In my earlier years in business, I worked my guts out.
And I started to resent my business.
It was supposed to be my ticket to a better life.
To give me all the things a ‘job’ wouldn’t.
More time. More money. More freedom and flexibility. More choice.
But in reality, the business was actually a noose tightening around my neck.
So I started to make little deals with myself...
‘I’ll take some time off when I get to the next stage in my business’
‘I’ll start looking out for myself when I get to the next stage in my business’
‘I’ll spend more time with my kids/partner when my business can handle it’
You know, buying into the illusion that something was going to miraculously change (even though I was doing the same thing over and over).
And the resentment kept building.
Because I wasn’t keeping my commitment to myself.
I wasn’t getting the time, money, or freedom that I started the business to get.
In fact, I was working harder than I ever did at a ‘job’.
And some parts of me, deep inside, had a gutful of it.
Even when I did hit some milestone that, 6 months earlier, would have blown my mind...
I had already set the benchmark so far ahead that all I could see was the next goal.
I never stopped to celebrate the little successes along my journey.
Instead I only focused on the horizon.
And it never got closer.
Imagine if you said to your child ‘hey, I’m gonna take you for an ice cream’
And you start walking down the road with them, and there’s an ice cream shop.
But then you say ‘nah let’s get it from the next one’.
And you keep walking. To the next shop, and the next... never stopping, always putting off that ice cream.
How long do you think before that kid starts to chuck a tantrum?
How long before they start believing you’ve lied to them? Been lying all along?
If you’re starting to feel sick of the hustle, the struggle, the worry...
That’s kind of what’s going on inside YOU.
You’re missing the ice cream shops.
You keep setting your milestones so far out, you’ll never feel satisfied with what you’ve achieved.
And you’ll constantly feel like you’re getting nowhere.
Which builds frustration... and frustration is like a mouldy basement - the perfect breeding ground for the fungus of resentment.
Instead of measuring yourself against where you ultimately want to be,
start incorporating behaviours that make good on your commitment to yourself right now.
If you wanted more time with your kids when you started your business, make 3-4pm ‘after school play time’ every day.
If you wanted more money, put a small amount away each week – even if it’s only 20 bucks.
If you wanted a freer lifestyle, take a long lunch one day each week at a cafe with a gorgeous ocean view.
Make micro-commitments that are in alignment with your reasons for starting your business.
Make the choice and follow through with discipline.
Eat a damn ice cream every once in a while.