To make it within the entrepreneurial space hard work is the norm. But for many, it is the expectation. You push, you toil, you rise above your competition. The road to the top is strewn with the shattered remnants of business, half-baked ideas, and social lives of those who rise to the occasion. While this may be the standard operating procedure for some, the question must be asked “Should it be?” The inherent negative impact on an individual's health and well-being is well documented.
According to a survey conducted by Small Busines Trends 82% of respondents say they are overworked with 74% of marketers saying they experience burnout a least one time. “How then”, you might ask. How can an aspiring entrepreneur break out? What about the times when you HAVE to put in long hours at your side hustle to get it off the ground? Long hours will be necessary at times but do not under any circumstances let it become your new ‘Norm’.
Taylor Welch addressed this in a recent internal training with our sales team “You're going to have to compromise some things sometimes like I've had to, I've had to sacrifice things before, but if you're going to compromise something, always put a timeline on it so that it doesn't become a default part of your life.”
Putting in extra time at work in itself is a mostly innocuous task. A few minutes here or there won’t typically cause you too many problems. But in seasons of stress, the temptation to keep working, to keep grinding to get to your goal is every present. Maintaining balance becomes more and more difficult. It becomes easier to justify the extra hours, canceled plans, Saturday’s in the office. Left unchecked and it can spin out of control.
How do you identify compromise?
So you are self-aware enough that you recognize your tendency to overwork. So how do you go about preventing this? What steps can you put in place? What checks and balances can you set up?
There are several different strategies you can take in order to protect yourself from blind ambition. Taylor has a few thoughts on this. “I think it depends on what it is. You can get counsel, you can get counsel. That's probably one of the easiest ways is to get outside eyes on it. Say “what do you think about this thinking? Like, I feel like I need to go all-in for like 60 days.” and Payton might be like, I'm going to raise you to 90, or you may be like, ‘dude, you don't need it. Just put in two solid weeks and stop being a lazy S^#&!’ You know? Then he'll bump you around a little bit.”
It’s important to get outside eyes on the situation. Left unchecked it is quite possible that these short sprint sessions can run wild. They morph from short intervals of controlled acceleration into careening headlong towards disaster. “I've seen is a lot of people they'll sacrifice things for 30 days, but then they go into 90 days, 365 days. They get divorced because they let a good thing, get out of boundaries, and last for too long.”
How do you implement timelines?
There are inevitably going to be situations and seasons where intense periods of concentration and devotion are necessary. If you are properly preparing for these seasons you’ll be able to anticipate the time and energy which will be required. As you begin to map out your strategic plan to hit your targets, be sure to take time to seek external counsel with a trusted colleague, a fellow entrepreneur.
If you are in a relationship, it is also extremely important to discuss your plans and schedule with your significant other. It is critical to set clear expectations and boundaries on the length and end-date of the sprint.
“If you're married, there's going to be times when you're going to sacrifice a little bit of time. You're going to compromise a little bit of time, with your wife, or your husband, or whatever, and they need to be on the same page of that. We have an employee starting soon moving here and I've coached him a lot on how to communicate with his wife because that dude has had to put in 70, 80 hours a week to get it things up to speed, but he has a timeline on it. And that timeline expires once he gets into December. So he's not going to become a workaholic, the sacrifice of his family, but he might compromise a little bit of time for three months so that he can get them to the next level.”
Compromise is a necessity for succeeding in life. There are going to be seasons where you have to put your own personal comfort aside for the sake of achieving your goals. Understanding when and how to push in a healthy manner is critical to maintaining a healthy life outside of the business. Make the conscious effort of establishing clear boundaries and expectations for ‘push’ weeks. This enables us to be held accountable for those commitments.
Making huge strides towards your life goals is always a worthy endeavor. However, doing so should not require the permanent cost of your health and relationships. If this is your reality, you need to reconsider a few things. Why are you allowing yourself to make these decisions? Are there ways or strategies which aren’t working for you which you need to adjust? Working a Saturday here and there is not necessarily a bad thing to properly hit your targets. You might need to do this occasionally.
Remember to step back and take a macro assessment of your situation. Look at the big picture and determine what actions you need to take. You may need to reevaluate your strategy. You might need to lean in. Whatever you need to do, remember placing healthy boundaries and timelines is critical to your success. For more content like this subscribe to The Traffic and Funnels Show, Daily Mind Medicine, and check back on the blog every Friday.
In your service,