Words like balance, 80 hour work weeks, and burning out are pretty much buzz words in the entrepreneur world. Balance is constantly being chased, a constant fight between sending off that last email or taking the dog for a walk. While chasing the dream of working for yourself there is this misconception that you'd rather work 80 hours for yourself verses 40 for someone else. Now while that's true, I firmly believe that anyone working 80 hours needs a hug & a glass of wine.
I love my job, I do. Every part of it, while challenging sometimes, is what I truly feel I should be doing with my life.. But did I chase the dream of entrepreneurship to sit behind a desk? No. To not exercise my ability to take a hike on a random Tuesday? No. To not have margaritas at happy hour with friends? Definitely not. I believe I have a pretty good balance. I hardly ever work 80 hours a week (nor do I know what I'd do for 80 hours), I don't feel trapped behind my computer, I often steal some Vitamin D at random times during the day, and my email doesn't dictate whether or not I go to the gym.
Being an entrepreneur means that the only one you have to report to is yourself. So, if you're an individual that does struggle with balance, or finds yourself sad that the amount of cool fresh air you got was from opening your fridge.. Then I have something for you, stop being a jerk to yourself. Chances are, you're reading this from the comfort of your couch, in your best pajamas, hair up in a bun (man-buns anyone?), & guess what?! You're succeeding. You're doing this thing called running a business and chances are your business isn't going to crumble. Working half days, or only working 3 days a week isn't going to kill it (or you).
The only thing that's stopping you is the voice in your head. It's the little busy bee that tells you have to have that last email finished, or you need to post on Instagram (& Facebook & twitter & Pinterest & google+ & whatever social media platform is popular). Well, little does she know, you actually run this show.
Often times when I'm feeling stressed or that I'm over working myself I go into "skeleton mode". It's what my business needs to survive. The core 5 things that I have to maintain in order to keep it going. It doesn't count the 15 other things that I choose to do but the things that keep it afloat. Those five things are,
- Emails: Especially inquiries. If a bride emails me and it isn't super pressing. Take a day or two. It's okay... BUT if I have 5 minutes, I'll answer it.
- Facebook/Instagram: My two core social media platforms. I push the others away in times of stress. (as I'm coming off an almost month hiatus from insta.. oops!)
- Editing: Being a photographer this ones a given!
- Working out: Granted this isn't really a part of my business but my brain is and mental health is a goodie.
- Blogging: Blogging has been a huge tool for my business & one of the key components.
So I guess what I'm getting at is if you're a full time entrepreneur you're already running a successful business. You're already doing what you love & you work for yourself. You may not realize it, but you're the one that gets to decide what hours you work & that in itself is pretty dang magical.