Chances are the answer’s yes.
I know I am a bit of a workaholic, most definitely. But the problem is, my work often doesn’t feel like work, which is why I get so into it.
And when it does feel like work, I do it anyway because I’m motivated to earn more revenue and build my business up even bigger and better.
You now, some folks say that the harder you work, the faster your business will grow and the more successful you will be in the long run.
Maybe they’re right.
I doubt if there is a single person in the whole history of mankind that has ever become successful without putting in a day’s work at some point in their lives. Even those who were born with a silver (or gold, or diamond) spoon in their mouth had to do something to generate income.
That’s why those rags to riches stories are so impressive—somebody put in enough hours in the office or at his business to come up with millions and millions of dollars and actually succeeded in dominating their market.
But I think that people everywhere have mistaken the oft-cited quotation “Work and ye shall reap” and (unfortunately) given it a totally new meaning. And not in a good way I might add.
Folks today would just love to make a day last more than 24 hours so they can finish the tons of work they have to do.
I mean really, if they could just grow another arm or leg or head, they would finally have just enough time to do everything.
Listen, don’t get me wrong.
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of hard work (I’m a fan!) but if it’s all… that you ever do… 365++ days a year, then I’m sorry…
That’s a problem.
Let’s just face the facts here.
What do you plan on doing, working yourself to death? You can’t.
Because you’ll be dead! As in dust. Or ash. Nailed in a coffin and all your hard work unable to go where you’re going. Duh.
It’s time for you to wake up and smell the roses. Or the coffee if you prefer.
Having a regular nine-to-five J.O.B. is tiring enough when you think about it, but running a whole business all on your own is an even more challenging and difficult task.
That’s why I firmly believe budding entrepreneurs should learn the great art of creating good working habits. As in “work smarter, not harder”. Get it?
You say you’re a workaholic (and some of you say this with pride!) and that you owe all your success to the many long and painful hours you spent slaving away at your J.O.B.
That’s great, hurray for you. You took the road less travelled and carved your own niche in the dog-eat-dog world of the corporate environment. Except now you’re trying to break away from that J.O.B. and be a full-fledged entrepreneur.
And isn’t the point of being an entrepreneur the freedom from slavery? The freedom to work when, where, and with whom you want? I know that’s what it means for me!
And really, I have no clue where you are on your journey at this point in time. You could be a full-time entrepreneur; you could be using your free time to slowly make the break. In which case you’ll definitely be working a little harder than normal if you’re motivated. That’s fine. Just don’t make it a habit OK?
Seriously, workaholics are everywhere.
They are the zombies you see all the time at the subway station, at the office, at the supermarket. They are creatures whose systems run on energy drinks and coffee and sugar. They are the bloated and unhealthy folks that survive on fast food and rarely see the light of day, much less a walk in the park.
It’s really a bit sad and I’m not preaching, because I’m guilty too.
But I’m changing my poor workaholic habits and I encourage you to as well.
You see there’s nothing wrong with working hard, but you just have to set limits somewhere. Putting in overtime work is very often unavoidable but you need to know when to stop working and take a breather already.
And there might be a tiny voice in your brain right now protesting: but I’m not workaholic! I just love my job and I’m very dedicated to what I do.
I’ve heard that line a thousand times before. Heck I’ve spouted it myself!
And you know what? It’s just a way for you to justify your situation.
You are busted, kiddo.
Put that pen down, take off your headset and push yourself away from your desk for a while. You’re on the verge of changing your work and your life style. C’mon, we’ll even do it together!
Still don’t believe you’re gettin’ a little crazy with the work thing?
Ask yourself these simple questions and you’ll know once and for all whether or not you’re a genuine workaholic:
- How many times a week do you come home late from work (include the weekends please) or stay up till the wee hours of the morning working at home while your better half is snoozing, waiting for you to join them?
- How many times do you wake up and go to bed worrying about some issue or other at the office, or some project you’ve got looming that needed to be done two days ago but wasn’t because of poor time management or scheduling? Or because you were just too darn tired?
- How many hours do you spend doing what you should do, and not what you want to do for work? You know, the reason you got into that line of work in the first place?
- Do you look like you need an extra 48 hours of sleep? Go on and take a peek in the mirror. I’ll wait.
- Does your family even recognize you nowadays when you get home from work or come out of your ‘cave’? Or do they run screaming because you look hideously scary from lack of energy and sleep?
Have you got all that? Got your answers?
Good. (You can cross out the last two questions. They were just there to drive home the point that you’re a WORKAHOLIC).
So, now that you know where you stand, it’ll be easier for you to shift gears accordingly if you truly want to do some serious shakedown at your J.O.B. or better yet, within your small business.
There’s a magic phrase that human resource management (HRM) practitioners repeat over and over—it’s called work/life balance.
It refers to this concept that covers the strategies employed by corporate organizations to help their employees achieve their personal and professional goals while helping the organization reach its collective aims. Geek speak for keeping you at your best so that in turn you’re giving them the best.
Younger workers today are actually giving greater weight to a company’s work/life balance policies when they look for a job now, for these very reasons.
Budding entrepreneurs should be no different, especially because their work and lifestyle intersect at so many points that it’s difficult to draw the line between your work and your personal life.
But I’ll let you in on a little secret—there’s hard work, and then there’s hard work.
Overworking yourself will not do you any good, especially if you abuse your body for very long periods of time. In the long run, the fact that you’re still around to enjoy your earnings is way more important than all that cash you’ve tried to stack in your bank account by toiling day after day.
Think about your health as a kind of investment.
Every entrepreneur worth his (or her!) salt knows how to take care of a good investment, and they put in every effort to make sure that the investment is earning well. You can’t possibly expand your business, take on more orders and accomplish all your entrepreneurial tasks if you don’t keep yourself in tip-top shape.
And getting out of the workaholic cycle is fairly easy, once you sit down and decide that you really want to change your perspective and priorities on how your work should affect your life. Only you can make that kind of decision and mental shift. And only you can put the ‘new’ plan into action.
Think about it—there’s more to life than the work you do.
Yes it’s clichéd and yes you’ve heard your mother tell you this over and over in your childhood. Probably enough to last you a lifetime, but you have to admit that there’s a ring of truth to it.
Does that mean that shorter hours will stunt your business growth? No.
Surely profits will take a nose dive then? Well, not necessarily.
In fact you’ll probably see the opposite effect. You’ll find out that when you’ve taken enough rest in a day, enough you-time… your mental faculties actually become sharper and you’ll be able to do more work in less time.
As Sid Savara says, you’ll have plenty of ‘freedom’ time… time you can then lavish on your family and friends to your heart’s content.
Best of all, you’ll have enough ‘freedom’ time to sit back and do what you really, really want.
YOU control your job or your business, it does NOT control you.
Now what do you plan to do today kick the workaholic habit and allow yourself a bit of ‘freedom’?