Diagnose: Caged Corporateprenour – someone who gets stuck between his/her successful career and failing family, which often results in family breakdown, divorce, depression, getting in debt, job loss, reality deception and overall destabilisation of one’s entire life.
This is not a new disease, it’s been with the humankind for centuries. It is typically affecting top executives, corporate top managers, successful entrepreneurs and pretty much every high achiever. Beware – it affects both men and women…
Below we’re listing the 10 most common symptoms and remedies how you could treat them, once spotted.
- Lack of awareness
Symptom: Hard-working people, who are constantly busy thinking and living their business, tend to gradually detach from the reality of their own life. Typically they live in a closed, business-driven society, where they are the only or the most important decision maker. Their authority and opinion is rarely doubted if discussed at all. This turns them into the ultimate leaders in the workplace. Unfortunately the developed authoritative behaviour is then transferred at home. Often they have very little, if any, awareness or understanding about what is going on in their own home and family. Which is crucial for the family relationships as their strong opinions and ultimate decisions start appearing irrelevant to their partner and children. Their own family start seeing them as less important… a stranger to their own tribe.
Remedy: What you could do to prevent this from happening is to think of your family as part of your personality, as something that comes as your own choice. Do not take any of your family members for granted. Do not underestimate their vulnerability and their need for help. Try to be more interested in their everyday activities. Make them see you care.
- Bad timing
Symptom: High achievers often turn into “money – making machines” and they are rarely, if ever, on time for the home activities. Being on top of their professional game makes them feel so important, nearly immortal, so things like birthday parties, family dinners, parents’ anniversaries, school assemblies, etc. seem irrelevant, or totally not important to them. If they ever make it to be present to these events, most times arriving very late, they are usually trying to minimize the time spent there. This bad timing, however is strangely reserved only for non-business related matters, while they are never late for work or a business meeting.
Remedy: There is a way to overcome this bad timing – you only need to take your roles of partner at home and parent seriously. Nobody intends to stop you from working, but making space for family events in your calendar is essential for your work-family balance.
- Bad habits
Symptom: We all know that busy people are prone to fall into the traps of stress-invoked bad habits. We mean the full variety of “stress-relief” common addictions – alcohol, drugs, gambling and sex. The movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” is just another good example. Very few individuals are actually prepared for the burden of success. The more money you control, the more power you get. The more power you get, the more responsibility you hold. More responsibility means more stress. Here comes an easy escape which soon develops into addiction. Whether you are doing it to release the stress, or because you like to show off and can afford it – it is still an addiction. Addiction does not go along neither with a healthy family life, nor with your own health.
Remedy: If you recognize addiction of any kind in you – do not hesitate to seek professional help. Your life is more important than your pride.
- Addiction to power and money
Symptom: People who are imprisoned in the corporate world or in their own business have this very severe addiction. And it is different from the common bad habits. Once a person enters the vicious circle of “the more you get, the more you want” – game is over. It requires awareness and strength to get out of there. Sometimes the sacrifice is so big that it seems impossible to either commit to it or say no. It is very hard to admit that you can no longer take the pressure, knowing that if you quit you may go back to square one. Money can give and take a lot from us. Depends on how far we let it go…
Remedy: Know your limits and your standards. Work as hard as you can, but do not lose your human face. This type of addiction is typical for army staff, high performing managers, shareholders and business owners. People who has achieved a lot in their life and who believe their reality will always stay the same. They are not flexible to changes and often tend to live in the past. They devote all their life to building empires and usually get stuck into their own perceptions for how things in life work, no matter if their circumstances change.
- Control Freaks
Symptom: The more responsibility people are handling in business, the more power and control. they get.It is very rarely to meet a high performing executive who is not a control freak. There’s a huge clash between controlling business and controlling everyday activities at home. In the office everybody must listen to the manager, who needs to be in control of the situation and hardly ever allows anybody else to touch their work. However, quite often the only ones that are truly under their control are only the members of their own family.
Remedy: The situation in the modern home is changing. Parents are still factors at home, but they care, love and appreciate their children, they are patient and kind, things happen in the soft and polite way, not through shouts and threats. It is not possible to be the ultimate control freak – this puts people off and makes them leave. When it is about the children – they may be the first to leave.
Symptom: Once you start filling your account with millions it is extremely hard to let go. Especially if you had started from zero, and you sacrificed a lot in the name of making more and more money. The Fear of losing everything grows in direct correlation with the size of your bank account. That is the main reason people to carry on working hard, to commit to more and more responsibilities.They think that by becoming irreplaceable they might minimize the possibility of losing the job.
Life is a roller-coaster. We all know it, but when it comes to the point where you have to go down, it is rather difficult to accept it.
Remedy: Get down to Earth. You are not alone. Open up and nurture trust into the people you’re working with. There are no irreplaceable workers, even you, yourself…
- No satisfaction
Symptom: Caged corporatepreneurs are never happy or grateful. They do not value what cannot be measured in money. They have lost the connection to reality and believe they can always do better, they know better, want to grow bigger and to become more powerful.this makes them constantly miserable and unhappy as there is always something that they need more and it blurs their perspective of happiness. This is not only a fairy tale. This is reality. I had to come across it myself to believe it – but money cannot buy you happiness. Quite the opposite – when you are a beginner and you are still not rich yet, you are a believer. You think you can change the world. When you become rich your dream is gone, everything looks, tastes and feels the same. Stripped from your dream you are trapped in the hands of Apathy. Seeking to bring back the joy in their life – people tend to become workaholics or any other – holics.
Remedy: Find something you love doing – a hobby of any kind or place where you feel good and needed. Help others more. In this way you will get distracted of your own world and look above the fence of your own limitations. There is life and values all around. Raise up your head and see it.
- Lack of energy
Symptom: Hard-working people tend to feel constantly tired when it comes to spending time with family and especially with children. Lack of energy is common for people with less physical activities and more time, spent in front of the screens of their PCs and TVs. Unfortunately the tiredness is not the ultimate excuse, after a while their beloved people stop even searching for their involvement, and carry on living their own life…
Remedy: Move, move, move…We live in times, when sport became a cult: we are going back to yoga practices, living in the suburbs, going out in nature, eating healthy food. When there’s a will, there’s a way. Healthy spirit lives in a healthy body. Whatever you decide to do make sure you get your family on board.
- Bad role models for their children
Symptom: Children copy everything from their parents. If they are loved and cherished, they will grow up as worthy and caring humans, who appreciate and respect themselves and the others around therm. If they have been ignored and underestimated through their childhood, this may cause extreme damages to their mentality and can dramatically change the way of life they want to have as grown ups. Sometimes adults do not notice and do not pay enough attention to this severe problem. but they say everything starts and finishes with the family, so why can’t we be more careful with the most precious ones – the children?
Remedy: They say you should admire at girls and praise the boys. No matter what you decide to do – you should do it on a regular basis. Pay attention to the “Star of the week” award at school, or at the first prize at the project competition. Share their success and make them feel worthy. Try to implement some tips from work at home and share with your children your day as well. Show your kids your attitude to your workers, that you treat them with respect and care. Make sure you reward your children the same way your workers are rewarded with their salaries and promotions.
- Manipulative companions
Symptom: This is probably the worst of the 10 problems of the “cages corporatepreneurs”. They may see there is a problem, maybe they can define it and probably even find a solution, if they are interested. But here comes the moment when they react totally irrelevant and do their best to persuade everybody else that they are perfect husbands, wives, sons, daughters, fathers, mothers and friends and that actually there is no problem at all. This leads to the total family breakdown and losing it all.
Remedy: Wake up! Do you really want to lose it all?
Admit it and accept that this is you. Maybe there is still a chance to save what you love. It’s not so difficult – just treat your partner, family and friends with the respect they deserve.
For years of being part of this life myself – I know what I’m talking about. I have been there… I have observed people with all these symptoms, I’ve seen and experienced the consequences first hand.
If you recognise any of the above 10 problems as your own problems – It is time to act!
By: Boryana Hristova