Monday morning. The time when most of you are rousing from your slumber, dragging yourself from the warm bed to the hot coffee pot and motoring off to your place of employment for another eight to nine hours of activity known as work.
My Mondays look a little different.
In fact, I don’t resent Mondays anymore, or at least not with the same reason. A Monday morning is never the same, but nevertheless it is mine to craft according to my prescription. I used to refer to it as my day off, but I have learned that as an entrepreneur, you never really have days off. It’s the whole reason why you are an entrepreneur. Your mind does not stop working very easily.
It’s why I stopped counting hours long ago. It’s easy to make references like, “I worked 80 hours last week,” but when you break it down, how accurate is that? Did my “twelve hour day” on Saturday start at 7:00am when I arrived at the restaurant or did it begin at 5:30am when I got up and began thinking through menu ideas, making a To Do list, and loading the truck with supplies for the Farmer’s Market? Do I include entire day as work, or do I mark off the 20 min when I sat down and had a bowl of soup and read the paper? Did my day end at 9:00pm when I sat down at the bar with some of my customers or did it end at 10pm when I drove home? Do I count the drive time home and add on the extra time that it took to unload the truck and put everything away?
As an entrepreneur, at some point it is futile to think of your work in terms of time, unless your goal is to impress people with how many hours you put in. I recommend getting over that quickly.
You are an entrepreneur because you must be, not because you think it’s chic or hip or the road to getting noticed by the Food Network. You go into business because you are compelled to do so. You become your own boss because your ideas are so prevalent; you torture yourself by not exploring them. Working for someone else is not a bad thing; it’s just not your thing.
It’s why counting hours is unnecessary. You have goals to accomplish, regardless of how long it takes. You don’t have the luxury of shutting down after eight hours and turning it over to the next person and the next shift. It stays with you constantly. In reality, if someone asks you how many hours you put it; you could just say “168” and you probably won’t be exaggerating. Even in your sleep you are thinking about making payroll and streamlining the operation for more efficiency.
Our problem is not work. It never has been and never will be. Instead, ours is rest. To us, sometimes our work is so energizing, we don’t want to quit, nor do we always even know how to quit. This is the inherent trouble of being an entrepreneur. We may get things done, but we may pass early. We are driven, but we also drive ourselves into the ground. We like the idea of a day off, but never quite sure where to go to find one.