Something was gonna give...

Submitted by christian on Wed, 04/04/2012 - 21:38

...and it was probably going to be my sanity.

To start things off, I believe that self-described entrepreneurial people typically fall into one of two groups: those that don't want to work for other people their whole lives and those that just don't want to work. There are a lot of ways you can label those two groups so feel free to pick your own labels, but for the sake of this blog, let's assume I am referring to the former group of motivated, hard working people. And while we're at it, let's assume you are one of those people, too.

So, we're all busy, responsible people. Between work, hobbies, relationships, yard work, the occasional meal, sleep, and basic life maintenance it can seem impossible to find the "free time" we all talk about using for this entrepreneurial effort of ours. If at any given time I am not doing something related to any number of responsibilities, I begin to panic trying to figure out what I'm forgetting. I begin to feel a little frazzled and can't stop thinking about all of the things I'm not doing, often at the detriment of what I AM doing.

And then somebody adds one more thing. And then there's an emergency at work that eats up an unexpected chunk of time. And wouldn't you know it, that ex-girlfriend of a friend of a friend of a friend who somehow got your phone number needs some free tech support today... right now... just this once. The next thing you know you're smashing a coffee table with a vacuum cleaner while yelling at the sky about how the universe is punishing you and you alone! And of course all of this is in the dark because you popped a fuse AGAIN (in more than one way, it would seem)!

The last year and change has been an absolutely amazing experience for me. It had been a long time since anything in my professional life gave me cause to experience highs and lows so extreme that I felt were worth going through. But if you invest that much of your “free time” into anything there are going to be costs. If I can give any advice, it would be to learn to say “no” once in a while. The universe and all of the people in it have survived for quite a while before either one of us were here and it will get along just fine if you take a little time for yourself.

But then again, maybe the pressure only gets to me. Maybe you're better at achieving the mystic life-work balance. Maybe you live in a Zen-like utopia of self awareness. But if not, instead of committing everything all at once, add in small pieces at a time until you find a balance. And while you will certainly have to stretch too far once in a while, learn to limit how long those times last as much as you can. And if that doesn't work, there's usually a pretty good sale on vacuums somewhere in town.