My husband says this a lot as a joke, but I think often about the fact that the two real words of “Underwhelmed” and “Overwhelmed” should really have something between them.
We are often underwhelmed in our life as entrepreneurs. We go to listen to speakers we feel are going to ignite something in us, to get to that next level and many times we walk away feeling like they just put our fire out or that we have more fire in us than they do already. They failed to impress or excite us, which is the very definition of underwhelm.
Maybe the toughest place to feel underwhelmed is when we choose to work with someone and the results are less than impressive. That feeling that you just wasted so much time and potentially money is enough to stop many of us in our tracks, especially if we experience this time and again.
Then there’s the flip side and probably most often used description of many entrepreneurs as being overwhelmed. Wearing all the hats that keep their business running, working long days, in a constant state of doing – sound like someone you know?
When we are given an excessive amount of something, anything becomes too overwhelming for many of us.
One of my favorite quotes about overwhelm is by Jonathan Lockwood Huie – “Feeling overwhelmed by apparent demands on our time is like going to a restaurant, ordering everything on the menu, and complaining about indigestion.”
Portion control is not only about the food we eat. Many cliché’s of “Don’t bite off more than you can chew” blah blah blah. We want it all and we will have it all even if it destroys us. We need to practice portion control in our businesses as well.
I’m not exactly sure that I want to be just whelmed either, given that I don’t find the definition very different than that of overwhelmed except that it quite literally means drowning; to be submerged or engulfed in water.
Find the opportunities to say no and prioritize. Building your business somewhere between underwhelm and overwhelm could mean the difference between success and failure.