Take Care of Your Health First and Then Business
***Initially posted on 4/30/2012
I went on vacation two weeks ago and I knew I really needed it. My plan was to get away from my businesses and my daily routine so that I could get a fresh perspective when I returned.
I felt the vacation really worked because while away, I began to realize that 1) I had been incredibly unhappy for a very long time 2) That although my business didn’t take much of my time that it took 100% of my emotional energy. ( my plan had been to work on finding my next business while my 2nd in command ran my existing failing business) 3) I needed to get out of my business to move onto something else quicker then I planned 4) I needed to take care of my health first each day.
This isn’t the first time I came up with this revelation about taking care of my health first. Throughout my life, I have always done a good job of exercising and trying to eat right. Always with different efforts and results but what changed is that as I got older, I am 47 now, that the type of exercising and eating right needed to change.
The stress I have had over the past 3 years due to the recession and a failing business has caused terrible back pain, sleepless nights and real unhappiness about the work I was doing. While on vacation, I completely noticed that I had been unhappy for about 7 of the last 10 year, those 3 years being when my company was growing plus making good money.
I have always been a proactive person so when I returned from vacation, the first thing I did was call the 2 companies I knew that might be interested in purchasing my company. I knew I had to get out. The second thing I did was go to Yoga/gym to address my back problem. The third thing I did was make sure I integrated exercise first into my day instead of making work my priority. The fourth thing I did was go see my doctor to ask him for some suggestions about my back and sleeping problems. Lastly, I started to get into a mental mindset that it was time to move on even though I didn’t have a plan for my next business or career move. It is the right decision to move on and the right decision to take better care of myself first before work.
Hopefully, I will be able to get rid of my business so that I have a financial cushion to start something else but I am worried that it may not happen and then what will I do? If I keep the business going it just continues to stress me out and the little money the business does make, is simply not worth the stress it is causing in my life. It would be stupid to completely close the doors because, after three years of looking, I still don’t have a good idea for a new business. (I have another company that I started 18 months ago but it isn’t going to be the $30 million company I dreamed of)
At least I feel like I am back on track in that I am being proactive in taking care of myself and my situation. I think I need to find more creative ways to release the stress and to begin to make myself happy again. Part of that isn’t just addressing my back problems, sleeping better, exercising, eating right but also getting out of the office and having something to look forward to each day. I also have rediscovered how music has helped me get some perspective on things so I have cut back on business news on the radio and listened to more music.
If someone were to ask me today, was the last 18 years of being in my own business worth it, I honestly would tell them no but that starting my own company was my destiny. It was going to happen even if I knew what I know now. It is just so surprising to me that out of those 18 years, I was only happy when the businesses did well in 7 of those years and the price I paid emotionally/physically just wasn’t worth it. I could have stayed in corporate America and had a lot less unhappiness and probably, the same amount of earned income.
No one can change the past but I certainly can be more aware the toll it has taken on me. It just isn’t worth it. I want to love my work again, I want to look forward to going to work, I want to feel like a success again, and I want to have the financial freedom to go on vacations not to just stop being stressed but because they are fun.
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