Do you ever wonder why “workaholic” has become a badge of honor? We call others and ourselves workaholics, often with a sense of pride and reverence. But what’s actually good about being addicted to work?
A few years ago, I was a total workaholic.
I was exhausted, overworked, and overwhelmed. My marriage was a wreck and I began my days by rolling over and checking my email on my phone. I said “no thanks” to invitations to fun events with friends, yet piled my schedule high with networking events and business meetings. I ate, slept and breathed my business.
I was making money. “Making a living” as they say.
One day, I called my friend Sarah Jenks and spilled the beans. I told her what was really going on in my personal life — how I’d been working to the bone, was unhappy in my marriage, wasn’t taking great care of myself, was feeling uncertain about whether I could keep running this business, and was using work like a drug to avoid my life.
Sarah listened patiently and lovingly, then shot me straight:
“Nish, the magic day isn’t going to arrive where you’ve somehow magically checked off everything on the To Do list and can chill out. You’ve got to start having fun now, babe, or you’re just not going to have the life you want.”
It had been so long since I’d actually done things that I wanted to do, that I actually had forgotten how to live my life.
I vowed then that my business would never be at the expense of my life. However, I was worried that by prioritizing my life, I’d make less money and would have to sacrifice many of the things I loved as a result. I’d also been so used to working all the time that I wondered what I would even do with “free time”.
Here’s what happened that year in moving from making a living to having a life:
I had my first ever $50K month, launching a program I love.
I hired an assistant and delegated a ton of my work to her.
I traveled to see my family 4 times and went on several vacations.
I gave myself the space to finally make a decision about my marriage.
I quadrupled my income.
I am exponentially happier and feel healthier and more grounded than ever.
…And I have to say, it gets better and better all the time. In the comments below, share your journey or perspective on ‘making a living’.