I remember the first “Sex and the City” movie (sorry, guys—it won’t take long) where Jennifer Hudson, who played Carrie Bradshaw’s assistant, said, “Love is the thing you know.” It stuck with me. When it comes to business, I would add that joy is too.
We spend too many hours a day on the job—whether for someone else or for ourselves—to hate it. (Don’t we?) We need to take joy in what we do if we intend to make it for the long term.
How do you feel about doing your own thing? Some 77 percent of small business owners in the Small Business Happiness Index by Vistaprint are either “very” or “extremely” happy about running a business and working for themselves. (The survey focused on 900 U.S. microbusinesses with one to 10 employees and less than $100,000 in annual revenues–primarily home-based businesses.)
Are you still in love with your business or is the feeling fading? And if it is, what can you do about it?
Just because you love it doesn’t mean it’s not hard work.
Almost half (47 percent) of those surveyed for this index indicated that they are working more hours this year than they did in 2010. Many of us understand the difference between the job and the business. It is easy to double your workload when you start a small business, both out of necessity and passion. When you have a need, a vision and a love for the business, it is easy to slip into long hours. And if your heart is really in it, it won’t even seem like work.
But it is work. And there has to be some kind of downtime (lesson learned the hard way). The cool thing about having your own business is that choice to balance is yours.
Just because you love it is no excuse to be sloppy with it.
You know the (scary) business model that has the kind of organization that only you can understand? You may understand it, but it is still a bit of mess, especially if you are talking about future teamwork. We still need systems and structure that allows people to help us. Because the day will come when you take that long overdue vacation, and you want the business to improve while you are gone, instead of falling apart.
Just because you love it doesn’t mean your children will too.
It’s the documented systems and structure that make it possible to sell your business one day (should you choose). That same structure makes it easier to pass it on—should you choose a legacy instead of a sale. Why leave a mess, when you could leave a mission and a system that your children could carry on (or sell) without giving up their own dreams?
Are you happy with your business?