You know that sinking feeling. The alarm goes off and it’s time to drag yourself out of bed. You make a half-hearted attempt to put together a professional outfit and you down several cups of coffee between your house and the office to force in some pep and enthusiasm. You arrive grouchy, disheartened and wanting to be anywhere else. The biggest problem – you’re the boss! When you own the company but hate your job, it’s time to look inward and see where, and how, you can make changes.
It’s too much work
Hard work is a part of life but work that grinds down your very soul on a daily basis can take a serious mental and physical toll. Are you being honest with yourself about how much you can handle? It may be time to bring in staff, contract out some duties or rely on the good people you hired to carry the load. A successful company is a team effort, no matter who is at the helm. Set realistic expectations for yourself so you don’t burn out.
It’s too expensive
One of the biggest worries for small business owners is finances. Is money tight because of bad habits? Are your personal and business finances hopelessly entangled? Are you setting money aside for taxes? You can save yourself a lot of worry by simply organizing your finances. It’s normal to carry some debt when starting out, but don’t compound the problem with unreasonable expenses and purchases, or not knowing what money is coming in or going out.
If you are financially organized but you don’t have enough coming in to cover expenses, get to know your options. Angel investors, grants, loans – there may be an existing short term solution to get you past this crunch.
You lack inspiration
Let’s say your business is going well. Employees are happy, money is flowing in and clients love your products. So why aren’t you happy? You could be feeling the blues that come with reaching a goal.
Woah! Wait a minute, isn’t reaching goals what it’s all about? Of course, but once you’ve climbed that mountain, so to speak, what do you do next? All that hard work, preparation, money, time and sacrifice have paid off but now you have nothing to work towards. Instead of feeling empty, find fulfillment and renew your passion. You can expand your business or do something that is not related to your business at all. Go back to school, volunteer, take a cooking course, travel, write that novel. If the daily grind is getting you down, set a new goal and discover a new passion to keep your mind and body stimulated.
It’s not me, it’s you
Employees are great but if they are fighting, unmotivated, not punctual, disloyal or toxic, it is going to stress you out. Have clear policies – and clear repercussions – for your team. Be prepared to discipline when necessary, and also be prepared to celebrate their achievements and hard work. Make the workplace where they want to be and their enthusiasm will spill over into your day.
Your environment is toxic
Does your workplace have natural light? Fresh air? Is it clean? Do you have live plants? A tidy, well stocked coffee room? Clean bathrooms? Are you in a safe area where you and your staff can walk outside on your breaks? Are you close to good places for lunch? Spending hours at a time in a dirty, cramped, unsafe place will wear you down physically and emotionally. Make sure you workplace is clean, bright, safe and accessible for you and your employees.
You’re out of shape
The mind/body connection cannot be denied. If your day consists of a doughnut in the morning chased down with a coffee that is more sugar and cream than fluid, followed by hours of sitting, a take-out lunch and driving home for epic couch surfing, it’s time to make a change. Swap sugar for nature’s candy – fruit. Make the acquaintance of some veggies and find some active moves you enjoy. You don’t have to be vegan kale smoothie drinking triathlete to reap the bountiful benefits of healthy food and exercise. You’d be surprised at the difference some walks and decent meals can make for your mental and physical health – and for your job performance.
If you’re the boss and you hate your job, don’t spend every day fighting to get out of bed. Take a moment to reflect deeply on the causes of your discontent and then do the legwork to fix the real problem. If you are strong enough to build a company, you are strong enough to fight for your sanity so you can enjoy your career.