It may seem counterintuitive to think of slowing down when you start a new business, but I’m finding out that’s exactly what I need to do.
I imagined that when I wrapped up my old job and started focusing on my business full-time that I’d just be able to get everything set up and be ready to start working on getting new clients in a week or two. That’s not really how it’s going to work out. I think I need to give myself some time to get myself where I want to be. I need to stop putting pressure on myself and trying to rush into getting things done. Honestly, I need a little bit of a vacation.
For the past six months I’ve been working like crazy. I’ve been getting up between 4:00 and 5:00 every single morning (yes, including weekends) and working on my blog and business for two to five hours before going to my full-time job or spending time with my family. In addition to that I’ve been squeezing in work during every other moment of “free” time that I had. It was exhausting, but it got me to the place where I am right now. I found some courage and took a leap to change my life, and now I need to do just that. Change my life.
What does this mean? Changing my life means slowing down, even while I’m ramping up something new. It means when I go on a 10 day vacation later this month, I need to make sure that I have some real vacation time. It means telling my super demanding boss to back off when she’s like, “Hurry, hurry, get your stuff ready, get clients, go, go, go!”
Some of you will understand how hard it is to make yourself take a break. In the past that was never a problem for me. I was all about breaks - wanting them and taking them whenever I could. But now that I have something that I really want to do and all of the success for launching this business depends on me, not working seems to be harder than working. Weird. I never thought I’d be one of “those” people.
Today I give myself permission to take a bit of a break while trying to create my ideal life. Because my ideal life doesn’t include missing out on taking vacations, spending quality time with my family and friends, and doing some non-business things just for myself. I give myself permission to spend some time thinking and working on my business, some time for creativity and inspiration for my projects and my client’s projects, and some time to live my life while I’m making my life.
P.S. As you might be able to tell, my What’s Next columns will be less I did/TeuxDeux lists, and more about some of the bigger themes, events, thoughts, and general stuff about what starting your own business is like. At least what it’s like for me. There will still be takeaways that you can use when creating your own to-do lists, but I’m not digging the list making format that I have been doing. And there it is…a takeaway.
Just because you started out doing something one way doesn’t mean that you have to continue doing it the same way just to be consistent. If something isn’t working for you or you don’t feel right about it, maybe it’s time to just stop doing it.
Image Note: If you have any information about the creator of the first image used in this post, please email me for proper crediting. I tried using TinEye and Google Image Search with the entire image and just the small logo on the left, but couldn’t come up with an original source.