“Working hard is an escape from myself. It is because I cannot f***ing stand sitting alone and noticing how I feel. It is my alcohol, Instagram, my addiction.” – Jessica Semaan, F*** Working Hard
I’ve written before about working better, not harder, but like Jessica and like many of you, I still wear “busy” as a badge of honor. Someone walks up to me and says, “How’s it going?” My immediate reply? “Busy”. You’ve done it, I do it, we all do it.
What resonated in Jessica’s article was the shared obsession with hard work. Because, like Jessica, I struggle with what happens in between being busy. “Down time” is a foreign concept in the life of a business-owner, to the point that I have to schedule not scheduling anything. And, like any addiction, I know it’s unhealthy. But I seek out more work wherever I can find it.
If you’re a business owner yourself, you can likely relate to the pursuit of constantly doing more and always trying to get ahead when you know darn well you can never actually, truly, officially, be “done” with work.
What I’ve learned over the years in running Proof is that you can’t really fight the fact that you’re going to work…a lot. It comes with the entrepreneurship territory. But successful entrepreneurship truly is about working smarter and better on the things you’re best served to do.
For example, I know that to help our company grow, I’m not best served to manage projects day to day or design websites or write great copy—we’ve got Traci, Jess, and Lesley to handle each, respectively.
I’m much better served at meeting potential clients face to face. Leading client workshops. Giving feedback and editing rather than creating. Each of us here at Proof is constantly working toward those things that we’re best served to do. The work that we’re called and compelled to do. Our craft.
By discovering what that thing is and what those things are that you’re best at, you’re able to evolve from an unhealthy workaholic constantly trying to fill your schedule with stuff for the sake of being busy, to a motivated, focused, pursuer of your passion and craft.
Work hard, sure. But work hard on what you should be working on.