Who creates your calendar and books every waking moment of your time? Who asks you to work evenings and weekends to grow your business? Who forces you to work with clients who are not really a good match, or pushes you to sell, sell, sell when you are tired or sick?
Being self-employed means you are the boss. You set the agenda.
If you’re unhappy with the way your business is going or how hard you are working, go look in the mirror. And ask yourself: Am I working hard because I have to — or because I THINK I have to?
Sure, there are times when we have to put in that extra effort to get a project done before a deadline. But there are too many self-employed people who complain that they are working 60- and 80-hour work weeks, as if working hard (to the point of illness sometimes!) is going to get you “extra credit” points in heaven.
StartUp Nation reports from a survey: “80% of small business owners planned to work during the holiday break. 56% said they would even interrupt holiday dinner for an important customer phone call.”
Did I hear that wrong??? You would interrupt dinner with your family to take a business call on a holiday???
Our cultural, family or personal work ethic tells us we have to work hard to be a good person, a good provider, a good citizen. I’m not against working hard, but if you are working hard all the time, perhaps now is the time to ask yourself, Have I taken my work ethic too far? What’s the point of being self-employed if my boss is a tyrant?
And the next time you are feeling overworked and overwhelmed, cancel an appointment and go for a walk or take a nap. You can’t work at peak performance 24-hours a day.
(P.S. I give you permission to take next Friday off from work. I’m going to!)
Wow, your post really made me think. Many a time have i pushed myself way too hard. I need to realize that taking days off is acceptable. Thank you for posting this!
If we only were told more often that we didn’t have to be super-human in order to be a success…
That’s always my motto: “Look in the Mirror” – It tells the truth about this beautiful piece of art, in constant movement and progress. You are your Business!
Richard Paris Borough, Ph.D.
Great blog. I especially like the last part, where you say to cancel an appointment and go for a walk or take a nap instead. Naps are great.