Working for yourself is all kinds of wonderful, it’s true. But, there are different kinds of stress to those that salaried employment offers. Entrepreneurs and freelancers know that:
- Everything is on your shoulders – if it’s a quiet month, you don’t get paid.
- You work out of normal office hours because it’s easier not to leave your office. You can pop down in your PJ’s with your morning coffee and get so caught up in emails and invoicing that that’s how your family finds you at dinner time. This means you never switch off.
- Your mind is always on your job – getting new clients, solving issues, keeping people happy. This sense of responsibility is different when it’s your own business.
In a few weeks, my family and I are headed to Cape Town for a convention. At first, I thought we’d rush in and rush out so that we could, you know, get back to work. But, it just so happens that my husband’s work involves time on the water. He designs and manufactures hydrofoils and his version of R&D is all about cruising the waves. So, while we’re in Cape Town, he’ll need to test his products out on the Muizenberg and Blouberg waves. And I may have to support him by getting my bronze on while lying on the white sandy beaches of Camps Bay. Tough life. This forces me to take a break too. What kind of wife would I be otherwise?
My professional conscience is eased for a number of reasons. And, it’s not necessarily Cape Town that’s going to do so much for my psyche (there’s A LOT to see and do there). It’s the road trip. Here’s why:
For our sanity, we all need to reboot. Our minds need a break. Driving along the N2 with wide open spaces, yellow canola fields, mountain ranges and quaint towns is what time-outs are made of. There are no decisions to make, no phone calls to take, no emails demanding a reply. Just the prettiness of the Western Cape.
Often, it’s while we’re singing along to Kaptein or planning our camping holiday that it all makes sense. What really matters? Of course, I love my job and I need to work but, when all’s said and done, time with these guys really is what it’s all about. And that doesn’t mean I love my job any less or give less of myself to it. It just means I don’t spin out of control trying to achieve the impossible. Perspective.
As a writer, my job is creative. But, as an entrepreneur, I don’t always have the luxury to indulge myself and wait for inspiration to strike. Often, I have to write whether I feel creative or not. Seeing the absolute beauty of the Garden Route and Western Cape feeds my soul. It resets my mind. It makes place for thoughts and ideas that couldn’t find room amidst the noise.
When I come home from a road trip to just about anywhere, I’m so much readier to get working. I’m full of ideas, I have more energy, and I can’t wait to get back behind this keyboard and get going.
Although it takes prep and a bit of cramming to get it all done before the road trip, it’s so worth the getaway. Be your best boss. Take a break.