(You can read the first one in this series “Are You Working Yourself Out Of Your Business?” on my blog, http://www.michelepw.com/blog)
As a recovering workaholic/perfectionist, not to mention having delusions of superhero syndrome, I’m quite familiar with the lies we tell ourselves.
You know these lies. They’re the ones that keep us stuck and away from our dreams. We might not be where we want to be in our business or our lives, but change is hard. It’s uncomfortable. Worse, change forces us to face our fears.
So the lies allow us to stay put. Right where we’re stuck. They give us a reason NOT to change.
And these lies keep us from having the business and/or life we’ve always wanted.
So what are these lies? Below are a few of my favorites (although this is by no means an exhaustive list).
1. If I would just work a little harder, I could get everything done. (This lie also has a part 2 — the guilt that happens when you don’t get everything done.)
Working harder isn’t the answer. Having a realistic idea of what you can do in a day is.
Unfortunately we’re not Superman. We don’t have super powers. We’re human. And there’s only so much we can do in one day by ourselves. (This is also why you want to start creating teams in your business so you CAN get more done in less time. But even if you have a team, there is still only so much you personally can get done.)
2. If I just sacrifice now, I can reap the benefits later.
This is a scary one because there’s some truth mixed in here. While it IS true when you’re gearing up to launch a big product or a business venture or a big campaign, you may very well have to put in more hours for a brief period of time.
The lie comes in when IT NEVER STOPS.
This week, there’s a big project for a client you have to finish up. Next week, you’re putting in overtime because an emergency cropped up for a different client. The week after you’re working longer because you need to do some marketing to make sure the pipeline stays full. Oh, and don’t forget to try and squeeze in time to create a product or to start a second business venture.
You’re constantly putting your personal life “on hold” because you know one day it will all come together and you’ll be able to sit back and reap the rewards of all the hard work.
But that day never seems to come.
This one is a toughie. I won’t deny it. But you need to get it through your head there is a natural rhythm to all businesses.
There are times you need to work like a dog. (And every single successful person I’ve ever met works like a dog every now and then. The difference is they typically know when to stop.) But, there are also times to sit back and take it easy. Work fewer hours. Enjoy what you’ve built so far. It doesn’t have to be complete in order for you to celebrate it.
And there are your “normal” times — times when you put in a full week yet you’re still able to enjoy your weekends without feeling like you need to squeeze in few extra hours on your business. When even though things are humming and you’re busy, you still make time to take that art class or watch your kids play soccer.
You need to still enjoy your life while you’re building your business. And you need to know you’ll have the energy and passion to put in a few extra hours of work when it’s called for. The only way to do that is to make taking time a priority.
3. If you want to be successful, you have to work hard.
This one is about your mindset. Again, it’s not an easy one.
I have rubbed shoulders with plenty of very successful people. And there is no question they work very hard. But, like I said earlier, they also know when to stop.
Being successful and working hard are NOT synonymous. Plenty of people work very hard and never see much success. Plenty of people are very successful and also take quite a bit of time off.
You CAN do both. It’s very possible. The point is you have to change your mindset. Once you truly believe it’s possible, then it will happen.
In the next article, I’ll talk about some strategies to counteract the lies so you can move to recovery.