One of the managers who used to work with me at the Hualalai Resort sent me an email yesterday that looked like this (the link inserts are mine if you want to see more context):
“I have not achieved the Tim Ferriss 4-hr Workweek (yet!) but SLC/HP alone only gets about 5 hours of my weekday, and maybe another 3 per weekend day.”
Really? Has life changed that much for you?
I laughed, then called her back on the telephone. It had been a while since we’d spoken.
When we worked together, I arrived at work between 6:30 and 7am each morning, and I left about 12 hours later. I had a true weekend off about once a month. At home my laptop was on constantly, but I was rarely online except to dial into the resort’s network and check my email, queuing up my responses in drafts so I could send them all out first thing Monday mornings. The rest of the time I used my laptop to pour over financial spreadsheets and other work-related documents. Being “off” mostly meant I didn’t have to answer my cell phone and feel guilty about it.
I would tell everyone I loved my job ”“ and I did, for I didn’t know any other life but that one.
Today life is dramatically different. What I wrote in my JJL comment is true; if I give more time to my business than that 5 and 3, well, it’s a business that I won’t want to have (SLC/HP is short for Say Leadership Coaching and Ho‘ohana Publishing). I’ll reinvent it to suit my needs. SLC/HP has been in a state of constant fine-tuning the entire five years it has now been in existence. I have been self-employed since 2003.
When I’m not traveling (and this year my goal has been to cut way back on my business travel) I work from a home office by choice, for I absolutely love my home, and now I get to enjoy it. Yet I interact with just as many people as I did when surrounded by the hundreds working on the resort with me, in fact, probably many more. There is no doubt whatsoever that the relationships are just as intimate, just as strong, just as fulfilling.
I still get up at about 5am every morning, but because I want to and because I get to; not because I have to. In the early mornings I read and I write. I “work” in my business roughly from 9am to 2pm each day, just because I find that is my most productive time (so I also schedule most of my appointments then). After that, I take care of what I call “the assorted business of life” (chores and such) and I play. My evenings and weekends are for my family now, and days of the week are largely irrelevant: I take off when they are off, something I could never do my three decades in the hotel business.
What have I given up?
The answer to both questions is the same: My assumptions that life had to be the way it was.
That’s one of the things that working on Ho‘ohana can do for you. You reassess. You consider your values, you take a good look at your life, and you match them up. You begin to dream again. You see possibility by shedding the biggest assumption of them all; that dreams are only dreams and not in the realm of possibility for you.
It takes time to make shift happen in your life, sure. But for the time it takes to get counted up in the doing of it, you have to start.
One of the places I was playing in recently;
my own back yard.
From the Talking Story Archives:
These first 2 links are about self-employment, but that is just one option you have with Ho‘ohana. My intent here is not about you giving up your job! Check out the 3rd link too: