Is your business taking over your life?

business taking over lifeWorking for someone else means that at the end of the day you can go home and forget about your workload, but when you crossover and start to  run your own business, you will live and breathe it.  You will wake up in the morning and go to bed at night thinking about it because there is nowhere to switch off, no way of escaping, it’s your business, all the time. Over the years I have spoken with and researched hundreds of Corporate Crossovers® about their business being ever-present.

Laura Bergerson; CEO of Bergerson Group comments honestly;  “There are some days that I don’t want to be the CEO.  I just want to go hang out in the wine country for a few days and I don’t want to be the one in charge.  It’s hard, because you can’t have many days like that when you’re the leader and people are always expecting you to make the decisions.”

Boundaries blurring between work and personal life is a massive challenge. Many of the women I spoke to found it very difficult to switch off and felt consumed by their business seven days a week, 24 hours a day. And for those that left their jobs to have more flexibility in their lives, they found that they had the control but no time to do anything with it.

As Susan Moore comments; “Boundary setting was quite difficult for me in the beginning. You could quite easily work on 16 hours a day, and I did.  I worked myself absolutely to a frazzle because you want to do such a good job for your clients, which you carry on working until one or two in the morning. Your health suffers if you work so hard and you don’t do a good job for your client. I think stepping back has really been key for me and not being the person who does everything.”

Always being ‘on’, always thinking about the business and the responsibility to provide takes it toll, sometimes leading to high stress. This can be exacerbated when friends and family have invested in the business and may be looking for a return, sooner than you are able to provide it.

As one Corporate Crossover® stated “Although I love having my company and the excitement of the new venture, I am disappointed that I am falling into the same habit of being overworked and approaching burnout.  I don’t feel that I can take time off or have a flexible schedule without feeling guilty to my business partners.”

The importance of setting boundaries between your work and personal life is key to succeeding in your business.  If you are starting to feel overworked and stressed then it won’t reflect well on your business.  Step back and set the boundaries you need to help you switch off at the end of the day. This could include hiring someone to help out, allowing yourself reasonable time off or setting a start and finishing time for your working day.  It may be that you create a ‘starting work’ and ‘finishing work’ ritual. These are especially helpful if you work from home.

Remember when you have felt that you have had good boundaries between work and your personal time. Consider what made those effective and how you could apply them now.

Whatever boundaries you need, make sure that you stick to them, sometimes stepping back is all that you and your business needs, giving you a breath of fresh air.

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