I started my own business because I wanted to have more flexibility and control over my own life. I wanted to be able to make my own hours and work remotely at home in Australia for a couple of months of the year. But what I created was an 80 hour work week and very few clients.
As a new entrepreneur there are a lot of things to learn. New people to meet. Clients, marketing, blog posts, Facebook, Instagram, twitter, youtube, website and then I had to fit showering and eating somewhere in between (don’t worry I managed that). I spent more of my time on the other stuff and less on the actual clients.
There were a couple of things that contributed to my 80 hour working week. Initially I was still in that corporate space where I had fixed hours, so I would get up and do the 9 – 5 (well actually I would start with emails and social media as soon as I woke up). Working as Head of Learning and Development, I was used to the do and seeing outcomes, so I found myself doing for the sake of it, when there were ways I could have streamlined and I liked how the busy made me feel. I felt like in the busy I was achieving something, but I wasn’t really achieving what I set out to do. There were definitely a lot of new things to learn and in the initial couple of months, 80 hours wasn’t unrealistic, but was I spending my time on what mattered?
But the crux of it, the brutal honesty was I felt guilty that I had all this time and my sister who I live with, had to go to work and spend long hours commuting. So I felt like I had to put in these extra hours to justify my new life with all of this time and all of these new possibilities.
Now? Now I realise the value of streamlining, utilising other people, spending time learning (after all the more knowledge and tools I have the more I can help my clients) and making time for play. I have a day booked out in my diary called creative day. It’s a day I don’t think about work, but instead focus on play, fun, laughter and creativity. It makes me a better business woman, person and coach. Some weeks I do work 80 hours and then other weeks, it might only be 20, but I realised there is no need to feel guilty. This is the life I designed for myself. Isn’t it my responsibility to enjoy it!