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One of the scariest and most rewarding things I have done in life is to run my own company.

My fellow entrepreneurs know what I am talking about.  When you start with an idea, little or no money, and a family to support — well, that is the scary part.  But when you deliver on your promises and your customers like what you do — that is one of the greatest feelings in the world.

JohnGSelf Associates is the second search firm I started, and our success through the first two years has been gratifying.  But I know in these uncertain times that there are still plenty of “scares”  ahead.  Knowing that and dealing with them as they emerge is part of the price of admission if you want to run your own business. 

It takes a lot of energy to start something from scratch.  Some days you are exhausted.  Others, you are in overdrive, moving at the speed of light.  My great friend and colleague, Nancy Swain, of Strategic Intelligence, an innovative idea creator in the career transition field, says that when people like me are in full gear with ideas and tasks flying fast and furious, it is akin to a drive by shooting. 

There are those days when you are so full of energy that it is impossible to sleep.  Since my office is in a section of my Dallas loft — a value added benefit of running your own show (and my team loves telecommuting) — it is easy, when you arise at odd hours or on weekends, to walk over and get some work done.  Such was the case early last Wednesday.

It was 2:30 AM.  I fell asleep early but now I was wide-awake.  My mind was already in high gear thinking about our relocation to a larger space to accommodate our growth, my current search and consulting engagements, cash flow, etc.  Trying to get back to sleep was going to be a losing proposition.  So, I decided to make the best use of the energy surge and get an early start on my rather long “to do” list.  Wow, I was very productive without all of the usual distractions — phones calls, meetings, etc.  I produced the morning news summary for the website, answered 30 emails, evaluated some CFO candidates, wrote three blogs, and completed nine or 10 other significant tasks. 

After 8 hours without a stop, except for coffee, I had eradicated my list of “to dos.”  I felt enormously satisfied with my accomplishments.  It was, to be succinct, a rewarding day.

Leaning back in my chair, realizing that the day was done, I thought that I would reward myself with an icy cold martini before dinner.

It was 10:30 AM.

© 2012 John Gregory Self

To invite John Self to be a speaker at your meeting or function, contact Kathleen Sullivan of The Sullivan Group in Houston. John is an entertaining and informative speaker who talks about life’s ironies, humor and the challenges we face. He consistently receives high ratings for his presentations.