Today was my first day back at work after my first real break in 3+ years and…nothing imploded (or exploded).
I took an actual vacation. I managed to not check email or our project management software for 7 days. I did end up working for 40 minutes when, on Black Friday, a client (who was supposed to be managing their own WordPress updates, but wasn’t ) had their website hacked. It didn’t take too long to get a resolution, so I still consider just 40 minutes of work in 7 days a major win.
Over vacation, I started re-reading Thrive by @ariannahuff. I bought it probably a year ago or more and read the first half before work and life got in the way. I’m just about finished now and I’m torn. It’s a *really* good book – incredibly well researched and compiled with a strong narrative throughout. There are a lot of truths there. It’s inspirational (aspirational?)…but – and it’s a big BUT – there’s no denying that startups and #entrepreneurship takes a lot of energy. Success as an entrepreneur and actually creating a business that puts food on the table and isn’t going to fail is clearly driven by the amount of time one puts in, especially in the early days.
I think it’s true that we all need to get more sleep. It’s true that we need give ourselves more breaks and redefine what a successful life looks like. But it’s equally true that growing a business takes a certain amount of work – be it creating content, engaging with customers, making the product or performing the service, and all the operational things that have to happen for you to get paid and stay on the good side of the IRS. In the early days, when you’re bootstrapping things as a #solopreneur or small team, there isn’t usually money to pay someone else to do all those things. Business growth requires input, full stop. Input requires time or money. Without a pile of VC funds the reality is small business owners probably have to work long days and late nights if they want their business to reliably contribute to their household needs and have the potential to become something bigger.
I have about ¼ of the book left, but this is what I’m pondering so far. Maybe more later?