The Framework: How I Overcame Anxiety
I’ve spoken a lot in my career about getting stuck in and being a doer. It’s important to balance the allure of this street fighter attitude with some gritty truth.
Entrepreneurship is often seen as glamorous and if you succeed, it certainly can be. We typically think of people like Cyril Ramaphosa, Mark Shuttleworth or Elon Musk when we think of the word ‘entrepreneur’. A kind of person for whom there are no boundaries. Even the sky does not represent a limitation.
If you succeed, it certainly can be.
In most cases, however, it is the polar opposite of glamorous. There’s nothing appealing about hat-in-hand pitching for investment when you are weeks away from running out of money. Or bouncing between credit cards to pay yourself a salary because you underestimated your cash reserves. Or, like in my case, pawning your CD collection to pay for food when you have a young family.
You will experience heart-wrenching twists and turns in your entrepreneurial journey. In order to survive, you will need a strong framework. This refers to the ‘constants’ in your life that you can fall back on when things get a little too rough for you to handle on your own. Essentially, a framework is a set of decisions; choices that no hardship can dislodge from your life.
It may help to think of a framework as a cube structure made of poles around you. You can operate freely within the cube, but there is enough strength in the structure to protect you from the hammer blows that entrepreneurial life will throw at you.
I’ve defined my own framework into 12 elements - made up of the bottom foundation, the side pillars and the top four poles to close off the cube.
The foundation consists of my spiritual beliefs, God, love, my family and my friends. These foundational elements have come to my rescue many times over the past two decades.
The side pillars consist of the daily tasks that I love to do in the workplace, exercise, healthy food and fun activities. Then, lastly, the top consists of my creativity, my lust for learning, my love of travel and my extended community - the people that I have endeared myself to within Heavy Chef’s audience.
I firmly believe you need to identify your framework clearly as you set off on the entrepreneurial path. It will give you strength and peace of mind as the hits inevitably start coming.
Creativity - we are born to create, choose something, side project, God is the Creator, we were made in his image, and therefore we are called to create.
Travel - choose to travel, don’t get stuck, travel gives you the gift of perspective.
Community - love yourself, love others, I am because we are, choose yourself, choose good people.
Learning - we are always learning, it’s a journey, a lifestyle. Curiousity is a choice - and it’s a way of hacking life. There is no shitty eventuality that you cannot learn from - when something bad happens, just ask “what am I learning from in this?”
Work - choose wisely, three circles (four?) allow it to evolve.
Exercise - choose wisely
Health / Nutrition - how much is our choice? Ansel Keys? Advertising? Positioning. Manipulation of food companies. Choose your diet.
Fun - choose how you respond, you can have fun doing most things, it depends on your choice.
Partner - imago, understand your triggers, understand your choice.
Family - choose to spend conscious time with the good people in my family.
Friends - I am the sum of 5 people I hang out with most.
God / Love - free will, choice. Brain / Mind debate. God is the mind of the universe - YOU are the mind of your soul.