Entrepreneur Burnout : How Messi and my oldest fan saved me

Entrepreneur Burnout is a reality that faces many business owners. It is a hard and lonely journey, but sometimes help is just a conversation away.

Papa – cheering me on since 1980

I have never been a football or for that matter a cricket fan. Watching sports has not enthused me or lit fire in my heart as it does for many fellow planet dwellers, but don’t kill me yet. Recently I spent time with my father who in my small world is absolutely the biggest FIFA fan that I know. So, on the eve of his 70th birthday, we spent time together watching the glorious FIFA World Cup opening ceremony telecast from Qatar. With a budding football player in my hands and home, it was honestly time well spent. So today morning when I picked up the newspaper, the news of Argentina losing their match and the follow up commentary on Messi and comparisons drawn to Maradona were not given the usual miss. The descriptions of Messi leaving the stadium with his head hung low at full time, somehow hit home in more ways than I had expected.

As an entrepreneur, all days have not been the same for me over the last 6-7 years that I have been operating Bakeart. Some days more recently have been hard where I have struggled with my emotional health and found it difficult to invest myself as robustly in Bakeart as I would have liked. I have a fair “goal average,” I dribble well, and my performance is mostly outstanding barring a few (jarring) failures. Yet, business in not just about running operations. Admittedly, there are things that I should have done that I have not done in this time, and I remain the “genius without the world cup.”

The entrepreneurial journey is as hard as it is lonely. Unlike the jobs that I worked at for 15 years in my life, there is no “boss” that I report to, and self-motivation can suffer in times of emotional distress. Despite my enviable pragmatism, it is oftentimes hard for me to distinguish myself from my business and it is nothing of which I am proud. Yet, it has been hard to get up and get onto the playing field again.

But then there is Messi with fans rooting for him all over the world. They need him to bring the world cup home. This genius deserves his accolades. And just like Messi might find his manna in the faith that millions put in him, I found mine in my number one fan rooting for me and kicking my ass all at once – there are some things that only fathers can do.

Papa – cheering me on since 1980

Messi has a football cup and I have the world to conquer. May we both win because losing is no longer an option.