I love what I do. Being in the business of “capturing memories” is right up there with owning a theme park. There is something about bringing people happiness that makes running Picha Booth in Kenya a fun experience. However, if you know anything about business, nerves can get the best of us. If you have seen me looking dishevelled, stressed, spaced out or given you a nervous laugh, then I am definitely a bag of fired up nerves walking around.

Keep Calm and Entrepreneur - The Life and Times of an Anxious CEO
I feel anxious just looking at this GIF :/

Owning a company has a simple principle- if you don’t get clients, you don’t eat. That is why when I get an email notification, I fall into a state of anxiety because of the unknown. Equally, when I land a gig, the day of the event just has me in a state of continual mild panic until the event wraps.

Let me then take you on a walk of the life and times of Nyambura Kinyori, the CEO of Picha Booth.

Receiving a new inquiry

Whenever I get a call or email inquiring about our services, two emotions wash over me: excitement and anxiety. I ask myself questions like:

  • How did they hear about us?
  • Will they book?
  • What if they do not book?
  • Will they cancel?
  • Will I put in the work and they cancel anyway?
  • What type of person will they be?
  • Are they a nice client?
  • What if it is a bridezilla…?
  • Will they pay me??!

As you can see, these are tonne of emotions to go through all at once. Yet, for some reason, the cycle continues!

Keep Calm and Entrepreneur - The Life and Times of an Anxious CEO

Day of the event

The questioning doesn’t stop there. When I land a booking and the event comes round, I still ask:

  • Will there be traffic?
  • Will it rain? And will it flood?
  • What if there is an accident?
  • Did they remember to provide a tent or covering?
  • Is there a reliable power source? And how far is it from the setup?
  • Will the DJ agree to share???
  • How is the lighting? What if there are shadows?! (The horror!!)
  • It’s a kids’ event- will they steal my props? Will they throw tantrums?
  • What if the booth doesn’t start?
  • What if the quality is below par?
  • And the printer; what if there is a paper jam?!
  • Did I remember to carry an extra roll?
Keep Calm and Entrepreneur - The Life and Times of an Anxious CEO
Breathe …

What do I do to keep calm?

It is likely you can relate, whether running a business or are employed. If it is any consolation, you are in good company. While a slight state of anxiety keeps you on your toes, beyond a certain point it can become crippling.

What I keep reminding myself is this is not my first rodeo. Much of what I fuss about is beyond my control, and stressing out only exacerbates my physical and mental state. Granted, there are days I leave my chills tucked in bed and road rage takes over. However, I’ve become better at managing anxiety; Sam can tell you. Therefore, keep positive even when anxiety strikes – it’s worth it.

Keep Calm and Entrepreneur - The Life and Times of an Anxious CEO
Take deeeep breaths

As always, thanks for stopping by.