At the start of my third year in business, the last two years have been a blur. The misconception many have is that being your own boss means working less. Wrong. I knew going in that starting a new business was going to require more than the 40 hour 9-5 that some think is what it takes. It takes hustle, desire, determination, getting up when you've been knocked down, continuing education, and trying to be better the next day than you were yesterday. 60 + hour weeks. Wearing a collection of hats - owner, operator, accountant, purchaser, marketing, web design, problem solver, customer service, educator, safety manager, and the list goes on. Through all of this my bride Karli of 23 years has always told me I'm happier than I have been in years. How can a person be happier when I'm seemingly working more???
Finding a balance between business, family, and personal time is the answer. Sunday is my day of rest. I use the time to reflect, enjoy my hobbies, paint, take in a movie, cook, etc. The business is off the table. My bride and I are foodies and really enjoy sharing our kitchen with friends that also enjoy cooking (or eating). Once a month or so, we pick a Saturday, plan a menu, who's cooking and bringing what, and enjoy good food and friendship. Now that it's summer, the grill is hot, sitting outside playing yard games, and enjoying some Voodoo Hooch also happens. Winter time, we will open up our outbuilding to have a potluck, throw in some music or movies, and play darts, pinball, or board games. The last couple weeks I took off from detailing to enjoy the 4th of July weekend with our friends, and also celebrate birthdays with family coming to town from Arizona. I still took care of a few details, answered the phone, scheduled appointments, responded to messages etc. as I norrmally would, but also took advantage of the off-time to get some housework and projects finished that had been put off. It's work, but it's an accomplishment and a task completed/crossed off the list and it feels good. Did I complete the whole list? No. Years ago this would have bugged me a lot. I've reprogrammed myself to understand I can't get it all done at once, and tomorrow is a new day.
In addition to getting housework done, I test-drove and wrote a review for Milwaukee Tools on the polisher they had sent me for feedback. I was also asked to host a webinar for my fellow Detail Mafia members on paint systems, defects, and ways to fix if possible. I have a unique combination of a painting and detailing background, and a lot of insight to share. I genuinely enjoy teaching and sharing information with people. Using my knowledge to help someone grow personally or professionally is a great feeling. Of course, it goes the opposite way also. I'm fortunate to have a great group of people that I've been educated by, and received great life and business guidance from.
It's easy to focus on one thing, but it will lend itself to burnout. Be sure to take a break. Make time for your family. Make time for your house. Make time for yourself. Make time for your mental health. Make time for your physical health. Reconnect with that hobby you enjoyed, or find a new one. Reach out and talk to a friend who will be honest with you about a situation and hold you accountable. An outside view can offer some of the greatest insight to our own lives.