Happy Valentine’s Day! It’s the day of luuuurve and the shops are making the most of people getting back on their feet after the festive spendathon and January sales. I’m really enjoying seeing hearts, roses and funny Valentines cards all over the place, and I certainly enjoy receiving flowers (that’s a hint hubby, if you’re reading.)
So we’re all being encouraged to express our love to our significant others and to ourselves in the personal development world. But this Valentine’s Day, I want to ask you a question…
Do you REALLY Love What You Do?
If you’re female entrepreneur with your own business, I hope you do. And you might automatically answer, “Yes, of course I love what I do!” But sometimes we say that because we think we should rather than because we are actually loving it. After all, if you don’t love what you do then what’s the point of this whole having your own business thing?
The thing is, I hear a lot of women in business say all the "right" things about how much they love what they do but at the same time they are really overwhelmed, stressed out all the time and constantly operating on the brink of burnout. I don’t believe that’s what loving what you do should be, so if that sounds familiar – and you’re even feeling a bit guilty about it – here are 10 tips just for you...
When you start your own business, you might think you will get to spend all day coaching, mentoring, healing, therapizing, consulting, designing, creating, strategizing or whatever else it is you love to do. But you are actually becoming more than that because, by being your own boss, you also end up being your own head of operations, marketing, finance, research and development, production, purchasing, human resources, and whatever other company function you can think of. And if you’ve set up as a solopreneur, you’re not only the head of these things, you’re also the office dogsbody in each of these areas too, having to get stuck in at every level - the nitty gritty as well as the big picture stuff.
This means that you can end up spending a lot less time than you think actually doing what you love and it can almost seem like the other stuff takes over completely. But remember, you are still your own boss. So make plenty of time for the things you love, schedule it in, and fit the other stuff around it – and you’ll love what you do a lot more.
So you might be thinking, “Well that’s a nice idea, Sara. But that’s easier said than done.” It might be, but it doesn’t have to be. In order to allow you to spend as much time as possible doing what you love, you want to minimise the amount of time you spend doing what you don’t love. Work out what tasks and activities that are non-essential or could be done by someone else so that you can ditch, decrease or delegate them. That way you spend less time on things you don't love and free up more time for the things you do love.
If you're struggling to make time for what you really love, whether work or play, come along to my upcoming free online training, From Burnout To Timeout: Make More Time For What Really Matters by clicking the button below.
This might feel like the current catch-phrase of the personal development world, but it’s for a good reason. Love yourself in a very practical way - looking after yourself, getting enough sleep, nourishing yourself with healthy food, drinking plenty of water, moving your body, and whatever else makes your body feels good.
In the words of Tony Robbins, “The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.” And I would also add that you’ll also have a lot more fun, which is an enormous part of loving what you.
Love is the theme of the day after all, so I thought it only appropriate to keep the theme going. Because as well as showing yourself love in practical terms, that needs to extend to how you feel about yourself so that you value yourself and your work. This is about self-worth. If you don’t do this, it becomes very hard to convince other people to value you and what you do… which of course is what you’ll need to do in order to actually make some money (you’re running a business after all.) If you find this hard, I recommend working with a transformational coach or healer.
This might sound like common sense but it can be easy to end up with something closer to an expensive and time-consuming hobby rather than a business if you’re not careful. So you need to make sure this thing you love actually makes you some money, and enough money to create the kind of lifestyle you would like. Otherwise you could just end up resenting your business and your clients. If you need to hire a business coach to do this, so be it. This is also intrinsically linked to your self-worth (see #4.)
The pressure of having to get all your bills covered by doing what you love can take some of the joy out of it for some people. I’ve read a number of articles written by authors along these lines, saying that they were able to focus on their writing (especially at the beginning) because they had money coming in from other sources to make sure the bills were paid.
At the beginning this might mean having a part time job as you build up your business (I took a number of temp jobs to top up the coffers in the early days.) Later you might add affiliate income, add a product to your service (e.g. a network marketing product you love), add a service to your product (e.g. a coaching package or online course to go with the planner you’ve designed), dabble in trading, invest in property, or something else. By opening yourself up to having income come in from other sources, you can take some pressure off and enjoy doing what you love even more. The Universe might surprise you by the different ways you can attract money into your life.
Even if you love what you do, you need to take a break to replenish your energy, recharge your mental and physical batteries, and get some perspective on your business. This includes having breaks throughout your day, not working over the weekend, having a longer weekend now and then and some longer holidays throughout the year.
If you're struggling to make time out for you because there's just too much to do, come along to my upcoming free online training, From Burnout To Timeout: Make More Time For What Really Matters by clicking the button below.
Staying focused on your purpose will help to remind you why you do what you do… because there will be times when you need to do some of the things you don’t love so much, or work hard to get a project to completion or launch something. If you keep reconnecting with your purpose, your Big Why, the mission of your business, or even just how you want to feel, this will help you stay on track until you get back to doing what you love.
If you started your business after leaving a corporate job, chances are you wanted to work less hours and enjoy greater life balance, creating your business on your terms. The thing is, this might involve undoing years – possibly decades – of bad work habits. Many corporate cultures encourage a “work hard at all costs” mentality and you can bring that into your business but now there is nothing to reign you in – no office hours, no one to go to lunch with, no paid annual leave. Catch yourself falling into those old work habits, set boundaries for yourself, and do your best to stick to them - forgiving yourself if you fall off the wagon now and then.
When I started my business, I was very excited about being my own boss, but I what I didn’t count on was also being my own employee... and sometimes I was the meanest boss I’d ever had! I would make myself work stupidly long hours, work through weekends and holidays, and criticise myself continuously. I would never have put up with this from anyone else.
If this sounds familiar, list the best qualities of your favourite bosses (if there were any) from your past jobs and think about what you would want in a manager or CEO if you were in a "normal" job. Are you being the kind of boss who you’d love to work for? Be that boss for yourself and you’ll enjoy your work much more.
If you're finding yourself falling into old work habits that leave you overwhelmed, exhausted, and on the brink of burnout, come along to my upcoming free online training, From Burnout To Timeout: Make More Time For What Really Matters by clicking the button below.
My mission is to see female entrepreneurs doing what you love, and really loving what you do, working in a way that is fun and sustainable so that you can avoid burnout and keep going to make your difference in the world. If that sounds good to you, I'd love you to join me on the journey.
Do you really love what you do? What are your tips for falling (and staying) in love with your business? I love to read your tips, tricks and insights, so please share in the comments box below.
I am passionate about women in business achieving success in a way that works for them and making the changes they need to make in order to make that happen. However, though change can be exciting it can also be scary, triggering behaviours that might not make sense to you (procrastination or self-sabotage anyone?). I help entrepreneurial women to navigate change with more clarity, confidence and courage so that these behaviours can be dissolved and they can move forward with ease and flow. If that sounds good, I'd love to hear from you!