September 27, 2016

Remembering to Find the Joy in What We Do

As entrepreneurs, we tend to wear many different hats. We can envision where we see our business going, but as time passes, things change (for good or bad). When we start out, becoming an entrepreneur and having our own business is fun. It’s enjoyable and we actually look forward to everything we are going to accomplish.   Our passion is ignited because we finally set out to do what we were always meant to do.

Somewhere down the road,  the business (or even the project) that started out fun becomes a chore.  It’s a lot of work!  This work takes up all your free time and you wonder how you ever thought this was fun?

This happened to me with my first website, The Jenny Pincher. In the beginning, I loved working on my website because my options were wide open. I had a ton of ideas to spread the message and educate women about personal finance.  It took up a lot of my free time because  I was learning so much and I wanted to take it all in. Preferably as fast as I could.

Over time,  having the website take up all my free time started to have a negative effect on me (no surprise). There were always things going wrong with the site and I just couldn’t keep up. Trying to type up a post was annoying and felt like a chore!   I was on a downward spiral with the site.  The last straw for me was when the site got hacked. I was half tempted just to abandon it and move on to a new project. I felt like I had exhausted all I had left and couldn’t imagine moving forward.

Of course, being an entrepreneur, that idea didn’t last long. I got some help to get the site back up to speed, but through that process I reminded myself of the true purpose of my business: “to educate single women on getting out of debt and building wealth.” I really just wanted to help people, so why was I letting all this other stuff get in the way?

Finding joy in what we do can be a matter of simply paying attention and changing our perspective.  If you’re feeling like you are getting burnt out and heading down a path you don’t want to go with your business, here are three things you can do to bring the joy back in what you do:

1.      Set boundaries.  If you’re spending all of your waking free hours and resources on your business, set boundaries for yourself.  Commit to a certain amount of time each day and give yourself a break when you need to recharge or just take a step back so you can get a different perspective on the project.

2.      Set goals for yourself.  This was one thing I did poorly in the beginning.  I was putting a lot of time and effort into my website  with no real definable goal.  When you set goals for yourself, you can see your progress along the way. Make sure you track these goals so you can look back and see how far you’ve come. This can serve as extra motivation for the tough days.  A few goals I had  for my website included: continuing to create quality content on a regular basis,  improving my Alexa ranking, increasing my Twitter/Facebook followers and increasing the number of page views on the site each month.

3.      Change directions when it’s no longer fun.  There’s a difference between just giving up and knowing when to quit.  That’s a fine line to walk as an entrepreneur.  It’s not a bad thing to give up and move on to something else when you know the time is right. It’s also not a bad thing to continue to do more than you think you can when things aren’t always that easy.

Jenny is a personal finance blogger with a goal to teach single women how to get out of debt and build wealth. When she is not blogging, she spends most of her time reading, gardening and trying new recipes she has cooked from scratch. Jenny is passionate about helping women and blogs about it on her site, The Jenny Pincher. She has taught her self-developed “Basics of Budgeting” course throughout the St. Louis area and developed a Budget Bootcamp to educate women on the topic of personal finance. She has also taught budgeting in the college setting.