Do you want to know a secret about business? There will always be more to-do’s The past two days I banged out a full-page, double column, add-some-more-to-the-margin-to-fit-it-all-in, to do list of things I’ve been needing to get done. And at the end of the day, I took five minutes to marvel at all of its marked out-y goodness. But guess what? Today I will write another one just as long to replace it. It just goes with the territory.
Do you want to know a secret about life? There won’t always be more time.
This past week when we were speaking in Boston, the question was asked: how many hours a week we worked when we were first getting started and how many hours a week we work now. I could tell this question came from someone who knows the reality of what it is to be in business for yourself. See when I was in law school, they used to tell us how when we were out in the real world working on cases at the law firms….the hours would just fly by, and we wouldn’t even notice because we would be doing something that we love. To which I would always roll my eyes and think not me friend, there is nothing I could love enough to make me work that many hours in a week and not notice it. And that was a big part of why Justin & I wanted to start this business in the first place: the life balance.
Oh, the irony.
Because the truth is, my answer to that question in Boston was that when Justin & I were first getting started, when we were first building up this business…we worked about 80-90 hours a week. Seven days a week, twelve to thirteen hours a day. And you know what? We loved it. The hours really did just fly by….because we were doing something that we love. And you know what else? I wouldn’t change a thing about those early days. Because I’m a person who believes in seasons of hard work. And in so many ways, they got us to where we are today.
But the thing about seasons of hard work, is that-in order for them to really work-they also have to be paired with seasons of rest. A chance to sit back and enjoy the work you’ve already done. To marvel at how far you’ve come. To recover. To recast. To re-vision. To spend time with the people that you love. Because there will always be more work, but there won’t always be more time. And I’m also a person who believes that when we’re on our death beds hopefully years from now, we won’t be saying Oh, I wish I would have spent more time at work.
These days, Justin & I still work longer hours than we ever thought we would when we were first getting started. But we’re getting better. We’ve now gotten it down to more like 60-70 hours, and we regularly take at least one entire day off a week. This was a huge step forward for us. :) To be able to fit it all in, I’m usually up and working by 7:30am and when we’re at work…we work. We go hard. But by 6pm, we’re ready to shut off for the night. We cook dinner together, we watch a sunset, we pay attention to our dog. We leave the to-do’s until tomorrow.
I know this probably isn’t the super glamorous version of working for yourself that we might all want to hear. The one where we all only work four hours a week, jet off to exotic locations, and even in 100% humidity… we all have perfect hair. Well, that would be my ideal anyway. :) But I just want to always be real with you guys. Real about the work that goes into making it happen. And real about how there are things even more important than the work.
Like fluffy faces waiting on 6pm.