A few years ago, I was at a stage in my business and professional life that I could only describe as very frustrating and depressing.
I liked what I was doing because it paid the bills but then I didn’t like the lifestyle it was providing. For me I was swopping time for money at a very low rate.
I remember when I decided to invest my time and money into retail pharmacy, I set myself an ambitious goal of having ten stores in the first ten years. And I set out with all energy and enthusiasm to work towards achieving this target.
Needless to say that by year six, I was getting frustrated about my lack of progress towards my initial goal. So I gave up on the goals and I entered into a survival mode. Just about making ends meet and very much uninspired about the work I was doing. At one point I contemplated selling the business and looking for a job filling shelves in the supermarket.
So how did I get out of this downward spiral?
It took the intervention of my wife who said one morning ‘look Wole, why don’t I help out more at the pharmacy’. ‘You can have two days off during the week to focus on building a better future for us all’. The penny dropped and I knew what I had to do.
Pause and Pullback
You see I was working too hard and juggling too many balls. I had no margin in my life. My day was filled with moving from one crisis situation to another. No time to think, no time to plan and no time to learn new skills.
So I reduced my weekly hours of work and I immediately felt different.
Now I know that there are some of you reading this and thinking this guy must be very lazy. Some of you work two jobs doing up to 80 hours a week.
For me three things happened as soon as I reduced my actual working hours:
- I wasn’t so frustrated anymore.
- I could lift up my head and think again.
- Hope was restored into my life and I knew I could create a better future for my family and I.
In his book Margin, Richard A. Swenson talked about ‘Marginless’ living which results in fatigue, overdraft, anxiety and disease. While living with margin will give you energy, money in the bank, security and a good health.
The ‘Pause and Pullback’ brought margin into my life.
So here is my question for you?
How are you running your life and business?
When I think of ‘Pause and Pullback”, it reminds me of the message I get from my computer telling me that I need to delete some files to create memory or hard disk space so that the computer can perform as it was designed to by its manufacturer.
What are you going to stop doing to create space in your life so that you can reconnect with your dreams?