Is Work-Life Balance for Entrepreneurs an Oxymoron?
Normally I don't write posts like this but today is just one of those days.
Being an entrepreneur has never been an easy task for me, as I'm sure it isn't for most of us. It doesn't matter what business venture type I may be working toward creating, developing or maintaining. Doesn't matter what industry it's in. Doesn't matter what business model it is. Doesn't matter if it's Virtual or Brick & Mortar. Being a business owner, a business creator or a business-minded career person can really, really suck at times.
It's definitely not for the faint of heart. Not for those that may want to get rich quick. Not at all for people who want to do things in their "spare" time or for people who just live for the Kudos after expressing that they are a business owner.
It's not cute. Being an entrepreneur is a FULL TIME undertaking. There's nothing posh or fabulous about working, what seems like, non-stop hours. There is nothing at all cool about working your butt off on something that hasn't really paid out yet. No Really. Ever tried to pay your bills with your ideas?
I spend so much time and energy, pouring my life into trying to make my business plans work. I spend countless hours praying, brainstorming, planning, creating task lists, researching, networking, marketing, building an internet presence and too many other keywords to mention. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't do something to pursue my goals, and yet I still feel that all that time and energy hasn't pushed me any more closer to achievement than it did yesterday. I know in the back of my mind that this way of thinking isn't true. It's a Jedi mind-trick. But there's always a new goal or new plan of attack or at times a back to the drawing board movement. And it's those time that make me wanna throw in the towel or punch someone in the face. Those really suck!
I barely sleep at night and during the day I rarely eat a meal that I can even label as nutritious because my mind takes over my entire day & night. When I'm up, I'm moving and this is non-stop for me. To say that I am really trying to conquer the work-life balance is such an understatement. It's something that I battle with daily.
One of the hardest things about being an entrepreneur is knowing that some of the most important people in your life will never truly know or understand the amount of time, sacrifice, passion and work you put into doing what you love. No one can ever understand your business like you do. They can't understand your frustrations. So it becomes even harder to vent or to try to explain to people when, although they can see how visibly stressed you are, some have Zero real understanding. Some may only understand your end goals. Others may kind of understand your pain, but not really. But in my mind, no one can truly understand what I go through day-to-day like another entrepreneur.
I wish I could say that I'm one of those lucky people who has a slew of money stashed, borrowed or an inheritance from a rich uncle and can hire people to do what's needed. My idea of venture capitalism is putting away a few bucks a month just to pay for Business Cards or Web Hosting. So as a Woman with a family of her own and as a person that lives and breathes learning new things, I mostly end up doing tasks that I know I'm capable of so that I don't have to pay someone else. I don't have money to burn. For me, it seems idiotic to shell out cash for something that I already know how to do. Yet, that very thing that I try so hard to avoid, is most times that thing that holds me back from moving forward at a faster rate.
I'm slowly but surely learning now, that being an entrepreneur doesn't mean, being an island. It's crazy to me that I'm just now getting this, that I'm just now really understanding this, in real life. That to give up small pieces of my pie, to have someone else care for them, doesn't mean I no longer have a pie. My whole pie is still there. Except now it will be a little easier to manage & watch over.
So to all of my family and friends, when you see me walking around crazy looking, unkempt, stressed, irritated or just plain tired. If I haven't called you in months or for some a year. If I don't answer when you call or RSVP to events. You now know why. I'm still learning how to balance. I'm trying. My mind is occupied. I'm tired. I don't feel like smiling or pretending that everything is ok. I don't have time to talk about the weather. I'm thinking about the next days tasks or cleaning up food out of my carpet that dropped from my son's dinner plate from the night before. I'm a Mom first, A Business Woman next, a Blogger and a Musician. I think that's more than enough hats for any one person to wear.
I didn't write this to complain or to gather "Amens". I just accept that this is who I am. I'm an Entrepreneur and Multi-Faceted Woman. Everything that I do is all a part of a hard days work. So to follow up on the question as to whether or not Work-Life Balance for Entrepreneurs is an Oxymoron. My answer? You'd have to be a Moron to not know the answer to that, after reading this article. Until next time Stars.