Let’s talk about …
‘I don’t know how you do it all’
‘You must never sleep’
‘I’m so impressed you fit it all in’.
The silent pressures of an entrepreneur. For me it’s trying to balance a dayjob (full time) with running a business (needs to be full time), training, a relationship and running a house (presently mostly my responsibility as Mr Fox hasn’t moved in yet and has his own lawn to mow). For others it’s running their own business and having kids, or being a carer or having a partner who has a demanding job and expects you to pick up the domestic duties as well as running your own business.
There are a few things I think most people in this position will agree on:
Entrepreneurs don’t get to keep office hours or clock off at the end of the day.
The blending of life and work is inevitable making it hard to keep clear lines or any kind of balance or sanity.
Leisure time is a source of guilt because of all the things that haven’t been done.
Everyone says positive and encouraging things which is lovely but oh my word the pressure that adds!
Crashing is inevitable because stopping at a sensible point becomes impossible.
So here are a few things I find are true for me at least.
I don’t do it all. Or maybe I do, but I feel as though I half ass a lot of it and I hate that feeling! Of course I may be being totally unfair on myself, but I am supposed to be super woman godammit!
I do sleep. My god do I sleep. I mean I lie awake at night worrying, but when I am not doing that I sleep. I also sleep in the day. I get up, do household chores, work, stop for a five minute break and wake up two hours later groggy and wanting to drink my own body weight in coffee. Try to watch a movie? Asleep. Try to read a book? Asleep. Try to sew a button on? Asleep. At least until I jab myself with the needle. Hell face it, I’m not napping, I’ve just passed out gently on a sofa.
I do fit it all in, it’s less impressive though when you consider that I am basically running around in frantic circles trying desperately to stop any of the balls hitting the ground because I am constantly terrified that if just one drops all the way the whole lot will come crashing down around my ears and I will be crushed beneath it!
Sometimes I attack it all with laser focus and get loads done and sometimes I unlock an achievement or something that means I can see other people think I am getting right. I look at everything I have helped create and I am proud of it, but I always, and I mean always, every single second, think I should have done and be doing more, better, faster. I am perpetually one bad email from a breakdown only I DON’T HAVE TIME!! At most I get to collapse face down on the bed and cry for no reason for an hour, once in a while.
All of this and I have support. I work with amazing people, I have Mr Fox doing most of the cooking and when I do break, he gets a book and sits with me till the sobbing subsides. I have an amazing hypnotherapist to lean on when I am too tired to stand. I have a business partner who regularly messages me to say, stop and breathe, take a moment, the sky won’t fall because you read a book for fun. I remain unconvinced about the ongoing stability of the sky.
You know what is really sick though? I love it! I wouldn’t give it up for anything! Right now this may be no sensible way to live but it is, as far as I am concerned, the only way to live!