We are preparing for the yet another long weekend here in QLD, Australia for Labour Day. The fourth four day week we have had in a row.
I used to love long weekends and the thought of a four day work week, but when you work for yourself, it’s tough. You either don’t get paid or you still have to work while everyone else is off enjoying their public holiday. And if you choose to work, you have to be prepared that nobody out there wants to speak to you so it’s impossible to get a response from clients or suppliers.
I started to feel really stressed about this until I sat back and thought, “Hang on this is my life because I chose it. And I love my life.” I sat back and thought, wow, I let myself get sucked into the ‘hard working entrepreneur mindset’. I was getting sucked into the concept of ‘the grind’ and there was a bit of ‘woe is me’ going on, and for what reason? Because I was going to have a few slow pay weeks.
The lifestyle I am living is one I chose to live and one that I love to live. I am pursuing my dreams and my passions and with that comes a little bit of sacrifice but a whole lot more satisfaction at the end of the day. Jumping into the world of entrepreneurship can be daunting and it takes guts and determination. You have to be prepared to take risks and you have to be prepared to accept that it’s not all going to come easily. There will be moments when you reminisce about counting down the days to a public holiday or miss the security of consistent weekly pay cheques. But if you are passionate and committed, the end result will far outweigh the alternative.
I am all about spruiking balance. This is one of the key principals that I live by and I have to keep reminding myself – a balanced life is a fulfilled life. When you are working for yourself it is so easy to let your business take over your life. While you may need to work on a public holiday, or work late hours some times to meet your deadlines, I firmly believe it is important that this doesn’t become the norm.
There will always be work that needs to be done. If there is a task that absolutely cannot wait, then by all means commit the time that it needs. But if you are sitting there on a public holiday, weekend or late into the evening, working on tasks that can wait until tomorrow, or the next day, simply because they are on the seemingly never ending list of important tasks, then you too are being sucked into ‘the grind’. Now I know the concept of ‘the grind’ has been glorified with the wave of modern entrepreneurs but to me entrepreneurship is about chasing your dreams and living the life you have always imagined.
Goal strategist and life coach Mardy Penrose always quotes Henry David Thoreau and this quote epitomises my view of entrepreneurship: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams and live the life you have always imagined.”
We all have different goals and ambitions. Living the grind may be the ‘life you have always imagined’ for some of you or perhaps you feel strongly that it’s the life you need to lead to get you to where you want to be, and that’s fine, if it makes you happy. But I want you to look at the way you are choosing to work and ask yourself if it’s what you had in mind and if not then why you are doing this. Why did you become an entrepreneur? Why did you start your business? Was it to follow your passions? Was it to improve your lifestyle? Or was it to simply make more money. If it was to make more money, then why? And when do you plan to enjoy that money?
My reason was kind of all of the above. But for me, I want to enjoy the journey. I don’t want to flog myself to the point that I start to question the life I’ve chosen. I want to enjoy it.
So instead of dreading the thought of yet another long weekend ahead, I’m embracing it. While I may open up the lap top to knock over a few of the really important tasks, I am going to spend the rest of the time enjoying the sunshine and focusing on how lucky I am to be in the situation that I am in. If you get what you ask for – be grateful for it!