Q: I feel like I’m going backwards! I’ve had a fairly successful business for several years but find myself losing my fire and enthusiasm. I just got an opportunity to take a full-time job.
I started organizing my business to do the bare minimum for the next few months. And I got a surprise. I started getting more enthusiastic about my business!
How do I set priorities and keep from feeling like I’m giving up too soon?
A. You’re not going backwards and I understand exactly what you mean.
I’ve always been the kind of person who likes juggling two “jobs. ”
When I was getting my PhD at Cal Berkeley, I taught full-time in the Cal State system. At first my professors were horrified and lots of people thought I’d never finish my degree. But I finished early, got publications, and frankly I enjoyed the work so much more when I was operating in two arenas.
And my business actually did better and was more enjoyable when I was doing online teaching on the side. I would love to have a side hustle or even something that would turn my business into a side hustle, because I like the juggling act. It’s not really practical anymore; those great teaching jobs have gone away and I’ve got baggage in the form of a business and an academic career.
If I can get nerdy for a moment, there’s actually some sociological research on the concept of role accumulation. True, you can experience stressful role overload when you’re a parent, spouse, worker, caregiver, volunteer and more. But sometimes adding a role actually reduces stress; it can be something as simple as, “When things are going south in my doctoral program, my teaching will be going well.” Or sometimes you gain confidence and competence from one role that spills over to the other.
My guess is you’ll enjoy your business more as you get into your full time job; your business may morph in new directions; and someday you may reverse your priorities. The good news is when you have a bad day in your job, your business will deliver a great client; when you start to hate your business, you’ll get a real sense of accomplishment at work.
We keep hearing that, “What you focus on expands.” But for some of us, what we ignore tends to flourish; what we focus on tends to wither under our intent gaze. It’s worth repeating: Do what works for you.
Struggling with juggling multiple roles? Let’s have a consultation and sort things out. Go here to learn more.
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