ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Balance is the New Black
Orange is far from my favorite color. I mean sure the show is cool, but surely there's yet another "new black" to come into town and steal the show. Because as #entrepreneurs, we can get burnt out easily. The big homie #GaryVee asks us if we're willing to eat sh*t for 24 months in order to eat caviar for the rest of our lives. Maybe you are, maybe you aren't, and that's perhaps as honest as you can be about yourself right now. Regardless of your answer, I do know that you're tired.
Maybe this entrepreneurship thing is your job AFTER your fulltime job. Perhaps your struggling to juggle making time for this while your family is wondering what's taking so long. It's possible you simply have an non-supportive boo-thang, and you can't seem to get anything done without there being some exhaustive string of complaints about hurrying up or quitting that "hobby". Let me ask you this, then--what do you do to take care of yourself?
Why is it so freaking cool to be the dude or dudette that pulls all-nighters, hustles through sleep, misses breaks to eat and justifies making more money for his or her family by spending less time with them? No, enough of that turd juice. Time is limited, precious, and so irreversible that it's heartbreaking. I'm not going to be the guy who eats too much late-night fast food all his life, spends more time on the computer than with his little girl, dies too young from stress and regrets it--I WILL NEVER GET THAT TIME BACK.
"Memento Mori"--live like you're mortal, not immortal. To start doing that, to start being the best man, woman, entrepreneur or hustler we can be, we need to reverse our thinking: ignoring our bodies' exigencies is not cool. The balance of self-care and work, however, IS TOTALLY the new black...so check out these survival tips while hiking up the mountain of being an entrepreneur:
1) All-nighters are sick....so PLAN them.
I remember feeling like a champ in college staying awake for a solid 36-hour period to finish up the dreadful semester-ending essay in my English course. I took my grades seriously, but not so much my own body. I wasn't working out regularly, and I was only eating whatever was colorful and affordable. I mean hey, a brother's gotta do what a brother's gotta do! We've all been there and there's no shame in that. My main point is that, today, I have to be smart about my sleep schedule.
My lack of rest messes up my wife's schedule and oftentimes, time with my daughter. So if I know I'm going to need to take some extra time to destroy that Asana assignment list or use Grum and Buffer to plan out my social media posts for the rest of the month, put it on the calendar so you have enough time in advance to prepare for it, whether you're tired or not. We're impulsive creatures, we humans. When we're tired, we sleep. When we're wired, we don't force ourselves to sleep; we stay up. Plans murder impulse slowly, day by day. So know yourself, how your operate, and what assignments really deserve that extra EXTRA time to accomplish. Pull an all-nighter can totally be worth it. So give it the planning and value it deserves.
2) Don't cancel ALL of your social or family plans in favor of your work.
The University of Alaska Anchorage was by no means a "party school". The large majority of my artsy friends didn't live in the dorms, but rather in their own apartments or saved their money by mooching off mom and dad like I did. I probably spent way too much time with friends than I needed to, but loved engaging in my own extroversion way too much to discern when it was time to go home and study. Again...I'm getting too old for those patterns.
Neither the extreme of becoming a recluse dedicated to your work or the extreme of ignoring all work in favor of friends or family needs to exist. This step is all about balance, the yin and yang. Dig this--if you're working, say, six days a week, then make sure to take that seventh day for rest in the morning and fellowship in the evening. Go out and dance. Chill with friends and discuss your passions with them so you're reinvigorated to re-engage them the following day. Now if you're working seven whole days a week, then split your days by dawn, dusk, midnight, twilight, whatever, and leave the house/unplug the laptop/unclick your pens for some fresh air outside and community with people who care about you in the evenings. It'll incentivize you to get up early and finish your tasks before evening. That's mentally and physically healthy.
3) Get sexy.
Did someone say sex? Yum.
Not what I'm talking about here. I mean actually remember to get out of your funk each day and start those days with simple tasks. Like the average college kid, too many grown entrepreneurs crawl out of bed, looking like a half-dead zombie, reaching for two things: coffee and the laptop. That's not hot! The idea of "going to work in our pajamas" is appealing, yes, but the idea has become so romanticized that we tend to overindulge in it, while sacrificing our own appearance and attractiveness.
"Why does this even matter? We're aren't here to impress anybody else! I do this for ME!"
Absolutely and absolutely, I hear you loud and clear. And yet, think about this--how much value are you placing on yourself if you're not willing to hit the shower, brush your own freaking teeth, and look your very best (which will help you feel your very best) before getting a decent breakfast with your coffee? How much more value are you placing on your work, and your dependence on coffee, than yourself, when you desperately reach out to these things first thing in the morning and allow yourself to linger with horrible breath, red eyes, body order, and a brain that's not quite awake yet?
I get it. You've got a husband who expects a nice breakfast meal in the morning, and two rowdy boys ruining everything before you're internal battery has even reached 20%. They need lunches for school and your hubs wants morning loving but you've got a deadline for your clients, and that blogpost to publish that's already late. Or maybe you're the guy who was never taught about the masculinity of being tangibly dapper and debonair. So you crawl out of bed, poop, and have no idea what to wear, let alone why, or how the day is going to go next.
Trust me, you will feel exactly how you look internally if you don't take care of yourself externally. Now, the freedom to look like a hot mess "at work" shouldn't be taken lightly or ignored, no way! But, that's a horrible excuse to not actually take care of yourself in the mornings. Take an extra half hour in the morning to shower, brush your teeth, shave, EAT, stretch, pray, and let yourself wake up before letting the coffee do it for you. And don't even THINK of opening that laptop up yet. Once you do all that and finally wake up....THEN, kick all the butt you can reach.
4) Get Netflix and watch Luke Cage.
Seriously. It's a great show.
5) Go the F**k to Sleep.
You know those all-nighters I was talking about? Those few that will work if you plan them out and accomplish your tasks during them? Well, uh, every other day you don't pull one of those out of your armpits, you need to be getting as much sleep as you need. That means no oversleeping, as well as no undersleeping. It's NOT cool to stay up late because you're such a big deal and you've got all these assignments and you're making money and blah blah blah NOBODY CARES! GO THE F*** TO SLEEP.
You need to get the rest your body deserves, and your head needs to recuperate from the previous day's activities. It's like working out with weights--your muscles don't grow if you don't allow them to rest. The science is so simple, a child could understand. So if you're an adult, living the dream, monetizing that dream, being your own boss, and still refusing to balance your incredible work ethic will valuing your mind and body enough to give them rest, companionship, cleanliness, and fuel...you're a silly goober. Good luck dying at 37.
I'm just kidding. You won't make it past 32.