Lancer Insurance
Friday, May 24, 2024

Do what you love, and you won’t work a day in your life.

We’ve all heard this adage at some point, and while it’s certainly important to experience joy running your own business (most of the time, at least!), the sentiment overlooks the most important word in that sentence: WORK.

Burnout Susan Rose No matter who you are or what stage of business you’re in, being an entrepreneur is tough and stressful. The 24/7/365 nature of luxury ground transportation makes for some grueling hours at times, especially in the early years of your company when you’re multitasking and feeling the obligation to devote every hour you can to your operation. Or maybe you’re at the point where the company needs you less and less because of the fantastic organization you’ve built, and you’re struggling with the transition because you don’t have an outlet for that drive that made you an entrepreneur in the first place—and we all know that boredom is no bueno for an entrepreneur. Even if you’re bounding out of bed every morning and beelining to your iPhone because you’re so excited to get to work and relish the grind, it’s still work. At some point, things become rote, and you start making excuses to family and friends for why can’t make that get-together ... again. Instead, the adage becomes: Do what you love, and you’ll never. stop. working.

All Work and No Play Makes Jack a Dull Boy
References to The Shining aside—it is spooky season, after all—I realize that this could be a difficult sales pitch to a business owner or you type-A personalities. A hobby, as defined by dictionary.com, is “an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation.” Here I am, trying to tempt you to do something that doesn’t generate anything other than happiness and maybe mastery of a new skill.

For many of you, the thrill is in the satisfaction of the pursuit, whether it’s landing that contract or seeing windfall year-over-year growth or finally ticking off an item on your longtime wish list, which are obviously laudable benchmarks to achieve. But are you just what you do? We tend to equate our self-value to our professional lives. Think about it: What is the typical ice-breaker question you ask someone after their name? Most often it’s what they do for a living, not whether they are a parent, a spouse, or a badass surfer. Ultimately, though, you are more than just your business.

Doing It Just Because
Hear me out on this: Hobbies don’t need to have any other purpose than leisure and relaxation. Business owners tend to build their lives around their organization instead of the other way around, but that’s rarely sustainable, professionally or personally. Remember when 2020 forced us all to find ways to occupy our time and calm our worried minds while we waited for the world to return to normal? You can find that balance again.

The most successful members of the C-suite manage to carve out time for travel, meditation, or their own passion projects or challenges because they understand the value of it. Maybe it’s learning how to build websites, picking up the guitar you played in high school, taking up photography, or launching that podcast with your significant other that you always dreamed about. Or it could be mastering how to grow a garden, trying your hand at writing, or working up the courage to finally try standup comedy. You may find that you don’t like your hobby after all—or you start to find it boring or tedious—but there’s no harm in trying something new, right? Plenty of other activities to pursue.

“There’s No Time!”
You know that growth you’re always chasing? Don’t forget about personal growth. It’s common to think of a hobby as a waste of time, but it could have a profound effect on all aspects of your life, even make you a stronger, smarter business owner. Take cycling, for example. It’s an incredible workout for your mind and body, but it also teaches you endurance, time management, and discipline, which are cherished professional skills—trust me, you’ll learn the true depth of your fortitude when clipping in on a rainy, windy, and blustery January day.

It’s common to think of a hobby as a waste of time, but it could have a profound effect on all aspects of your life ...”

If you struggle with delegating work, consider a hobby that requires a team, like a sports league or volunteering with a local charity. It may help you remember the days when you weren’t calling the shots as well as the importance of the individuals to the group. It can be humbling while also helping those in your community.

But don’t overlook the benefits of more passive hobbies. Activities as simple as crossword puzzles will keep your mind sharp and likely expand your vocabulary, while building models can help you see how the smaller details are important to the overall presentation. Woodworking can be very relaxing and rewarding while secretly honing your spatial abilities. Plus, you get to play with power tools, which is always awesome.

Whatever you choose, your hobbies should be interesting and enjoyable, even when they’re challenging.

Passion, Not Pressure
I know some of you will naturally be tempted to turn your interests into another revenue stream or a full-fledged business. After all, that’s how most company owners are wired ... and it’s worked before for plenty of other successful entrepreneurs. Is it something you see yourself doing long-term and is it monetizable? It could be time to work up a business plan and start thinking about capital.

On the other hand, you run the risk of turning a satisfying interest into work—the very thing you were looking to balance. So, let me tell you about my friend Jim, a very talented cooking enthusiast. His encyclopedic knowledge of all things food related was impressive, and largely passed down from his grandmother as he was the only grandchild. For years, he cooked exquisite feasts and invited us over to sample his delectable concoctions. Inevitably, we all began wondering when he would leave his day job as a programmer (where he also excelled and liked the work) to become a professional chef. His talents were certainly bankable, so it wasn’t long before he was apprenticing on weekends to scratch that itch. A little over a year into transitioning to his new restaurant job, he announced that he quit. It wasn’t the long hours or the finicky customers; he suddenly realized that he was no longer doing it for fun. The passion he once had for preparing meals for his loved ones turned into dread at cooking even for himself. Previously his creative outlet, he lost the enthusiasm when it defined his professional life. If you’ve ever seen Ralph Fiennes in The Menu, you’ll understand.

While the dedication and hard work of business owners are admirable traits, it’s essential to remember that a well-rounded life goes beyond the office. Engaging in hobbies unrelated to your job can significantly enhance your overall well-being, reduce stress, and stimulate creativity. These activities offer a much-needed break from the daily grind and provide opportunities for personal growth, networking, and a better work-life balance. Your future self will thank you.   [CD1023]