Overcoming Work Addiction: Step 4 – Dig Deep

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

I graduated from Cornell University in 2003 with over $100,000 in debt.  Here I was, 21 years old, carrying around that kind of weight. From the moment I graduated, I was always stressed out about this debt.  

How was I going to get ahead with a $750+ monthly payment?

I got a job. But the job wasn’t paying enough. So I started throwing parties on the side. Since I was making money promoting, I quit my other job to do that full-time. But that soon wasn’t paying enough, so I started a web & graphic design agency with a couple of my friends.

This same trend continued for over 10 years. Although I kept the agency for over a decade, I kept on pursuing new entrepreneurial ventures and working hard because…well…I had $100K to pay off after all.

I didn’t want to be addicted to working and starting businesses.  It came at our the stress that debt caused. I figured I needed to work harder and do more so I could free myself from the shackles of bondage.

But it didn’t work.  In fact, I got into MORE debt.

We entrepreneurs have various “stressors” in our lives that lead us to the work addiction. For me, it was this looming debt and need to prove to my parents that I could pay it off myself. Now we’re getting deeper….

In order to understand our addictions, we entrepreneurs need to go deeper below the surface to understand WHY we’re even addicted to working. Work addiction isn’t shallow. It’s developed over time, over many layers.  And if we’re pursing or worshiping it more than God, we have a problem.

Entrepreneurs face many opportunities for stress: bad partnerships, unstable client relationships, thoughts of scarcity, feelings of inferiority, keeping up with the Jones’s, social media envy, and coveting other people’s businesses, just to name a few that I’ve been through myself.  Essentially, anything that takes us out of our comfort zone.

What happens when these “stressors” persist over time? They become deeper, and we become confused and think we have no purpose or identity….and we even question our faith in God.</