Being an entrepreneur, either full time or part-time, is . . . EXHAUSTING! Yes, it’s exhilarating, liberating, sometimes magical and profitable, but it’s HARD WORK. (If no one tells you that, especially those that are trying to “sell you THEIR dream” wrapped up into “yours”, let me be the first to enlighten you.)
I teach audiences, including youth, regardless of what their passions and professions are, to ensure that they always own a piece of it. There is nothing wrong with traditional employment, as long as you don’t lose your vision or worth. Let’s face it: your employment status can change at the drop of a hat and you need multiple streams of income to be prepared.
But here is where trouble can set in, for entrepreneurs as well as employees:
You’re so good at so many things! You are used to “burning the candle at both ends”: holding up the world with one hand and managing everything else with the other.
People see your multiple talents and offer you all sorts of wonderful opportunities to do things you’ve never imagined. Of course you CAN’T SAY NO! (Don’t ask me how I know and it’s not a lesson I learned in the distant past either.)
I can tell you what happens because I experienced it earlier this year. (You should become wiser with age: when I see the warning signs resurface, I ACT quicker than before.) My danger signs: tiredness, long periods of insomnia and difficulty focusing (even if it seems that I am doing 100 things at the same time). Next, the “usual suspects” pay a visit: familiar body aches and pains; loss of appetite and sinus and allergies. You know, things your doctor will write off due to the weather, your age and or genes, common conditions you suffer from, etc.
Sometimes, those may be the root causes of the symptoms. Other times, and right now for me, these are all signs that I am overextending myself and need to scale down. This time around, my body was merciful and cut me off. It simply opted out. If I can’t sleep, I’m forced to get into a resting position versus seeing what else I can tackle before going to bed. I don’t necessarily answer each email with lightning speed. I am discovering a sweet spot that never worked before: “going with the flow”. (In turbulent times, the flow will drown you. At times of rest, the gentle motion is the perfect guide.)
This is where my lunch date comes in. I have a wonderful friend who is off to England in the next few weeks (military orders). She is also a fellow sushi connoisseur who is as addicted as I am. Why better assignment for a workaholic that needs rest and to unwind. We often fail to take enough time for those we love.
Did I work up until lunch? Yes, especially when we had to delay it by one hour. However, I woke up with the main objective to spend lunch with my friend. Did I get work done before and after? Sure. However, I got just as much work done going with the flow, than my former long to do list for every moment of the day.
I invite you to join me on my OPT OUT challenge. Especially those of you that feel depressed, stressed out, overwhelmed, burdened, confused, lost, etc. What is it in your life that you really need to press the OFF button on or become reacquainted with? What is the list of things you put off for “when you have time”?
–Alesha Brown, The Joy Guru
Empowerment Coach, Motivational Speaker and Best Selling Author
CEO, Alesha Brown LLC