Sacrificing Work and Life Balance for Business

A couple weeks ago I wrote about how I had jumped back into self employment. At this point I think I definitely made the right decision.

I don’t say this because I now have unlimited freedom to hang out with friends.

I don’t say that because I have been busy enjoying the summer as much as I can.

I don’t say that because I can work as little hours I want.

Do you know why it’s not any of those reasons? It’s because none of those are true. I’m not going to build some delusion that self employment is all a walk in the park. You’re at the wrong blog for sugar coating.

Granted a very small percentage of the self employed stumble across that kind of situation where they can coast, but it is the exception and not the rule. For most people who are self employed, they’ve gotta work their asses off, otherwise they’ll find themselves back punching the clock before they know it. Success rarely just falls in the laps of the lazy.

That doesn’t simply mean working harder from 9AM to 5PM than you would’ve at your old job. No it means making serious sacrifices and busting your ass as much as you can.

It was actually a good blogger friend of mine who got me writing about this topic. Martin from Studenomics.com had sent me a video that really got me thinking more about this specific thing. Check it out below…of course after checking out Studenomics – great blog if you don’t mind the blunt approach 🙂

For those of you who didn’t spend the 3 minutes watching the video, it’s basically just hammering home that being an entrepreneur is a difficult grind that demands big sacrifice. The part that really hit home was his antidote about this guy who’s girlfriend was going to dump him if he didn’t stop working weekends. I can sure relate to that. I’ve been in multiple relationships where that was a major source of contention and likely played a significant role in the breakup.

I fully expect some of you to think that I must be cold and callous. Like who would put their business ahead of their relationship?! Unfortunately that’s often what happens with entrepreneurs. They’re so focused and driven that they are willing to make sacrifices that don’t necessarily sit well with those around them. It’s not they don’t love their significant other, it’s just that they’re so passionate about making their business succeed. It’s a big reason why they probably have the highest divorce rates of any profession.

In my case I figured that if the woman really loved me, she’d be supportive. It’s not that simple though. Most partners do need more attention than someone may be able to give while trying to build a business. Do you push aside your dreams and let resentment take over? Or do you push ahead doing your best trying to reassure them?

It’s not that I have plans to work like a machine everyday for the rest of my life. I just know from past experience that if I don’t put in substantial effort it won’t work out long term. Because I’m not accepting failure this time around, I’ve made a conscious decision that I am willing to make sacrifices now in hopes of reaping the benefits later. I admit that it’s a gamble. I might spend months or even years with this approach only for it to still fail. It happens all the time.

On the bright side, if it all works out I might set myself up for true freedom and have something to be extremely proud of. To me that risk is an easy decision. It’s the part where it affects others when it isn’t such an easy decision.

So during this attempt at self employment, you won’t catch me just taking it easy. The reality is that I’m putting in excessively long work days. Most weekend days only mean that things will be a little busier if I go out to do any errands. In short, this is going to be a major test of my sanity. Wish me luck!

What kind of sacrifices have you made for self employment? Or if you’ve never been self employed would you be willing to make these kinds of sacrifices?

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