work-life balance
Work smart, play hard!

Many said entrepreneurship sucks because in exchange for the freedom of not working for a boss, you need to take care of your business 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Here’s a good news for you: Regardless of what people say, you don’t have to work 18/7/365; in fact, you can work as little as 4 hour per week, just like the title of Tim Ferriss’ best selling book.

When you talk with fellow entrepreneurs, you often heard, “Oh, I work 60 to 80 hours a week and I can’t just leave my business – I need a break, somehow.” “I work during the day time to pay the bills, but the rest of the day it’s me-time, socialising and par-tay! I work hard and play hard, man!”

You know, you don’t have to do the above. You can choose to work 4 hours a week; you can choose to have me-time and socialising the whole day – all while running your business. The question is, “How?”

Answering the “how” question probably requires me to write another blog post. But what I’m going to focus on this article is how “working hard” is overrated and often made an excuse so people think you are, well, a hard worker (that earns you respect from the society.)

“Work hard” as an excuse

I remember that someone I know is a doctor-slash-entrepreneur. He cares for patients in the morning, and run his business while living a dream life. He travels overseas many times a year with his family. How can he do that? The answer is: Passive income.

His businesses bring him passive income; he only need to work 3-4 hours a day and that’s all. Unfortunately, he doesn’t like people to know that he has such plenty of free time; he wants people to see him as a busy person. So yes, he appears busy, when he actually doesn’t need to do that.

You see, having your business run on auto mode is great; you can do many things with your free time: You can travel the world; you can do volunteering work; etc. But no, you should not do those because you are afraid that someone would call you lazy or such. That would make you a hypocrite.

How NOT to be a hypocrite

You need to change your mindset… you need to embrace the fact that working long hours or work just to pay the bills is not ideal. You need to pursue work-life balance.

As an entrepreneur, you need to see yourself as a mentor and a role model. You need to show the world that, say, you only work 2 hours a week and do what you are passionate about with the rest of the time you have; you need to inspire people that they can be like you.

Sure, working long hours and – either in subtlety or blatantly – let others know that you do work hard 18/7/365 to reach entrepreneurial success will earn you respect, but that’s not for a guy like me; and yes, there are many people like me who get inspired by those who work smart – something that enables them to pursue their dream and enjoy life.

To me, what 18/7/365 can give entrepreneurs are entrepreneurial success AND lack of time with family, that could lead to broken relationship. Having your kids say to you “you have given us stuffs but you have never been there for us” doesn’t make you a hero.

Takeaways

So, here’s a takeaway for you: Change your mindset – or else, your mind will enslave you for life.

You can have a successful business, yet not really enjoying your life. You can trap yourself in your business for 80 hours a week or more, and disguise your situation as “working hard to pay the bills” and earn you the tag “hard worker.”

Not working long hours doesn’t make you a bad person; not working long hours is not a sin. What makes you a bad or sinful person is by “selling your soul” to the business world; pursuing status, money, power and many other “carrots” at the expense of your personal life – your well-being, your spouse, your kids, your family, your friends,… and your God.

Regarding the question, “how can I work less on my business and live my life better?” You can read part of the answer in this Noobpreneur.com classic: How to Go on a Vacation without Worrying about Your Business – and also our articles about work-life balance. I will somehow write a focused how-to; stay tuned!

Ivan Widjaya
Make a living online and enjoying every bit of it