I was chatting with a sweet sweet friend and fellow entrepreneur recently, talking about all the dreams we had growing up, all the long hours we have put, and all the exciting new growth we were experiencing. What was so encouraging about our conversation is that we came to a very similar place recently about creating our and maintaining our ideal lifestyle.
I am not sure where you are in your small biz journey but let me share a bit about ours. We both started our businesses from scratch, we both had built up a steady stream of clientele and regular flowing business, we both were getting the recognition we had worked so long for...and...
we both were burning ourselves out for an old concept we had about our ideal lifestyle.
When you are first starting out all you can think about is getting that next client, job, sale...etc. But what quickly happens if your business is even remotely successful, is that when you do get all of those things you also get sucked into this version of business that seemed all rosy from the outside looking in, and is really just an endless stream of hours, projects, and pressure. See where I'm going?
As a young business owner I had assumed my "SUCCESS" was tied up in how big my business was getting and to some degree the paycheck I was getting. But what never occurred to me until I was left out of breath, was that it wasn't busyness or money I wanted in the first place, it was efficiency and purposefulness. It was a combination of life-life blending with my business life. Not a hijacking of one or the other. What am I saying?
I have reached a point in my life that I don't not need to take on projects for work sake
I don't mean that to be puffy. I mean it to be matter-of-fact. There is ALWAYS going to be more work, friend.
The key to success is determining how much of that work/life/love balance actually equals success to YOU.
At this point, I only take on higher rate commission pieces, pieces that personally inspire me, and pro-bono work to remind me where I've come from, who has helped build me up, and to serve, serve, serve my community always. I make sure to remove weekend work (unless it is a special circumstance) to better connect with my family and to remember mental wellness is a part of my overall well being as a business owner. I "fire" clients that are adding unnecessary stress to my life. I take only jobs that help direct me towards my lifestyle goals. And, though I don't always get it right, I try to keep my liberty to STOP work when I need to and just focus on my life.
So to recap, if your ideal lifestyle is currently financial freedom, than you work your butt off to accomplish that. If your ideal lifestyle is some extra money on the side but maintaining an overall freedom to be with family, than good for you. If your ideal lifestyle is a mash of the two, than I am routing for you! But make sure you are not going through the motions living someone else's version of your success.
Get real with yourself about what you want in and for your life today...and do it!