Being your own boss has many advantages: you get to work on projects that excite you, manage your schedule, and develop your career at your pace.
However, this freedom of choice comes at a cost.
Over the past decade, there have been numerous surveys showing the problematic work/life balance of entrepreneurs.
But, let’s be honest – us, business owners, don’t need a survey to show us how hard it is to step off and relax when you’re building your business.
When you’re passionate about something, and you’ve finally managed to turn your passion into a profitable venture, it can easily take over your life.
If you’re anything like me, and I believe many entrepreneurs are, soon after getting your business on its feet, you’ll start thinking in terms of ‘when’s:
When I reach six figures… When I get five employees, ten employees, fifteen employees… When I get this many customers…
… then I’ll rest.
The thing is, your goals don’t have a limit.
Your energy, however, does.
Burnout is real, ladies and gentlemen, and as of May this year, the World Health Organization has recognized and classified it as an occupational phenomenon.
In a society that glorifies busy, how can entrepreneurs stay happy, healthy, and at their peak?
Here are three simple rules that have worked for me, and hopefully, will work for you as well.
Define Success for Yourself
The first step to becoming more satisfied with what you’ve achieved is to define what success means for you.
For someone, it’s recognition for their work. For others, it’s having a great family life.
For me, success is a lot of different things:
Being able to empower people, being financially free, having time for meaningful conversations, for great relationships, and not feeling stressed out all the time.
Think about what success means for you. And then make sure that all your choices and actions in life are in alignment with this definition.
Learn to Trust Others
When you’re the one who has the most to win and the most to lose, it’s easy to feel like you have to carry all the burden.
I get it.
You’re the one who had the business idea. You’re the one who put effort and sleepless nights into building your company from zero. You’re the one who’s responsible for everything that happened so far.
However, if you’re in it to win it (in the long haul), you need to get comfortable with making the transition from doing to leading.
Whether you like it or not, there comes a time when your vision and business becomes just too big for you to be able to do everything alone.
And if you’re struggling to make time for your personal life, family, friends, and you feel like you’re always under extreme pressure, that time is now.
Make Rest a Deliberate Practice
When the expectations are high, and you’re looking for ways to give your business a boost and grow further, you can easily fall into the trap of working all the time.
An extra hour in the office becomes a weekend on your desk, and soon this weekend becomes an entire year of constant hustle.
No days off. No sick days. No me time. No family time. No time to do anything but work.
Do you really want this kind of life for yourself?
Remember why you started your business in the first place? My guess is, you wanted freedom. And not only financial freedom, but freedom to do the things that make you happy.
The almighty dollar will always be there. Your customers will always be there. Your business connections won’t disappear overnight.
So, the next time you leave the office, actually leave. Stop checking your phone and email all the time. Schedule in rest days, and when it’s time to rest – rest. No distractions, no work-related thoughts.
Setting limits and making rest a deliberate practice doesn’t mean that you don’t have work to do (you’ll always have more work to do!) nor does it make you any less successful and passionate.
It just means that you care for your wellbeing and that you understand that a well-rested, recharged you, is much more likely to put his/her best foot forward every time you sit down to work.