Are you having an affair… with your business? If your Valentine’s last name ends with Incorporated or LLC, you may have a serious problem.
It is an easy trap for business owners to fall into, but there is hope.
The symptoms -- and the cures:
1. You think no one will love your business as much as you do. While this is probably true, many business owners are so dedicated to their businesses that their entire self-image is tied up in it. Resist this temptation and realize your business is not you. Develop a life and love interests outside of your business. This will be crucial when your company hits tough patches and you need emotional support.
2. You spend more time with your business than your spouse or significant other. Many entrepreneurs are married to their businesses. Being the spouse of a small business owner is truly difficult. It’s like forcing someone to sit in the backseat of a car blindfolded while you drive. They have no idea which direction you are going! Although technology has accelerated the merging of personal and professional lives, it is important to have a personal oasis outside of your company where business never enters. This could be family dinners, vacations or hobbies. If you don’t, your spouse may feel like a business widow.
3. You sleep with your iPhone or smart phone on. You may even hear phantom rings or pings while you sleep. While there may be “an app for that”, your iPhone will never love you back. There are many more fun things to dream about than your business. Set a time of night to turn your cell phone off and leave it out of your bedroom.
4. An increase in your friend and follower count excites you more than any other romance in your life. Do you spend more time with social media tools than your family or friends? Are social networks your primary source of keeping in touch? Limit the amount of time you spend on these sites. Shut off the update pings to your cell phone. Spend more uninterrupted time with people. Remember, your business will not melt if you are in a place without cell or WiFi service.
5. You do more for your clients than for your spouse. Your client asks you to do something, you run and do it. You want to provide excellent customer service. Now your spouse asks for something? Strangely, you don’t move as fast. Set time aside for non business tasks that you can enjoy doing for the rest of the people in your life.
On Valentine’s Day, make sure you take time out to show your real family and friends your love… then get yourself to the office where you belong! You can even shortcut this process by giving gift cards since your spouse or significant other is already used to enjoying things without you.
Who is your Valentine this year?