#109: I'm Allowed to Take a Break
In the beginning of anything, it is easy to go all-in. A new diet, a new workout plan, a new business—they are exciting and new, and you can stay focused for long periods of time, driven by novelty and enthusiasm.
But several months in, you have to have something else driving you. Novelty wears off quickly. Enthusiasm isn't easy to maintain. So, you grind. Discipline carries you through the difficult parts, and a determination to succeed replaces naïve energy. And that's fine, but if you are an achievement-oriented person, once you turn on that drive and determination, it can be really hard to take a break from it.
For instance, I struggle with taking a day (or a half-day) off in my new business, because I'm not cash-flow positive at this point. (In other words, I'm spending more than I'm making.) This is really typical in new business, but it is also really frustrating. And, because the money I'm spending is coming from my household income, it is really difficult for me to feel as though I deserve to stop working at any point. The general feeling is that if I'm not making money to bring into my business and my house, I should work 24/7/365 until I reach that point.
And that's a terrible idea. No one can work 24/7/365 and be effective. Sooner or later, you burn out. Or the work you are turning out is terrible. Or your sweaty, desperate sales pitch becomes a turnoff instead of a compelling case for working with you. EVERYONE needs to take a break, even startup owners, and even if it is only an afternoon.
So, as I look toward the holidays, I'm purposefully baking in time off with my little bubble, so I can rest, reflect, recharge my batteries, and be a better me. Because my right to time off isn't earned through revenue. It's just part of what I need as a human.