We’ve embraced being busy as a virtue and forgotten how to enjoy what we do.
The world of online entrepreneurs (and ladypreneurs and infopreneurs and creatievpreneurs) is growing at an incredible rate right now. Just a few years ago, no one would have thought that so many amazing people would be making a living online. It’s also in a period of transition - from ads and sponsored posts to opt-ins and e-courses, from written blog posts and Facebook to videos and Periscoping day and night, from figuring it out on your own to webinars and courses about everything under the sun. The world of online business is growing and changing a mile a minute and it’s impossible to keep up.
“This is your season of hustle.” “Now is the time to work hard.” “I work 16 hour days.”
If you’re in that place: of working outrageous hours for no pay, of creating products just because you’ve seen others people doing it, of building an email list to help you sell; I understand you. It’s the way everyone seems to be working right now: it’s all about the create and sell. It’s all about working hard and getting ahead.
By embracing the idea of hustle being necessary and rest being something to push off after the next project, we’ve lost the passion behind what we’re doing. You may be creating amazing logos or writing stellar sales pages or bringing in more money than you dreamed possible, but if you’re doing it for the sake of working and looking as busy as everyone else, you will never find success and satisfaction.
But maybe what we all need is not another product or e-course or webinar. Maybe we need a break. Maybe we need to all step back and remember what is was like to create something beautiful just for the sake of the process.
Maybe we need to be anti-hustlers and start being passionate, purpose driven free thinkers instead.
Instead of continuing to push yourself beyond your limits, consider doing some (or all) of the following:
- Take a break: Blogger burnout is real, ugly, and avoidable. Instead of pushing yourself to keep up with what everyone else is doing, step back and think about why you started in the first place. Return to the passion that drove you to create. Remember that people understand that you can’t be on all the time. And be willing to walk away before you reach the point of tears. Get outside, do something you love (there is something that isn’t blogging, I promise), stretch, meditate, read a book, enjoy a cup of coffee. Find a way to leave the computer and the business behind for just a little while and think about something else. Or think about nothing at all.
- Spend time with the people in your offline life: The community online right now is fantastic. It’s all about helping each other succeed and being open and authentic, but if you’re trading your real life friends and family for the online world, you’re going to come to resent it. We’ll always be here. But your friends and family might not be. Don’t get so caught up in the hustle and hard work that you forget why you’re doing it in the first place. Go spend time with your kids, plan a date night or a girl’s night out. Make the people in your life a priority because they are going to be the ones who are there to celebrate your victories and help you get back up after you’re failures.
- Accept that you can’t do it all: Between social media, blogging, product creation, promotion, email marketing, and the 101 other things we’re told to do in order to be successful, something has to give. It’s either going to be something on your to-do list or your sanity. You can’t, and shouldn’t, be doing it all. Focus on the things that work and then push yourself just a little. Try out new platforms, but don’t think that you have to be everywhere all the time. Think about your purpose and your audience: how and where can you best reach them? Once you know that, focus on those places and let other people explore the rest. There will never be a shortage of social media platforms and ways to grow your business lists, but you need to stick to what works for you.
- Enjoy the growth: Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you have to create the most epic of all e-courses to be satisfied with your life. You don’t need to make six figures or have an audience of several thousand people. You just need to be yourself and put in your best effort. Be honest, be true, and enjoy the journey. No one starts out making ten thousand dollars a month. Instead, they took things day by day to grow to where they are now. Enjoy this time of growth and the freedom that comes with running an online business. Take a break in the middle of the day or eat that piece of chocolate. Savor the moment and don’t let the best things in life pass you by while you’re staring at the computer screen.
- Listen to your body: I’ve heard this a lot lately: that we’re burnt out and feeling bad, but we’re pushing through. Just stop. If you can’t keep your eyes open without another espresso shot or you’re developing hives from stress, take a break. You’re not doing yourself or your audience any favors by working through the pain. Just like you shouldn’t walk on a broken ankle, you shouldn’t push yourself in business when your health is compromised. You won’t be at your best and you won’t enjoy the work you’re doing. People will understand that you need to take some time off and heal. And once you’ve taken that time, you can come back refreshed and better able to create and serve. Don’t wait until you’re in the hospital or crying into your coffee to tune in, do it every day and make choices that make sense for you.
You have to let passion and purpose drive your work instead of working because that’s what you’re supposed to be doing.
Don’t buy into the myth that you have to work seven days a week and give up all your outside activities in order to build a successful business. Life is too short to spend all your time working. After all, you probably started your own business because you wanted a break from the office grind.
We’ve turned being busy into the goal. And the more you tell yourself to hustle and plaster your walls with motivational printables, the more you let that seep into everything you do. We no longer enjoy walks in the park because we’re too worried about missing client emails. We no longer craft blog posts that inspire us because we’re too caught up in thinking about the best way to get people to sign up for our email list.
Listen to your own voice instead of the ones trying to sell you on the latest and greatest program to help your business be amazing. Embrace the freedom you have to take care of yourself and those you love. Enjoy the ability to reach a single person with exactly the words they needed to hear today.
Rewind, go back, forget all the advice you’ve filled your brain with about what you need to sell and how you need to help. Remember what is true about your story and the message you have to share with the world. Don’t let the hustle get in the way of genuine connection.
We’re stuck on a treadmill of doing and creating and we’ve forgotten the purpose behind it all. After all, what’s the point of building your own business if you’re not doing work you’re passionate about and enjoying the life you’ve created?