bankrupt at 23, I have a criminal record from a bar fight in college, etc." It becomes impossible to accept their own humanity because they have been drinking the Kool-Aid from their own marketing department.
Having spent their early careers riding the (ill-reasoned) axiom of, "Fake it 'til you make it!", they find themselves imprisoned by an identity they created and unable to seek help, advice or comfort for fear of repercussions socially or economically.
A beautifully illustrated example of this comes from a quote by Toby Thomas, CEO of EnSite Solutions (No. 188 on the Inc. 500), who used the oft-quoted analogy of a man riding a lion. "People look at him and think, This guy's really got it together! He's brave!" says Thomas. "And the man riding the lion is thinking, How the hell did I get on a lion, and how do I keep from getting eaten?"
What's the solution?
I can't stress enough the importance of seeking the help of a qualified medical professional. There is no shame in treating sickness and no stigma in suffering from an illness affecting over 30% of your peer group!
However, as an additional outlet, you can retain an Adversity Coach, a qualified consultant that can act as your trusted advisor, to help alleviate the burden of bearing your business decisions alone. This Coach is a seasoned professional, vetted for their experience in your area and with the insight to advise you in business matters as an objective, outside opinion.
Each Adversity coach signs an ironclad, legally binding NDA to ensure the safety of your identity and your intellectual property. There is no vested interest, no conflict of interest and both the client AND the Coach are prohibited by the agreement from entering into any business venture outside the client/coach relationship while in the program in order to maintain the integrity and objectivity of your advisor.
This coach is similar to a management consultant; however, they are available (based on pre-determined arrangements) outside of working hours, and for problems far outside the scope of a standard management consultant. Think of them as a "Management Consultant-plus." or as we call them, a Consulting Strategist.
Let's look at a few non-traditional scenarios where you could rely on your Adversity Coach.
Scenario 1) You need advice on maintaining your work/life balance, but to admit that to your spouse would be to admit that they are right about you working too much, and you're not quite ready for that conversation. To admit to your employees would seem in your eyes inappropriate, after all, you are the boss, so you should be working harder than anyone else, right? And obviously, you can't admit it to your partners, they might suspect burnout or weakness.
Scenario 2) You have a problem employee that needs to be dealt with. You've tried to be tactful, but they refuse all intervention to comply with your guidelines. The issue needs to be dealt with, as the toxicity is poisoning the rest of the staff, but you can't talk to your employees about an appropriate course of action for fear that word could get around. You need an outside, objective opinion, but who to turn to?
Scenario 3) You are struggling to make payroll because you have a big client on net-60 terms. The contract was huge, and the payday will be equally significant. However, in the meantime, you are strapped for cash. You know the money is coming, but you are scrambling to cover expenses in the meantime and payroll is just around the corner. You need to vent, but your spouse doesn't understand and the employees would flip out.
These are the types of non-traditional problems you can turn to your Adversity Coach for. They are in place to be your trusted advisor, your confidential confidant, and your qualified business consultant.
Having an Adversity Coach in place can dramatically relieve the burden of bearing your business problems alone and help alleviate many of the factors that contribute to entrepreneurial loneliness and condition-induced feelings of anxiety and depression.
So if you are a successful entrepreneur that is feeling overwhelmed and needs an outlet, schedule a confidential consultation today to see if you are a good fit to work with an Adversity Coach.