You're grumpy. You're tired. You work through the weekends. And you don't remember the last time you took a vacation. What started out as a hobby or a passion has morphed into small business far beyond your control.
A year ago, baking was just a form of therapy that you did to relieve stress. Now, to keep up with the bazillion orders that you receive everyday, you have to work through the night.
You were thrilled when you finally quit your job six months ago.
In fact, you felt like you were finally on the road to financial freedom as an entrepreneur. And not just that! You waved your finger tellingly in front of your family, "I get to do what I love!"
Now you're swamped, overworked, and teetering over the edge. Your friends and family walk on eggshells around you. Not because they're scared of you, but they're afraid that one small push will send you straight to the madhouse.
*sigh* Been there. Done that. You betcha.
You know what? Just stop. Stop, take a breather, and reassess why you wanted to be an entrepreneur and do this in the first place.
Here are some things to think about:
Entrepreneur Reflection#1: Am I running a marathon or a sprint?
Risk going too fast and you may fizzle out. Or worse, crash and burn. Think long-term. If your short-term goals require you to move quickly, schedule some time off for yourself during your lean months. Don't tempt the fates and don't fool yourself into thinking you can keep going and going and going.. Even the Energizer Bunny needs a change of battery. And if you sprint all the time, will you ever finish the marathon?
Entrepreneur Reflection #2: Am I maintaining my car?
If cars need maintenance, why shouldn't you? There is no price for a healthy body so put a premium on it above anything else. Sleep. Eat. Go watch a funny movie. I hear laughter's the best medicine. And seriously, don't get yourself in a pickle thinking that you can forsake health for wealth. Wealth can't always buy health. Remember that. There is nothing noble in getting rushed to the emergency room because you didn't take care of yourself. That's just stupid.
Entrepreneur Reflection #3: Do I still love what I'm doing?
Don't feel guilty when you stop loving what you do. Sometimes, it just happens. But before you think of quitting, think deeply why you no longer enjoy working on your business. Why did you start building it in the first place? Try reconnecting with that feeling. Was it because you enjoyed seeing people's faces light up when they eat your cake for the first time? It's not that you hate your work--it's just that you only love the baking part of it. Hire someone to take care of the administrative details.
And if you truly no longer love doing what you do, then stop. It's natural.
Sometimes, people just outgrow things.
Granted, you outgrew a business but isn't that what life is all about?
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