I had a dream. I was waiting tables at a local restaurant. Smiling. Bringing people food to enjoy. Handling their problems: “My food isn’t hot enough.” “I didn’t order this.” “Do you have a highchair?” And when I woke up… I thought to myself… that sounds really great!! For a moment I thought, “I would be so much happier if I just had a 9 to 5 that I could go to and leave every day. I could actually leave work at work. I’d have more time to myself, no one asking me for things that are difficult to provide, and I’d just be so much more… SANE ”
And I was startled by that thought; that the thought of having a 9 to 5 would actually creep into my head. I’ve been an entrepreneur for 25 years. Not ONCE in all that time have I ever wished for a day job…until now.
And that got me thinking, HOW did I get here?
After some contemplation, some yoga (and a drink:))… it hit me… HARD.
I have been giving my time away to everyone but myself. WHOA.
It’s not the work that’s bothering me. I love people and I love helping people achieve success. It’s the lack of downtime. For the last 3 years, since I had my daughter, I’ve been burning the candle at both ends. I’ve been forgetting to give myself the very things that drew me to entrepreneurship in the first place: free time, vacations, more time with my daughter and husband. My schedule has just been filled with to-do after to-do with no evaluation as to how that’s been impacting my business, my customers and my life.
So I talked with my business coaches because I needed some serious perspective.
And you know what I found out?
That lack of downtime, in addition to impacting me personally, has also prevented me from assessing my business to make sure I’m fulfilling my own vision. When you take time for yourself, you get new perspective on your life and your business. That new perspective helps to infuse your life and business with creativity, newness, and passion. So not only have I not been re-energizing myself through downtime, but I haven’t been taking the time to assess my business to make sure that what I do in my business day to day, matters to ME.
Time to reevaulate… big time.
First and foremost, TIME TO CHANGE MY SCHEDULE…STAT! Time to work in time for “me” and the personal things I want to do…and this is NOT something to ignore. I teach people this and typically follow my own coaching but life events happen (like kids) that take us on new paths and can distract us without our even realizing it. So when you realize something is off, you must address it. So I’m getting back to that master calendar and rethinking how I spend my time.
Next… ADD “JOY” AND “FUN” BACK INTO MY BUSINESS.
How do you do that?
The secret to working that down-time-joy into your everyday work is to first remember, and write down why you started your business in the first place. What were you trying to achieve? Who did you want to help? How did you want to impact lives… including your own? What did you leave your day job for? There was a very important reason. Perhaps many.
There’s joy in that reason. Your vision. Time to get back to it.
Are you living this vision day to day? Are you working on stuff that you want to be working on? Or, has your business taken on a whole new life that doesn’t look anything like what you’d hoped?
Look at your work load. Are there clients making you miserable that you need to let go of? Are there customers who are more trouble than they’re worth? What are you not happy with that needs to change? Write it down. And let’s start cleaning it up. I’ll do it right alongside of you.
What do you want to be doing that you’re not making time for? Perhaps you’ve been stalling on writing your book, or video series.
Then there’s all the stuff you’re doing that doesn’t help you fulfill your vision – time to stop doing it.
“But Amy, I’ve worked so hard on these videos.”
“But Amy, I’ve written this blog for so long, what will I do without it.”
“But Amy, you told me to get on Facebook.”
If the work you’re doing doesn’t support your reason for being an entrepreneur and doesn’t help you forward your business, then you need to ditch it! It will only make you miserable. Your efforts should be focused, make sense given what you’re trying to achieve, and help you grow your business.
Now remember… you are not going to LOVE every part of running your own business. For example, maybe you don’t like paying bills or doing your taxes or administration work. Totally get it. And…those are just part of what you have to do to run a business. As soon as you can afford it, hire an assistant and accountant to do those things so you can focus on what you love. But LOVE your business. It’s easy to get distracted and caught up in the monotony of the day to day. But at the end of the day, it’s up to us to bring back the joy.
So today, let’s spend some time getting back in touch with our vision and evaluating what’s working and what’s not. So we can figure out how to move forward in joy and happiness.
And, keep me posted on the changes you make. If you need some support, let me know.