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New Business Help, It’s Taking Over My Life

Help, It’s taking over my life

Starting a business is a bit like stepping out of your front door. Once you take the first step you can never be 100% sure where it’s going to take you.

One of the reasons that people start their own businesses is to have the freedom to choose when to work and when not to work.

That’s great, I like to be able to pick and choose my working times. To go out for a nice walk mid-morning instead of being cooped up in the office.

To be able to choose to work at 6 AM and have the afternoon off for sitting in the garden.

Or to knock off at 2 PM to go to the cinema.

Of course there’s still plenty of work to be done so I’m going to have to put in the hours somewhere.

And then it happens.

It stirs, wiggles its fingers and sits up with a roar, and that’s when you realise that you’ve created a monster. A beast that’s hungry, not for blood, or flesh, or brains, but for your time.

Suddenly your starting at 6 AM and still working at 10 PM, and what the hell happened to going to the cinema? Oh well I’ll go at the weekend, assuming I can get all of this work done before then.

Sound familiar? It does to me. I’ve been there and I can tell you know that it doesn’t work, not in the long term.

So what is it that’s happened? How has the dream of deciding on your own working hours come to this?

Well there’s the key. It’s what you’ve decided to do.

You’ve decided how much work you have to do. You’ve decided how much you want to achieve. So only you can decide to change it.

When I first started my business, I put everything else on hold. I stopped spending time with friends.

I stopped watching TV (at least most of the time). I went from reading two or three books a week to taking three or four weeks to read a book.

I spent a lot less time with my wife and stopped spending time on a lot things that I had been passionate about.

Now, here’s the thing.

Starting a business does take time. You do need to give up some of the things that you used to do in your spare time.

What’s more it doesn’t seem like much of a sacrifice. After all, we all start businesses that we are passionate about, so it doesn’t really feel like we’re working all of the time.

But the reality is that our personal lives can suffer.

And what about your health? I stopped exercising, ate at the worst possible times, ate on the run, fast food etc.

Let me ask you a question.

Did you have a plan for your business?

I bet you did. In fact most successful businesses have detailed plans. They lay out exactly what the business wants to achieve, by when, and how.

Don’t you think it’s worth doing the same thing in your personal life?

Here’s a simple exercise for you.

Take a blank piece of A4 paper.

Turn it on it’s side (landscape) and divide it into three columns and three rows.

Label the rows as follows

Business

Relationships

Health

Label the columns

Now

Six Months

Twelve Months

In the first column write down something that you’re unhappy with in each of the areas (Business, Relationships, Health) right now.

In the second column write down how would like that one thing to change in six months.

In the third column write down what that will mean to you in twelve months.

Now make this a commitment by doing two more things.

Write down exactly what you are going to achieve. Go into detail about exactly what that will mean, how it will make you feel and what it will allow you to do.

Then tell someone else.

By doing these two things you will be making a commitment and, if you have made a commitment then you are much more likely to do what’s necessary to make it happen.

So now you’ve made a commitment to make things happen, not just in your business, but in your life.

And that means it’s action time.

Look at the first commitment and then decide what action you can take right now to start making it happen.

Do the same for the other two commitments.

Now… Take the actions!

Congratulations. You’ve made a start and that’s the hardest part.

All you’ve got to do now is keep it up.