As an online business owner, it seems like every day I see a Facebook ad promoting the appeal of ditching the 9 to 5. It usually goes something like:
Screw having to be at work every day at the same time!
Screw someone else controlling my life and schedule!
Be your own boss and own your time!
This sentiment is obviously super appealing to a lot creatives, myself included. I’ve generally completely agreed with all of the previous statements so much so that I did it! I ditched the 9 to 5 to pursue my definition of success (being able to make a comfortable living in my pajamas).
Here’s the honest-to-God truth though: instead of working 9 to 5, far too many entrepreneurs work 24/7. They do nothing but think about work, talk about work, stress about work. Their work is their life, it’s their identity. As the Guns N’ Roses song so perfectly puts it: Every rose has its thorn.
This is the downside of doing what you love: sometimes you just don’t know when to quit!
When I ditched the 9 to 5 and became my own boss, the once shiny appeal of so much freedom quickly felt like a burden. When I worked a corporate job I had super clear boundaries. I never worked on weekends. I never checked my email outside of work. I never even connected my work email account to my cell. But once I was my own boss, the lines were so much more blurry.
When could I turn my “work brain” off? I work from home so being home soon meant always being on my computer all hours of the day or feeling guilty for not being on my computer. I could never enjoy a moment of downtime because there was always something I “should” be doing.
Luckily I soon realized that I needed to be a much nicer boss to myself. I decided to set the same healthy boundaries that had served me well in my employee life and finally found the freedom I’d been craving by approaching my own business with a 9 to 5 mindset.
If you’re just starting your entrepreneurial journey or are already knee deep in it and struggling to find your balance, here are 3 reasons why you should try a 9 to 5 schedule in your business (and for my friends still working a 9 to 5 job, read on, this applies to you too and I’ve got a bonus message for you at the bottom):
1) You work when everyone is working.
Let’s face it, most of the world is at the office when you’re cozy in your pajamas (#winning) so get your work done while everyone else is working so you can play when everyone else is playing!
For me the incentive is easy, I want to be able to spend quality time with my husband and daughter when we’re all home together. I want to be fully present and not worrying about work. That’s all the incentive I need to get sh*t done during the day.
2) You’re more productive when your time is limited
By giving yourself defined working hours you’re giving yourself less time to get things done which makes you more productive (ever notice if you give yourself a week to do something it takes you a week, but if you give yourself an hour for the same task it will take an hour?)
Seriously, if you’re dragging your feet on doing something, try challenging yourself to do it in a short amount of time. Make a game out of it! I bet you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can knock it out and then kick yourself for all the time you wasted avoiding it.
3) You ditch the guilt
One of the main reasons we become entrepreneurs in the first place is because we value freedom above pretty much everything. But feeling trapped by your business or like you have to work 24/7 is the opposite of freedom.
Establishing set work hours provides the structure you need to really feel free from work. By deciding when you will work and when you won’t, you can actually allow yourself to enjoy and plan your time off. But it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the flexibility you have as your own boss.
I never work weekends. But I do grocery shop or take appointments, yoga classes, or bike rides during normal “working hours.” Because I can! That’s the beauty of having my own business.
Some days I get on a roll and get 2 days of work done in 4 hours and some days I can barely string a sentence together and I let myself have an off day. I’m a nice boss to me these days. I work much better and harder for that boss.
Whatever you do, whatever hours you work, don’t forget why you chose this path in the first place. Be sure to let yourself bask in the glorious benefits of the life of freedom you’ve created, otherwise, what’s the point!?
Here’s to you writing your own success story,
Psst...if you’re still working a 9 to 5 job but want to be your own boss more than anything, don’t wait!
I started my business when I still had my corporate job and in some ways it was easier than working my business full time. Sounds crazy, but when you’re feeling really stuck in the corporate grind you’re super motivated to do something about it.
Use that motivation and work on your business any chance you get. Do it on your lunch break or on a slow work day. Use your commute to read books or listen to podcasts about your industry.
The awesome (surprising) bonus is doing this somehow makes you enjoy your day job more because you won’t feel so stuck. You’ll realize you’re actually choosing your day job because of the benefits you get from it (like, I don’t know, a steady paycheck, work friends, learning experiences, an excuse to put on makeup, etc.). Remember to enjoy where you’re at while you’re working toward your dream business and schedule.
If you’ve always wanted to make a living through your writing but have no clue how or where to start, I’d love to help you. Click to learn more about my exclusive 5-month mentorship program The Writerpreneur Workshop.