When your business owns you

At TSG, we emphasize business continuity because it means better service for our customers. But continuity has a dark side.

Continuity is when a business has enough momentum to roll with the punches, withstand crises, and keep going no matter what. Momentum can also cause a business to take on a life of its own. And if you’re not careful, it can end up owning you instead of the other way round.

Many of us start businesses to live life on our own terms. But our businesses can also boss us around. In fact, they can shape our experience to the point where we’re always in work mode and cannot turn off.

This can have a ghastly impact on our relationships with friends and family. Worst of all, staying in work mode at home can exacerbate the challenges we’re facing at home. It prevents us from getting the rest we need and we show up at work more tired than we need to be.

As a result, we have a bad day that we struggle to put behind us which impacts family life even further. Pretty quickly, a negative feedback loop arises to destroy your happiness.

To break this loop, we must complete our work day and avoid taking baggage home. Just like we leave personal drama at home, remember to leave work at work. We’re not saying that you must strictly segregate your work and home lives, but you cannot let work overwhelm other areas of your being.

Start by noticing the process instead of the destination. Take a moment to smell the roses, as the saying goes. Once you’re committed to transforming, share as much as you can. Communicate your insight to friends, family and colleagues because communication cures. It takes things off your plate, makes you lighter, and even helps you sleep easier.

You will still occasionally find yourself in work mode outside of business hours, but you can learn to balance the competing demands of work, play and family. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you relapse into old habits at first. It will take time and training to change your usual way of doing things.

Things will break, people will make mistakes, and life will remain imperfect, but you can recapture your original reason for going into business – to be master of your own fate.

Twenty years from now, you will not remember the small incidents from work, but you will still be feeling the negative effects of the stress you subjected yourself and your family to. So don’t sweat the small stuff because it will have an outsize effect on you.

Don’t let the world dictate to you. Dictate to the world.