I recently had the fortune of being able to interview over 140 business owners on the pitfalls of being an overachiever.
The scale of business ranged from small to enterprise, and yet the answers when compiled were surprising and did not depend on the size of the business owners wealth or expected stress levels.
The purpose for my research was to see whether the average High Performing executive thought that their own habitual need to over achieve had a detrimental impact on their stress levels over the course of their careers.
The simple answer is that it did not.
Of course, when I asked the question, I purposefully gave all executives only 2 possible responses, giving them no head way for thinking outside the confines of my question.
Either: Our ‘Overachieving Tendencies’ DO increase the levels of stress in our lives
OR: They do not.
Not one of the business owners (140!) answered me within those rules!
The results showed me two very interesting outcomes:
- Business owners are successful when they break the rules, looking for other ways to respond to a question, and tend to live outside the boundaries as proposed by others.
- Men are far more likely to have a “she’ll be right, mate” attitude when it came to working hard to achieve their goals. Almost all of the men, vs. only a handful of the women, believed that when they were excited about the end goal, stress was not a perceived threat.
Over 80% of the women I interviewed however, were more focused on providing a balanced response, with most answering “it all depends” or “it’s all a matter of perspective”, resulting in a final response of “Our overachieving tendencies both attract stress, and push it away, meaning it’s neither good or bad”.
Again, adding to the theory that good business owners are always looking for novel and different ways to tackle challenges.
So, according to 140 business owners from all over the globe, some level of over-achiever tendencies is required in order to be successful in your career. That’s good news for someone like me!
If you’re excited about what you can achieve, stress is no longer part of that equation.
Think it’s time to slow down? Nah! She’ll be right mate, let’s get going!