Workin Nine to Five

By: dwoffice
Dolly Parton has told us all the trials and tribulations of the daily grind. Can you imagine the songs full of angst and heartache she would write about the hours most entrepreneurs and small business owners rack up?

We all know that when starting any new business there is no such thing as an eight hour workday. I suspect that most small business owners and entrepreneurs are more familiar with 18 to 20 hour days. It's so exciting in the beginning of a new venture that it becomes very difficult to stop working for the day, but how long can you keep that energy?

Don't feel guilty if you identify with that "honeymoon is over" fatigue of the new business cycle. It is nearly impossible to work nonstop for several months and not experience some level of burnout.

It seems to me there are two ways to deal with these inevitable feelings. First, you can keep going like a freight train. You will no doubt know that you are above this common problem and burnout happens to other people, not you. Well, it's true that excitement and inertia will keep you going for awhile, maybe even a good while. But what if you're wrong and find out that you're only human? If you keep burning the candle at both ends without ever stopping for a moment, I think it's likely that when you finally reach that unavoidable breaking point, it can be more of a breakdown.

Now, what would happen if you looked at your life realistically from the get-go? If you decide that you will channel all your excitement into 10 hours of work a day, you might just find that you are able to maintain your enthusiasm and sanity. Plus, as an added bonus, without the fatigue, I think you'll find that those 10 hours a day are more productive. The quality of 10 hours of work from a balanced, well-rested person have got to be equal to, if not better than 20 hours of a harried, exhausted one!

Starting a new business takes a Herculean effort. However, keeping a business running after that initial exhilaration takes patience and perseverance. In order to alleviate a major meltdown, I think it's imperative to pace yourself.

As an entrepreneur, I know that there is no way I would ever be content to work 9 to 5. But I've also learned the hard way that working 22 hours a day can eventually lead to a new business falling into a coma while its owner tries to catch up on the non-business parts of life and re-entering the real world!
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