Do You Really Love Your Business?
One of the things I never learnt in school was how to be a psychologist. Over the years, I took psychology courses, but with a graduate and a professional designation, neither of which are in psychology, I am very ill equipped to deal with psychological issues or offer any kind of advice. Yet when Entrepreneurs come to me, confused about why their business is NOT growing, why they are stuck, I cannot help but notice their need to talk to someone, anyone who will listen to them talk about their business. Many of these individuals have lost marriages, their families, close friends and relationships all because of their businesses. They are working 60+ hours a week to make their “dream” come true. Then they come to me – tired, miserable and alone and ask, “Why?” Why is this business not working? Why is this not fun anymore? We hear so much about work-life balance, about taking time for yourself and to spend time with those you love, but we rarely hear about the need to balance your “business” with your life.
Many Entrepreneurs got into business because they love what they do. Be it cooking, customer service or programming, you are passionate about a cause and you want to share that talent with the world. Most entrepreneurs are good people who genuinely want to improve the world with their contributions and talents. This being said, they will sacrifice everything around them for their business. They will ruin their health, their relationships, and their Entrepreneurial spirit all for this business. Many Entrepreneurs defensively will say “My business is my life” or that this “sacrifice” is needed in the early years. To both of these, I say phooey. The sacrifice is not needed and if your business is your life then you need to get a life. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Who do they prefer to do business with, a rested, energetic, reliable individual, or the individual that looks like they have not had a vacation in 5 years, who is tired, grouchy and cannot balance their family and work life? Who would you do business with?
How do we balance the love of what we do with the practicality and time requirements of early start-up? How do we balance? My advice: Love what you do. Here are five ways that “loving what you do” will help you to grow your business and yourself.
- If you love something, you set it free.
If you love what you do, you build it strong enough to survive without you. A successful business needs to be able to survive without its entrepreneur. It needs to have the strength to stand alone and be independent from you.
- If you love something, you nurture but don’t smother it
If you love something you nurture it, you give it what it needs but do not smother it. You give it what it needs to grow, but also the room to grow.
- As in Relationships, you also need Alone time from your Business
As in a relationship, you cannot always be “with” the one you love. Take some time away from your business to do the things you enjoy. This will help you to relax, grow as a person, and then give back more to your business.
- You Business May Move Away Some Day
As with our children, we have to be prepared for the fact that our business will not be with us forever. It may grow beyond our capabilities, you may need to sell, you may need to leave it for retirement or health reasons, but that business will someday leave you. How will you manage after the fact?
- The best thing you Can do for those you love is to take care of yourself
The best thing you can do for your business is to take care of yourself. If you take the time to nurture the other important things in your life, then your business will also grow, because your business is YOU. If you are tired, cranky, and cannot see the forest for the trees, guess what? So is your business, so do yourself a favour and if you really love what you do, then act like it, and please take care of yourself and those that are important to you – and see how your business will flourish.