Do you ever feel the pressure of the constant entrepreneur grind and working on your business 24/7? Have you put the pressure on yourself and compared yourself to fellow entrepreneurs who tell you they never sleep and just work on their business?** This goes for any hard worker, not just the entrepreneur space. I found myself heading into a burn out a few months ago and have been transitioning out of this “pressure” and focusing on doing ME more. I spend so much time on my business during the week with amazing clients and put all of my focus and energy to THEM. So where and when do I put the energy into myself and other things I love to do?
As much as I try not to, I compare my business to others. I think this is a pretty normal thing for people to compare their successes. Not like I am “jealous” of someone else’s success, I am motivated by that! But more like, shoot should I be there or should I be doing that with my clients? I found I was being so hard on myself when I had downtime I told myself I was being “lazy” because all my friends who have their own businesses never stop. I was listening to a podcast recently where a couple of entrepreneurs were having a conversation shutting down the work-life balance statement. Wait a minute. Isn’t this what people have been looking for? Work-life balance!? I felt pressured that I should feel that way too! So I did. The whole first half of the year I was hustling and working a full client list back to back to back. What happened next? I started to feel a burn out coming on. I was constantly tired, making excuses of my energy levels, I was achey, my brain was foggy, I wasn’t taking time to cook good meals, my house was a mess, I was skipping more workouts then I normally do, and I just didn’t feel like myself. WHY was I acting this way when I was putting in all the work like everyone else? Something wasn’t right.
Someone I recently spoke to asked me what I did on the weekends and was surprised my weekends were spent doing things other than work. So, naturally, I instantly compared my weekend to theirs. Every weekend for me is different. Sometimes I’m traveling, sometimes I have friends visiting, sometimes I have zero plans. Sometimes I go out for drinks and have a hangover, sometimes I’m in bed by 9. Sometimes I workout, sometimes I rest. Sometimes I work on my business- if I feel like it. I started to get awkward and anxious and felt like I should be working on my business 7 days a week too.
After that conversation and after some self-evaluation, I snapped my brain back to knowing that every entrepreneur is different. Every grind is different. I knew I had to get out off this mindset of GO GO GO ALL. THE. TIME. I appreciate the grind and understand that working on your business every day will obviously help it grow. However, for ME, I need to rest! I am different from everyone else. Literally everyone. I need to turn my brain off in order for it to be on during my work week. Just like exercise, you need to take rest days in order for your body to change. If you over-train, you can lead your body into a complete exhaustion.
These last few months, when I have a free weekend, I don't get hard on myself for sitting on the couch, listening to a true crime podcast instead of an educational podcast, for reading a fun book instead of a self improvement one, having a drink or 2 (or 3) with friends instead of avoiding a night out, and of course not letting myself get down on ANY sort of self care.
I hope this reminds you to unplug, allow yourself to rest and not stress over the little things. Taking care of yourself is the most important job.
What I am doing now is working for ME. I am happy, thriving in my space, loving my life and creating MY very own work-life balance. I know who I am and I know how and what will motivate and inspire me to keep doing what I love. Laying low for at least a day is SO GOOD FOR YOU and you DESERVE it! Self care works wonders- sit on the couch, get a manicure, book a massage- you’re not being lazy, invest in yourself and the rest will follow.
** DISCLAIMER: I am in no way am I bashing the entrepreneur grind! I am just learning the hustle and what works for me. If there is someone out there who has had the same feelings as I did and they read this and are able to make a balanced shift, then I served this post’s purpose!
“I have to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.” - Audre Lorde