If there’s one thing I get really sick of it’s people who have never owned a business telling me that I need to separate my business from my personal life. For years, I would feel guilty about it and then I finally understood that those who are telling me this have never owned their own business. Sure, it sounds like a great idea. The reality is I’ve never been able to separate the two and I don’t know anyone else who has, or least no one else that created a successful business.
I really like working, what’s wrong with that?
I know that for most of the world working is a drag. I can’t say this is true for me. I’ve always enjoyed working and in lots of ways, I would rather work than do many other things.
If you enjoy working that’s OK. You get to decide what’s right for you. Don’t let others try to run your life. If working is your thing, let others know. They might think you’re a little crazy and that’s just fine.
Is it healthy to try to separate the two?
I think of having a work life and a home life as something totally separate is schizophrenic. It’s how you integrate the two together that counts. I don’t split myself in half. I don’t stop thinking about things going on at home while at work, nor do I stop thinking about work at home. If you own a business I bet you don’t either.
Instead of feeling guilty about separation why don’t you embrace it? In fact, I think those who do a good job of this are likely healthier than those who don’t. Once you embrace that both are part of you all of the time the reason for feeling guilty about thinking about one or the other at “inappropriate times” goes away.
What’s wrong with being really engaged?
In my case I’m really engaged with working and my business. I love both. I get energy out of the work I do. Of course there are times when I need to unplug. That’s different from keeping a separate life. Most of the time integrating work with home is and has been the best way for me to live my life. What about you, do you think combining two makes sense?
Integration is where it’s at.
It really is about integration. I don’t want to have a life that’s compartmentalized. I want a life where things fit together and work well. That means I need to integrate my work and my life and you do too.
The more we integrate, the easier it is for us to feel good about what we do. I know that feeling guilty never makes me feel good. If I’m not worrying about defending what I do I don’t have to think about separating.
Integration is not an excuse to ignore those around you.
This is not an excuse to ignore your family. It’s not an excuse to only work and do nothing else. You will gain texture and richness when you include those you love in what you love. At first, this might seem a little uncomfortable. As you practice you’ll find that those who matter care about what you do.
You need to care about what they do. This means setting aside time for others and not just you. Being engaged in both your business and personal life means that each gets some of your time. You can even combine the two. How you do it is up to you.
My conclusion is stop feeling guilty about separation. Don’t even try. Just integrate and include. For me it works much better. What about you?
We have a special report on the 7 Myths of the Private Business Owner. This report outlines seven misconceptions that people might have about you. I invite you to download this report and share it with those who you think miss the mark. It might help with getting people to be on your page.