Fatigued? Depressed? Saw the wood in front of you!

May 14th, 2015   •   no comments   
Fatigued? Depressed?  Saw the wood in front of you!

A common and recurring feeling for many solopreneurs is a “flatness” that’s hard to shake.  After months and sometimes years of slugging it out, often alone, you can get quite depressed and struggle to keep going.  Lots of things you can do to mitigate this feeling such as regular exercise, getting out in the sun for walks, joining groups that force you to exit the bowels of your basement, etc.  However, it will still occur and can really stop you from progressing.


“Saw the wood in front of you” is a phrase that I heard a hockey player say the other day.  It was something that his father used to tell him and he had used it to get himself straight after years of addiction and basically heading in the wrong direction.  I don’t doubt that the struggle to beat an addiction can be quite similar to building your own business.  Thousands of small steps, some backwards, success coupled with failure, often losing sight of the end goal.  “Saw the wood in front of you” emphasizes the idea that you can’t always control things a long way out so you should control what you can – the “wood” or work in front of you. What can this mean in reality?


  • Make today’s “to do” list shorter and focus on the key items.  Get the whole list done for a change.
  • Make five calls, early in the day, to prospective clients.  Not try to do twenty. 
  • Fix one item on your website that’s been bugging you.  Don’t put it off until you get to do a “full review.”
  • Spend 20 minutes getting your accounting done as opposed to waiting for that “full day” to happen.


There are lots of other ways of saying “saw the wood in front of you.”  A former work colleague of mine used to say “petit à petit, l’oiseau fait son nid” which translates as “little by little the bird builds its nest.”  When other economists suggested that Keynes (he of Keynesian economics) should take the long view in dealing with economic matters as opposed to reacting to current problems, responded “in the long run we are all dead.” 


In other words, get done what you can get done now and give the future a break.  You’ll feel better, get more done and after all, it’s still better than working for the man! 


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