Working for yourself is the subject of many myths. The myth that self employment is an absolute dream, that you must be seriously loaded because you run your own business and now you have no boss to answer to, every hour of your day is fair game – do what you want, when you want, however you want to do it.
When it comes to running your own business, everyone has an opinion. Sometimes this is influenced by personal or second hand experience, other times people will literally just be talking out of their arse.
One of my favourite myths of them all is the old favourite quote…
‘Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life’.
I call bullshit.
No-one begins a business to do something they don’t like (unless their drivers are purely financial) – in a lot of cases the motivation isn’t even about creating a business at all, instead we simply end up following a passion and attempting to make some sort of career out of it. Unfortunately, the ‘business’ element is the bit that comes lower down the love list, yet is the part that takes up the most time.
We send emails, build websites, watch countless webinars on how to market our business and do battle with SEO.
So yes, on the occasions that I’m doing what I love, it certainly doesn’t feel like work. The rest of the time however? It definitely can.
Cue Monday morning.
These have historically been my single worst times of the week for getting anything done at all really. As much as I try (and I do try!) I just cannot get on board with all that #MondayMotivation jazz. I spend all weekend thinking how amazingly productive this new week will be. It’s a blank canvas to create new and exciting things and with the whole week stretched ahead of me, anything could happen!
Then it actually arrives and all that sickly sweet inspiration seems to evaporate as soon as the clock ticks past Sunday.
Inspiration turns to confusion, potential turns to pressure and by 9am I’m wondering what the hell to do.
I love a bit of honestly in business (something there isn’t enough of at the moment) and so this Monday morning, instead of hitting Instagram and asking what exciting things everyone has lined up or sharing my list of plans for the week, I asked if anyone else was in the same boat and struggling to get going too?
Half expecting my question to be met with a series of motivation quotes (or painful silence…), I was pleasantly surprised to instead receive comments of understanding. Thank GOD it’s not just me.
I might not have to drag myself to my corporate job anymore, but the struggle is still real. Without a boss there to motivate me, it’s up to myself to get myself going.
You know the part I’ve come to realise though? That because I don’t have that boss anymore, it’s entirely up to me when that productivity starts. I don’t HAVE to be raring to go at the start of the week anymore. Mondays no longer have to be the starting line for that brand new week. Hell, who says I even need to work by weeks anymore? Maybe I’ll work 3 days on, one day off. Sometimes I might go for 2 weeks straight when the mood takes me, then take a 5-day break at the end if that’s what I need to maximise my productivity.
When you work for yourself, you get to create your own calendar.
I appreciate that you might be influenced by external factors – if you’re a mum, your prime working hours might be while the kids are at school, or you may need to factor in sociable hours for client meetings. Don’t force it though if it’s not working for you. Most of us are here because we wanted to create a business that could fit flexibly within the lifestyles we strive towards, so don’t sacrifice the best of yourself just to work when you think you ‘should’.
So instead of fighting it, I’ve decided to embrace it, accepting that Monday mornings just are not happening for me. What’s the point in sitting there feeling deflated and guilty that I’ve not smashed through 30 emails, 5 blog posts and scheduled every single social media post between now and Christmas. What exactly is that going to achieve? The square root of bugger all. Except maybe making me feel like a failure as a business owner.
The conclusion? A much happier me. No, I might not have done the boring jobs I needed to tick off my list, but instead I picked the few things I knew I’d enjoy doing; I reached out to say thank you to the ladies who came to last weeks retreat day, I planned a couple of classes for this week and wrote half of this blog post. Between that, I watched 2 films on Netflix, took Roo out for a lovely long walk and made some great food.
It’s not about being lazy, it’s about being realistic.
The result? I headed into Tuesday twice as prepared, after a bloody lovely day.