A successful career is something that you most likely want to achieve. You probably desire to create something special with the time you have here on Earth. You may even want to create a legacy that will be remembered for years and years to come.
Like many entrepreneurs, you want your business to make a positive impact on other people. And last but not least… you want to make a great income for yourself doing something you love to do, which will eliminate future financial worries.
Most people think that when you start a business or a new venture; that you have to work really hard at the beginning to “get it off the ground”. You have to work on your passion project 20 hours a day, miss out on family functions, be glued to your computer, phone and basically dedicate 2-3 years of your life specifically to your craft.
One of the worst parts of this story is the added stress that comes from the idea your family and friends won’t even understand your drive and passion to create your dream career.
They might support you, but they may also wonder why you are spending Thanksgiving weekend on your computer, or taking breaks at family dinners to check your sales reports.
You hope your sweat and tears will build a strong foundation and steady success. You want to work more now, so you can soon have an automated business that will one day run itself and become financially stable.
Going Fast, And Nowhere
But wait …
Aspirations are great, but missing out on life around you isn’t. Severe startup burn out will occur; you will begin to feel so fried and tired of striving that you lose sight of your actual goals.
You keep going and going and get caught in a hamster wheel that won’t stop — running as fast as you can and going nowhere. Happiness starts to dwindle.
You know deep down that you need to stay centered, find your version of a balanced lifestyle and enjoy yourself more. You know that briefly stepping away will give you more inspiration and creativity. You know you have to take time for yourself, but you’re worried.
You’re worried that time away will create a major set-back. You think people will notice emails have not been checked, campaigns weren’t sent out, Facebook posts didn’t occur, etc. You want to take a day, a week, even a month off. But a wave of guilt washes over
You start to feel as though you will lose the big race of life as an entrepreneur; that everything you’ve ever worked for will be flushed down the drain. Will you simply be forgotten?
Finding Your Entrepreneurial Rhythm
But hold on …
Who said that it had to be this way?
Who said that it must be this or that?
Who set this chock-full, no breathing room schedule for you? This “wolf in sheep’s clothing” schedule that never allows you to breathe, blocks you from truly seeing life (and your business) for its beauty and purpose.
Who said that if you take time-off (or even seek a balanced schedule, for that matter) that you would be setback? Society? Peers in your industry?
Yet, that’s the big question isn’t it?
Do you slow down so you can actually enjoy living your life now … or do you persevere, build your business and make something of yourself, so you have the time to enjoy your life later? This is an entrepreneur’s inner battle.
An Entrepreneur’s Joy Formula
I am absolutely the type of person who believes we must build for the future! However, I am pretty sure the secret of life is to enjoy yourself now too … in this moment. Many times I have sat with my loved ones, yet been on the computer and oblivious to what was going on.
I have spent many holidays where I have been “physically present” and off on the Internet writing emails. There are times that I will not get back because I have been so involved with creating my big business. There are moments of your life that you will never be able to get back.
Every entrepreneur will find themselves pondering this question: “Are the things that I am doing, to build my business, making me happy and fulfilled?”
This is a modern time we live in and anything and everything is possible. You can literally create your business exactly how you want it, structure it precisely how you want to and design life on your own terms.
I believe that there are no definitive answers; one-size-fits-all doesn’t apply to business. You have to keep checking in with yourself to see if the choices you are making and things you are doing are bringing you joy.
Are your activities building you up, or are they tearing you down? Are the people you surround yourself with making you feel empowered, or are they making you feel depleted?
As a workaholic entrepreneur that has come quite a long way, I will leave you with this:
Life is about the pursuit of happiness and purpose; and you can have both! Always keep your mission in sight. Clarify the reason why you want to do what you are doing.
Enjoy all stages of your business adventure and all parts of the journey, everything is a growing experience. Only do things that you want to do and that bring you joy. And last but not least … enjoy yourself aside from business. No business is worth missing out on the memories that you create in your life.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Sarah Marie Thompson is ‘The Creative Success Coach’, mentoring and coaching female entrepreneurs to confidently create a magically abundant life and business. She has created a successful and inspiring online community of 190,000+ people; hosting empowerment and creativity challenges worldwide. Inspiring others to live a life of true potential, as well as having an uplifting impact on the world are Sarah’s main focuses. As the creator of the Wild and Creative brand she assists female entrepreneurs in following their soul’s true calling, into a career that they are authentically passionate about. Connect with @wildandcre8ive on Twitter.