Running a business is hard work. There’s pressure, worry, anxiety, stress, and too often, no shortage of hustle and grind. Entrepreneurs put in long hours. They’re always busy, always focused, and rarely have time for anything but work.
It shouldn’t be that way. Of course, idleness won’t get you anywhere but if all you’re doing is hustling and grinding, you’re just swapping hours in your life for numbers in the bank-;and that’s never a good deal.
Work should be fun. It should be something you do because you love it and because it gives you a sense of worth. Here are four ways to make work work for you.
1. Employ People Who Invest in Their Creativity
One of the greatest joys at work is being able to sit back and say, “I built that.” Usually, what that really means is “We built that” but as long as you’re on the team, the pride is yours too. You increase the chances of enjoying those moments when you build creative teams.
Hire people who are always looking to grow: designers who like to experiment with the latest software; copywriters who keep track of the leading writers in the field; marketers who always look for new ways to divide up the data. When you work with people who move with the times, the work is always new and exciting.
2. Enjoy Serving Customers
There are only two kinds of attitudes towards customers: they’re either friends who come to your business, love what you do, and give you money; or they’re nuisances with special demands who get in the way of producing the stuff you love making.
You need the first attitude. Every business is only as strong as its relationship with its customers, and every business has to focus on those customers. Love making your products. Enjoy time with your team. Get a kick out of hitting your targets and winning market share. But love your customers.
They’re even more important to your business than the people you work with. If you don’t enjoy serving them, create products for customers you do like.
3. Take Time for Personal Projects
Google’s 20 percent time might be more myth than reality, but the principle of giving employees time to work on the projects that make them excited is sound. Projects started in those hours are said to include Gmail, AdSense, and Google Maps.
Your day job lets you meet your responsibilities. It means you get to pay the mortgage and put food on the table. But if you’ve got other ideas bubbling away and drawing your attention, don’t ignore them. And don’t force your team members to choose between a job they need to do and work they want to do. Set aside time to work on personal projects, even if that means lowering your income in the short term. You might just find that it leads not just to happier work but to a more successful business in the long term.
4. Take Time Off
There’s always more to life than work. Your family is more important than your business. Friendships can last a lifetime, but only if they’re nurtured. More rewarding memories are made outside the office than in it.
You might love your job but there’s also plenty to love outside it. However much you might like the work you do, make sure that you leave plenty of time to enjoy life with the people you love. No work can beat that kind of fun.