Business owners, especially when they are running a very young company, tend to work whenever they can. For some, this is seen as a vital component of a successful entrepreneur. One of the most common times that owners tend to miss is weekends, as they work their way through them to get ahead for the week.Weekends are just another day in the week. Click To Tweet
I tend to use Saturday and Sunday as focus days because those days I typically have least amount of emails and meetings to deal with.
You’re the boss, now what?
The reality of running a business is that it includes working a significant amount of the time. This might mean that you are typically working into the early hours of the morning before getting just a few hours sleep, then waking up again and starting another day. If you like your weekends to be free – then you may want to consider if running a business is really for you or not.
The ultimate question is whether or not you actually like your work. There is a significant difference between those who are passionate at what they do and those who are passionate in the business. I’m passionate about creative and marketing, but I don’t do the creative direction, or the execution. I’ve built teams that do this so that I can still be involved, but not required. Those that enjoy running their business and look forward to the regular challenges are going to be more willing to work during social hours.Entrepreneurs work 80 hours a week so that they don't have to work 40. Click To Tweet
If you look forward to the weekends (as a relief) when running a business, then you are obviously not enjoying what you are doing.
Why I can’t go back
While there are considerable drawbacks to running a business, there are also significant highs and these have to be considered. For example, some of the benefits you may enjoy as a business owner include:
- Creating a living around something that you love. This means that you should never not want to get started.
- Creating a career around a passion or hobby allows you to do more of what you wanted to do in your spare time previously.
- You can tailor your work schedule so you are only actually doing the jobs you like. To help you do other tasks you can bring in external professionals or employees.
- You can keep yourself fresh, invigorated and challenged.
- The joy of creating something successful that not only provides for you and your family, but can also contribute to the livelihoods of others.
- The chance to continuously learn new and diverse skills.
You Should Still Have Off Days/Weeks
Unplugged days are still important. It does allow you to reset and become much more focused afterwards. The challenge is where to fit it in during your busy schedule.Vacation begins when you can turn off all of the technology around you Click To Tweet
The option is fairly simple, like your daily tasks and when you work – your free time might have to be flexible. This might mean that you work flat out for a couple of weeks and then have a quiet period where you can take some time out, but that is the nature of running a business.
The Fisherman Story
A management consultant on holiday by the beach watched a little fishing boat dock at the shore.
As usual he started calculating the ‘pro’s and con’s of the visible outcome’. Noting the quality of the fish, the consultant finally asked the fisherman, ‘How long did it take to catch them?’
“Not very long.” answered the fisherman.
“Then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the consultant.
The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.
The consultant asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”
“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, have an afternoon’s rest under a coconut tree. In the evenings, I go into the community hall to see my friends, have a few drinks, play the Mridangam, and sing a few songs… I have a full and happy life.” replied the fisherman.
The consultant ventured, “I have an MBA from IIM and I can help you…”
And continued by enumerating a series of events
- You should start by fishing longer every day for extra fish.
- You can then sell the extra fish you catch.
- With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat.
- With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have a large fleet.
- Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants
- Depending on ROI and market conditions, Maybe even open your own plant.
- You can then leave this little village and move to a city or maybe even out of India.
- From there you can direct your huge enterprise.
Quite a business plan it was. The fisherman asked, “How long would all that take?”
“Oh, ten, maybe twenty years.” replied the consultant.
“And after that?” asked the fisherman.
“After that? That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the consultant, laughing, “When your business gets really big, you can start selling shares in your company and make millions!”
“Millions? Really? And after that?” pressed the fisherman.
“After that you’ll be able to retire, move out to a small village by the sea, sleep in late every day, spend time with your family, go fishing, take afternoon naps under a coconut tree, and spend relaxing evenings having drinks with friends… A beautiful life”
”That’s what I’m doing right now”, said the fisherman and went his way.
If you enjoy your business, you will never feel that you are working and while you may be sacrificing weekends, you will be doing something you love.