Serial entrepreneurs run into a major problem in life…we try to make money off of everything we do.
While this can be a great thing in many aspects, we run into one major problem that is ultimately not a good thing. We create a life that is nothing but work by thinking that everything has to create a revenue stream. Our hobbies, our free time, our passions…they all turn into billable hours during the day as we can’t seem to turn the entrepreneur brain off for 5 freaking seconds.
It’s ok. You can love to do something that other people make money at without having to do the same thing yourself.
In life, we need passions and hobbies. We need to be able to escape the life of work and be able to truly enjoy ourselves. For me, that used to be riding my bike…then I turned it into work with Bike198.com. What used to be my escape was now my source of income so every ride became a test, review or brainstorming session. It actually got to the point that my personal bike was never getting ridden and my brain just continued to run 24/7. It was stressful and it sucked.
About a year in, I made an important decision that has helped me get an escape and stress relief back. Even when I was riding heavily during the peak season and reviewing products was the #1 most important thing I was doing for my business, I would grab my personal bike and go on a “just me” ride. No reviewing, no content generation…just me, the bike and the dirt like it was the good old days. I was getting back to what I really enjoyed every now and then and that was making me happier and better at my “work”.
During that time, I also started taking up photography as a way to keep creative and have an outlet. I had always enjoyed it, but I decided to really invest in trying to get better.
But…I’m not going to lie…
Even during that time, I was thinking of ways to make money off of photography online. And that was stupid. Maybe I could start a blog as a regular guy reviewing photography equipment! Wait…turning it into work again. Not only was I not a pro level photographer, but I was taking something that was supposed to be a fun hobby and tried to turn it into work! I guess that is how our brains work sometimes, but I squashed that idea about as fast as it started.
I guess the point of this whole story is to calm down and just enjoy some things in life. While we can get so focused on starting new ideas, it is becoming increasingly important to enjoy life and find things that make us happy with no stress.
Yes, starting a business or finding new ways to make money off of something you are good at can be joyous and fun, you are still adding a stress to something that started off with a simple goal…to be a hobby, not work.
Do not confuse “I love what I do” with “I have to work at everything I do”
The ultimate goal is to love your work and love your personal life. But, I do believe we often fall into a trap where our brains tell us “since you love what you do, everything you love should be ‘what you do’” and that could not be farther from the truth.
Even if you are on of those lucky individuals that has found to a way to make what you love to do and your passion a way to live a stable life, you still need to get out every now and then and enjoy that activity without the stress of work. It is important for your mental health as well as your work. You will work better and be happier…and who doesn’t want that?
As you go throughout your day, think about how you can sit back and enjoy yourself without any reservation. Then, actually take the time to escape and enjoy it.