As an entrepreneur, you are basically always connected. Especially when you work from home, you’re always at the office! It’s easy to lose track of time and work too late, or “just answer this email super quick” at 10 pm or on Saturdays.
It’s also your passion, so you want to keep working, keep delivering, keep proving yourself over and over.
You are valuable. You are worth the money. People are paying you because they believe you have the skills to do the work and deliver on your promises. You’ve already sold yourself, now you’re just continuing the work of making yourself irreplaceable.
I get it. I honestly do. Hell, I’m writing this at 10:30 at night on a Monday, sitting on my couch and listening to The Great British Baking Show in the background.
But the thing is, you and I…we deserve a vacation sometimes. We deserve to have dinner with our families without a phone in our hand. We deserve time off now and then.
When I was working in corporate sales, it was easy to leave work at the office and turn my mind to other things at home. I might check my email once over the weekend, but I didn’t feel like I had to be glued to my computer. I took my earned vacation days and I went away for a week, while only checking email and checking in with the office once or twice.
Now as an entrepreneur, I just spent five days in Florida, in gorgeous weather with family, amazing food, a beautiful wedding, and perfect beaches. Every day, I was still checking email and responding, I got work done while I was there, and even spoke to some clients!
Why did I feel like I owed my clients my time off, in addition to the work I do, the meetings, the time, effort, and time on during the week?
For the same reason I felt guilty when giving my resignation at previous jobs. I did all the work, and often more, that I was paid to do, I was on time, a hard worker, and a friendly colleague. I helped people as much as I could. When I got an offer from a new company, I accepted it, and then immediately got a huge knot in my stomach. I had to go in and give my notice to my boss, and I was dreading it. I still did it and was completely professional, but it was scary and nerve-wracking, and made me feel terribly guilty for leaving.
There was no real reason for guilt. I did the work I was paid to do, and I was looking out for what was best for me and my career, as you’re supposed to do. My boss wasn’t looking out for my career, that’s my job.
That’s how it is with your own business, too. You’re doing the work you’re being paid to do, and likely more. So why is it we feel like we can’t take the weekend off or go on vacation?
It’s a process. I am trying to let go and take time to myself, and remember that I do great work, and that’s why I have awesome clients who stick with me.
When you have your own business, all success and failure stops with you and it can be difficult to turn it off or let things wait until morning. It can be tough to turn off at all.
We all deserve time off now and again, and we need to stop feeling guilty for wanting it. It’s a learning process, realizing you don’t need to respond immediately if someone emails you on a Saturday night, and figuring out that they probably don’t even expect it! I am slowly learning to let go, and not think about working in my off hours.
I don’t think I’ll be leaving my laptop at home when I travel anytime soon, though!