January 20, 2016
Snow Days: Not Just for Kids
When you’re self-employed, there are a few really nice perks. One of the perks is that you don’t have a boss who can fire you for not coming in on a “snow day.” Consequently, you get to enjoy snow days a lot more. A lot of entrepreneurs work from home many, if not most, days anyway. But there’s something special about a snow day. Not only is snow pretty, blanketing the world in a clean white layer of crystallized water, but, because so many people either can’t make it to work or because business deem travel conditions to be so unsafe they close up shop or shorten their business hours, entrepreneurs can feel a little less guilty about taking a more relaxed approach to their task list.
As a “lawyerpreneur,” I really enjoy working from home when I can. On snow days, I feel especially relaxed. I can brew a cup of coffee, add a house robe to my T-shirt and jeans ensemble, and sit down to do some good writing–blogging, contract drafting, whatever needs doing. Sometimes, I feel rushed to get through my day and knock off of my task list as many items as I can. On snow days, though, I feel like everyone in my city is taking a break; so, I figure, why shouldn’t I relax a little, too?
Here are some pictures of the creek and woods behind my house. Isn’t the snow lovely?
Slow Down, Don’t Clock Out
Notice I haven’t said anything about not working on a snow day. Entrepreneurs don’t really get “days off” in the way most people do. Entrepreneurs, of course, can take days off; but it’s not like working Monday through Friday, from nine to five, and having weekends off. Days off, for entrepreneurs, are more intentional; they tend to serve a purpose, such as preventing burn-out, attending a specific event, meeting family obligations, and the like. On a “day off,” however, if an opportunity presents itself, an entrepreneur is always prepared to capitalize on it.
Most people have two or three gears when it comes to work: “on,” “off,” and maybe “overtime” (which is usually just “on,” plus a bit of extra drudgery for added compensation). Entrepreneurs, though, are like a big-rig truck; they have all kinds of gears. Entrepreneurs have to constantly be aware of their work-life balance or risk burn-out. Entrepreneurs have to work long stretches without a day off. Entrepreneurs might go through dry spells in their business when they work for a long period of time (or can’t work), and receive very little (or no) compensation. Business opportunities are like gold nuggets panned from an endless stream of silt. When you spot one, you don’t just let it go because it’s your “day off.” That’s the reality of the job.
The reality of the life that has to be balanced against the job, though, is that there are other opportunities, too–life opportunities, opportunities to slow down and enjoy the freedom self-employment offers. Snow days are an example of such an opportunity. On your next snow day, don’t “clock out” (we both know real entrepreneurs almost never completely hang up their business spurs); but take the opportunity to slow down. Have an extra cup of hot chocolate or your favorite warm beverage. Remember, the rest of the world has found an excuse to take a breather. You deserve one too… while you keep plugging away at that task list. Keep rowing, even if you don’t put your back into it, today.
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