I'm not afraid to admit that when I first started out in this business, I had it all wrong. I worked super long hours, I charged too little and I neglected myself and my family. The strange thing is, I didn't really realize this very quickly. I kept on trucking as if this simply was the way it was supposed to be. Being an entrepreneur takes guts. Sometimes it also takes stepping back and realistically looking at what it is you are doing. I always dreamed about running my own business, but I never dreamed that I would would allow an embedded corporate work mentality to govern what I did when I worked for myself. In the beginning I never gave myself any sick time. I remember getting the flu a few years back and I just "worked" through it. I was sick as a dog in bed, could barely breathe but there I was, producing a flyer for a Santa visit to a clients store. The client never knew I was sick and in the end, I actually made a mistake on the flier so I looked pretty bad anyways. If I had just spoken up and said I was closing up shop until I was well, I could have saved us both the hassle. I would love to tell you that I eventually gave myself some off time but that really wouldn't be true. I looked at my timesheets for my first two years in business and I worked basically 28 days out of every month. The only days I took off were Christmas and my daughters birthday.
I almost feel ashamed to admit it but I don't because I learned from it. The problem stems from doing the same thing over and over and never really learning what affect it has on you and your life. Working yourself sick is never good, not allowing your body to heal can cause complications. Why would any reasonable person not really pay attention to the fact that they were doing this?
Well I can tell you from experience it was caused by a few things. One was my drive to make my business succeed. I saw working "hard" and being over the top busy as being successful. I also felt that I had to do everything and would never ever have even thought to ask for help. This is something a ton of entrepreneurs do. They hold every bit of their business in their hand and basically put a tight grip around their own throats. They don't realize they aren't helping themselves by trying to do it all.
Running a business is about allowing yourself to make and do the things you are passionate about. It's about teaching others the skills you have learned that make you unique. So many people lose sight of that the moment they jump into the small business arena. Try not to forget that ok?
Is there something you are doing that you wish you could outsource? Have you been running around like a mad man/woman and just want to stop and breathe? My advice is to take a few small steps to get where you can offload some of the work, and try to shorten your workday.
I am impressed with what happens when someone stays in the same place and you took the same picture over and over and it would be different, every single frame. - Annie Leibovitz