I've just lost my business mind, can't think straight!


Business hasn't been great lately, I've been riddled with problems of my service losing demand, employees not seeing a future and am unable to get new services launched in time because of difficulty in finding and putting together the right team. On top of this, I really feel I should have a vision for my company going forward so that there is something my employees look forward to. But don't have time to think about it because am just not interested in getting work done. I have just been avoiding doing the work I need done and get distracted by a whole lot of other things which are not productive. I know that perhaps I should just get down to disciplining myself and making a full fledged plan but I'm scared because every time I make a plan always something else comes up. I am really frustrated at my inability to get things done. You can tell by now how muddled and confused my thought process is, there just too much I feel I need to do but the prospect seems so overwhelming that I don't even want to get started! Any advise?

Planning Business Growth

asked Oct 30 '12 at 03:57
16 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll
  • Sounds like you need a person to run day to day. – Karlson 10 years ago

4 Answers


raj, take a break! Hand over power for a few days to a trusted employee and go do something completely else than what you do now. Drive go-cart, play bowling, go top the mountains, fish, watch your favorite movies, what ever that can entertain you and keep your mind off business for a few days. Remember, we are not robots.

After that you will be able to think more clearly.

answered Oct 30 '12 at 09:22
Ken Abdias Software
246 points
  • I was going to say the same thing! Taking a break doesn't solve all problems, but taking a step back for a little bit can help you come back feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the challenges that you have. – rbwhitaker 10 years ago
  • +1 But for me it was negative. I had lot's of crazy $hit to take care of, I was depressed and then I took a break. And more free time you have, the more think about these things. Its just not easy to let go/blackout pending decisions/responsibilities. – Aseem Gautam 10 years ago


Without knowing your personality, much less the oddity of being psychoanalyzed on a public forum, here are some general suggestions (your mileage may vary).

  • You need a sounding board to bounce ideas off of. Most ideas start out bad and grow through discussion into something worth pursuing.
First look to any trusted employees you have, and include them in the process. Start-ups are hard places to keep secrets, and if you can't have some candid discussions with the people who are going through it with you, then you need to rethink your team.

Second, seek out any business owners you know and talk through some ideas with them. You can also look for attorneys and CPA's in your area that work with small businesses. They can often provide some good pointers. You may want to look for someone who is retired from your industry to give you some part-time consultation.

Third, look for examples of what success looks like to you. Encourage everyone you know bring up similar examples. The human brain works by analogy, so feed it as many examples as you can to see where your company and products might be similar to your success examples.

  • Read a few books on innovating new products. Tom Kelly (IDEO) has a few, including The Art of Innovation (AMZN ). You might also try Clay Christensen's The Innovator's Dilemma (AMZN )
  • Look for some basic business prep courses that can help act as a forcing function to help you progress through your basic work, such as a product road map and a marketing plan. Here is an example from Washington State (link )
  • Lastly some of the feelings you are describing are consistent with depression. If you don't have someone that you can discuss these issues with on a more "private" basis, you should consider having a few counseling appointments to ensure your early feelings of being overwhelmed do not take over your life.

The bottom line is feeling overwhelmed by the seemingly endless planning for a start-up is not unusual. If you can't find a way to start making progress, you need to get some professional assistance (not just a forum like this). It is also not unreasonable to conclude that start-up life is not what you had hoped for, and some time with a steady paycheck may make your world feel a lot better.

Good luck!

answered Oct 30 '12 at 05:33
On The Shelf
180 points


I suggest working down to a level you can easily handle, and grow maintaining that easiness.

answered Oct 30 '12 at 05:41
121 points


Practically a break won't help you. I was in a similar situation and any free time I got, I just use to think about problems. Even sleeping on regular time was impossible. You need to change somethings around you. The faster you do it, better it will be for you.

Talk to 'real' people. I use to ease up by talking to my closest friends. They were a life saver.

Let me clear some things -

  1. This is India (From your name I guess your in India), employees will never see a future in a start-up company. Everyone wants to work in big towers with a fat paycheck. Programmers dream of becoming project leads, doing nothing. Try to find consultants, you will have to pay them more but you will get better end products, ideas and alternatives.
  2. You must find a way to block off distractions before starting work in the morning. I am a gamer, my day starts with an hour of gaming. Really clears the $hit of my head.
answered Oct 31 '12 at 20:13
Aseem Gautam
331 points

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