A friend and his wife started a bakery business. Baking was their passion. They’ve never started a business before. Nor worked in a retail bakery. But their family and friends loved their cupcakes. Before they knew it, they were getting so many orders. They had no other choice but to open a retail bakery.
It didn’t take them long to realize the level of commitment they had to invest in their business. The flexible time they had when they baked for friends and family turned to ten and twelve hour days, working seven days a week. The business was making money. But the husband and wife baking team were burning out.
They didn’t have time to do what they used to do. They didn’t get to dine out. They no longer had time to go out and watch movies. And they certainly couldn’t travel like they used to. Owning and running the bakery consumed all of their time. Working long hours became their lifestyle.
The big challenge
Entrepreneurs are faced with a big challenge when they first start their business: busy-ness. Being busy affects your lifestyle. Owning a business will certainly change the way you get to spend your time.
Think about it for a moment: what is your lifestyle? What do you love to do? Do you enjoy sailing? Dining out? Going to shows and movies? Do you like fishing, mountain biking, or camping? Do you love going to the ballet? Practicing your culinary skills in your kitchen? Or travelling?
Now pause and reflect for a moment. Does your business allow you to enjoy what you do? Do you still have time to enjoy your lifestyle?
Does your business own you?
Whether you’re just opening a business, or running an existing one, ask yourself: do you own your business, or does your business own you? Some entrepreneurs are held captive by the mindset of spending more time on their business. They think being busy is what makes them successful. The truth is: spending too much time on your business might be a bad thing. Especially when it’s taking away from your lifestyle.
It’s easy to get carried away with the day-to-day intricacies of running a business. You might get caught up in paperwork, dealing with employees, handling supplier issues, and a hundred of other things. Before you know it, you’re working from early morning to late at night and you don’t even have time for yourself. Don’t let your business own you.
You can own a business and live your lifestyle
It is possible to own a business and live your lifestyle. There are several things you can do to enjoy your business and your lifestyle. For one, you need to set boundaries. Schedule your time properly. Commit specific hours to your business and your lifestyle. You work hard, no doubt about it. You deserve to spend hours in your day enjoying your life.
You can also use techniques to leverage your time. Delegating, outsourcing, and automating are just a few things you can do to be ‘away’ from your business while still letting it run. There are a lot of apps and hacks you can use to further detach yourself from being caught up in mundane tasks that take away from your time.
Don’t let your business own you
Owning a business doesn’t mean giving up your lifestyle. Don’t feel the need to immerse yourself and be drowned in hours spent on working in your business. Instead, work on your business.
Working on your business will allow you to create the systems needed so you can do what really matters: grow your business and live your lifestyle.
The most rewarding aspect of owning a business is being able to enjoy your lifestyle at the same time. When you master this, you’ll discover the true freedom of being an entrepreneur.