Over the past few months, my thoughts on business, work-life balance and ambition have been changing. Thanks to bloggers like these and the book “The Four Hour Work Week,” I’ve found that my attention is turning to “making things happen” and “being good at what I know.” Sometimes, it’s so easy to get lost in the details that we miss the big picture day-to-day.
For instance, I am relentlessly trying to figure out QuickBooks. Connecting PayPal to QuickBooks has proved to be one-hellufa-nightmare. (PS: this is a call for advice, would love to know if you’ve made this work). I spend so much time sorting through transactions and matching them to my chart of accounts that I am pulling valuable time away from what I need to be working on… putting finishing touches on the Goodpaper Wedding Collection for the new website. So finally, I decided to stick to what I “know” and am “good at” and hired an accountant to work with me. We’ll meet for our first time on Friday and continue to meet quarterly to make sure I have my act together.
As a small business, it’s costly to “outsource,” but I’ve found that you have to decide how much you value your time. For me, I value it more than teaching myself QuickBooks :)
Above and beyond the idea of outsourcing what you’re “not good at” is the simple thought (thanks, Dad, for this great quote) we “work to live and don’t live to work.” Remember that your work should be your passion, but shouldn’t drive your life. The Four Hour Work Week suggests that we should remove ourselves from the parts of our business that we aren’t absolutely needed in – and focus on that which drives success and thus drives our own happiness. I, all too often, find myself living to wake up at 6am… and work til midnight. For me, it’s a means to an end – when Goodpaper will be successful enough to support itself. But I also remind myself that besides a business owner and designer, I’m a wife, a friend, a daughter, a sister… and those roles are even more important. As strange as it may sound, those first two exist to support the later.
All in all, remember to spend your days “making things happen” and “being good at what [you] know.” Your passion should drive your happiness without ruling your life. "Balance" is never truly found... it's a constant shifting of commitments from side to side as priorities change all in an effort to remain upright :)