Confession of a Business Owner - Living but not Busy

This morning, I woke up with this classic Alabama song running through my head:

I'm in a hurry to get things done Oh, I rush and rush until life's no fun All I really gotta do is live and die But I'm in a hurry and don't know why

Lately, I’ve been feeling like “I’m not doing enough”. Not enough work, not enough to stay busy, not enough networking, not enough planning. Of course, I AM doing work, networking, planning, running events, hosting cooking classes, etc. But I’ve also spent time at home journaling, meditating, creating art, and enjoying relaxing time with my dog and cat. And I went on a vacation back to Michigan with my boyfriend.

Why is this consuming my mind? Some business owners may be past this point, but I’m stuck in this weird place of feeling like I need to do 40-hour work weeks. That I have to make so much money and fill all my time.

Why? Because society trains us this way. Reach and reach and then when we achieve lots of money, reach some more for your next goal. A hustle culture. And you hear it all the time – business owners need to hustle 24-7 to be successful. I wholeheartedly disagree with this, but find it hard to break out of the cultural mold and feel okay about it. Why does it seem like it isn't right to be content with where we are in every moment?

Last fall, I had the amazing opportunity to walk a medicine wheel with a lovely guide. It became apparent that my personality is to stay busy or guilt would set in, so she recommended a book called “Jumping Mouse”. The story summarized is a mouse in Mouse Village stays busy all the time, until he hears a spiritual calling that leads him to his destiny. The author breaks down this tribal story and relates life experiences to each of the characters in the journey. That book was, and still is, life changing in the reminders it brings of the importance of solitude and time for reflection.

Taking time for myself is very important. That’s when I’m the most creative and energized, and gives me the best ideas for creating community and fun events. In meetings, I’m more present, lighthearted, and enjoyable to be around. Needless to say, I’m content with where I am - working on a lot of fun projects for different companies, planning interesting gatherings to connect people, and actually enjoying life, rather than rushing through it. I might not make millions of dollars right now, but am more peaceful than I ever have been in these 36 years on this Earth.

That shift from feelings of “guilt” to “living my best life” will happen eventually, but it will take some time. My hope in writing this is that it can be a call for you to take some time for yourself. Build it into your life, whether or not you are a business owner. Take vacations, or stay-cations, create time for walks in nature, and travel. After all, the things worth living for are experiences and relationships.

Let’s turn Hustle Culture upside down and create Best Life Culture instead.

Do you have challenges with this yourself? Have you overcome these feelings of guilt? I would love to hear from you!