The dark side of building a business out of passion – when does the work ever end?

My husband, Tim has always had a lot of interests. Birding, baseball, dice and card games, horror novels… his list of hobbies goes on and on.

It’s one of the things I find most interesting about him and one of the reasons I fell in love with him.

He will never have a boring moment and life is never dull around him. However, Tim never found a career that fulfills him. So he’s always felt like work is a chore, and hobbies are a place to find solace.

On the flip side, you’ll find me.

For years now I’ve felt like I was missing something from life. I searched for time to have a hobby, something that I enjoyed outside of home and work. I envied my husband and all the fun he has.

Here’s how my life looked:

I love clothing and style. But I went to school for fashion design and marketing. So in my head, this interest was academic.

I love designing graphics and creating marketing for non-profit events and clients. But this is my job. So it’s categorized as work time.

I love to cook. But this is what I do at home for my family. So it’s filed away in the family obligations folder.

I love to support other women. But I usually express this by helping friends and colleagues or in my political views (which I rarely talk about outside of my home). So I’ve labeled this as personal, not quite a hobby.

As I build my brand and business model I have included many of these areas in my mission. Which includes helping women:

  1. See their value and believe they can build the life they want
  2. Discover their true self through style
  3. Build their own business
  4. Brand and market their business in a way that feels authentic
  5. Find opportunities to grow and meet new, supportive friends

When I first realized my goals as a small business owner I was truely excited. These goals fit me.

But then I started feeling like my life was an obligation. So many of these things lead back to the categories I’d placed them in: work, academia, friendships, and chores.

With this, the lines between home, friends, and business became blurred. And a to-do list overflowed along with what seemed to be never-ending work hours.

BUT THEN… I realized something profound.

I am building the life of my dreams because my business was born out of my passions.

So when I work on my business, I have to stop telling myself one extremely important and fundamental thing. A thing that I see so many women entrepreneurs tell themselves.

We must STOP saying, “I WORK all the time.”

Instead, we must realize that our work is our passion. WE ARE LUCKY because we get to do our hobby all day, every day.

So when you’re…

  • dreading getting up in the morning,
  • second guessing how much time you spend on work,
  • or feeling like you never get a break.

STOP! Take a look at what you are doing, see that it’s what you love, and switch the script in your head.

Instead of saying:
…is never-ending.
I must…
I need to…
I never get to have fun.

Say:
I get to…
I chose to…
I’m excited to…
Can you believe this is my life?

You lucky lady. Keep at it.

You are building a life that you will enjoy. But you’ll only enjoy this life if you realize it’s okay for you to enjoy it.

Love,
Diana

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