This is the mantra of the entrepreneur.
Work harder. Work faster. Work more hours.
If you can just push a little harder, you’ll overcome that next obstacle. Or will you? Let me tell you a story of a fellow entrepreneur, and how he approached building his online business…
This gentleman (and I use that term loosely), was as dedicated as they come. With the passion of a warrior going into battle, he approached each day with a primal battle cry. Wake up at 5:30am get some work done, eat, go to day job, take care of a couple of things during lunch, come home, eat, and work some more, sleep, repeat.
Come the weekend time, it was play catchup for all the things which didn’t get done during the week. This cycle continued for 7 years. Yep, 7 years!
During this time period, this person also worked a long string of useless, stressful and low paying sales jobs, while desperately attempting to carve their own path and escape the 9 – 5. Sometimes, two jobs at a time, all to no avail. A vicious cycle.
This person blew their late twenties and a good portion of his 30’s. Time that will never return.
A long term live-in relationship broken from lack of attention, fun, friends, hobbies and a social life turned down, tons of energy exerted. While this person’s efforts didn’t pay off in the way he thought, it got him out of a bad situation and into an even better place than imagined.
While we all need to have goals and work hard, passing up life just isn’t worth it.
Don’t be THAT guy.
THAT guy was me!
If I could do it all again, I would be ruthless with my time. I mean really strict.
Life should always take priority, period. For those of you with a spouse, kids and huge responsibilities, even more so.
My advice? When in doubt, take a break.
Plan for fun.
Always ask yourself , if what you are doing right now is helping your business, or busywork to make you think you are busy.
Heck, always ask yourself as a whole, if your business is really helping your life.
Really take the time to make sure you’re concept is valid, has a future and a time frame for profit or potentially closing up shop.
Get advice from people who have been there before you, your life could depend on it.
There is really no excuse. However, all of the blogs, forums and advice you get from others is worthless, until you critically and honestly apply them to your situation, and ask tough questions.
Try a technology fast.
Personally, I just got back from a 3 three day event called Paralounge, where I camped in the forest. There were bonfires all night long where we drummed, danced, watched fire breathing belly dancers and took a break from the mundane world. The first thing I did upon arrival was shut off my phone.
Try taking a day or two for yourself, preferably away from your usual environment. Shut off all electronic devices and bring a notepad. Simply get your thoughts on paper with no distractions about your business, goals and life in general.
Consider asking yourself questions, as if you were asking someone else, then answer them.
“Can you see yourself doing this same business in 5 years?”
“Are you happy with your life? If not, why?”
Sometimes, this style of questioning really helps you to identify and document both personal and business issues which are holding you back.
Do yourself and me a favor……go take a break!
Even if it’s just half a day. You owe it to yourself.
When you are nearing the end of your life, look back with a clear conscience and know you made time to stop and smell the roses.
PS. Have you struggled with similar issues in your life? How did you overcome them?