“So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.” – Caterina Fake, Co-founder, Flickr
As a Her Corner facilitator one of the hardest things for me to watch is when our members go through some very big life changes while also working so hard to build their businesses.
I have watched members go through losing parents, welcoming new babies, managing job losses, launching new businesses, closing down businesses, losing spouses, ending marriages, and so on and so forth. I find it very difficult to watch these women struggle through these moments, while also worrying about managing their businesses. This summer I read a book called Chasing Daylight, How my Forthcoming Death Transformed My Life by Eugene O'Kelly, and I finally realized that life happens (and almost never goes according to plan,) and that time is not the measure of commitment to your business.
One of my favorite take-away’s from the book 'Chasing Daylight' relates directly to this issue of never having enough time that I hear so many members talking about. So many women in Her Corner (including me,) ask themselves ‘How will I ever have enough time for my business, while also taking care of everything else that is happening around me?’ At the same time, we also hear other people boast about working 90 hour weeks, does that mean they’re more committed to their business than we are?
Not according to Eugene O’Kelly.
In his book, O'Kelly talks about how our society associates commitment with measure of time. If you work all the time, you're definitely committed. If you sacrifice your home life for your work, you're definitely committed. The more you sit at your desk and work on your business, the more committed you are. In the last 3 months of his life, O'Kelly concludes: "Commitment is measured not by the time one is willing to give up but, more accurately, by the energy one wants to put in, by how present one is." – I realized, it's not about working around the clock, it's about how much focused energy we are putting into these businesses. Because quite frankly, time spent without energy is just wasted time doing the easy things like updating social media, answering emails, researching this or that.
So remember, as you move through September and into the end of the year, consider yourself fully committed to your business if rather than working 8-6pm, you only work 9-3, but during that time you are completely focused and dedicating your energy to building your business. If the rest of the day is spent doing things you enjoy, you'll feel happier and also more physically capable of working at that level the next day and the next day.