Maybe it’s just my clients and me who play this game, but I have seen hundreds of business owners playing a subconscious “game.” It goes something like this.
- Step 1: I work so much that I’m not really used to doing much else, so I don’t think much about activities outside of work.
- Step 2: Since I’m entirely focused on work, I do whatever is needed.
- Step 3: Work continues to expand to meet the time allotted (i.e., all of your time), so you attract more and more work.
- Step 4: At first, it’s not a big deal. After all, it’s just a bit more work here and there. But, over time, these little tasks, many of which you don’t enjoy, begin to grind you down and create resentment.
- Step 5: You daydream about selling the business or having a magic wand to make all the b.s. go away. Maybe you even say something like a client blurted out. He said,
“If I didn’t own this place, I’d quit.”
To end this game, you can a. sell the business to “quit,” b. keep on grinding because you can’t afford to sell, or c. find a way to keep the business but eliminate the grind.
However, you have to have a reason to want to end the grind. Business owners put themselves into a negative loop because they have trained themselves to work hard and do whatever it takes. In doing so, they have trained their minds to never consider anything else outside work.
I encourage you to “dare to dream” about what you’d like outside of work. It may sound simple, but it’s hard for us entrepreneurs to imagine not having their business tugging at their time like a child tugs on a parent’s pants leg.
If you’re wondering whether it’s possible to reduce your stress, workload, and stress, take the Half-Retire Assessment. You can see if you qualify to Half-Retire and get your life back. Just answer a few quick questions.