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My name is Genevieve, and I am a workaholic.

I used to wear this as a sort of weird badge of honor. Until one day I started to feel it, in the way that many people can truly empathize. I was the type of tired that the longest vacation and days of sleep wouldn't even cure.

This fatigue came from my heart, not my body.

One of the most popular beliefs we have about ourselves as entrepreneurs is that we must be workaholics in order to be successful. Look at the terminology we use: Hustle, grind, knock it out.

I believe this comes from a place inside of us that believes if we are not working every available hour in the day, we are not worthy or deserving of the results of the success we achieve.

It doesn’t help that in our society, workaholism still has an air of goodness and duty to it. “I’m busy” is often thinly veiled as “I’m important,” and “I have meaning and purpose.” When in reality, we are often just simply busy. The things that keep us so busy aren’t actually priorities, we just treat them as such.

I realized that there are a lot of people who continually do amazing things, and they aren't laying down and giving up on the side of the dusty road because they are too tired. So what keeps them going?

Entrepreneurship is about bringing something into existence that didn’t exist before. It’s all about creation. And creation takes work. We will produce an enormous amount of work in our lifetime, and not all of it will be amazing. In fact some of it will be pretty bad. This is just how life is for us as creators.

The ultimate goal for me is to be in a consistent state of creating, instead of a consistent state of working.
What’s the difference? I believe that creating insinuates a deeper connection to ourselves, and our intrinsic desire to serve the world through whatever it is that we do.

When you are connected to yourself, creating and producing, the work becomes an outward effect of the cause that already exists within you. We feel less like work is being forced as much, because it’s flowing. This is why many people can produce enormous amount of work and progress, and often have no idea how many hours they actually work in a week. Their work is connected to something higher within them than just work.

Being worn out, exhausted and tired is both a physical state and a mental state that can be mutually exclusive. If you have distaste, struggle, frustration around the work you do each day according to Walter Russell “the hatred for it develops into body destructive toxins and you become fatigued very soon.”

Action Tip:

Take a quiet moment today, and read these three statements to yourself. What comes up for you?

  1. If I am not working hard in every single moment, I am being lazy.
  2. If it was not hard for me, I did not properly earn it.
  3. If I don’t feel like I am struggling, I must not be a legitimate entrepreneur, or be running a legitimate business.

Examining the beliefs that we carry about work, combined with getting unnecessary things off your plate will have huge effects on your mindset.

Something for you

When I was young, my friend Justin Klump got really into guitar. Like, really into it. He's the only person I know who knew exactly what they were meant to do, and doggedly pursued it. Justin is a fitting testament to taking the hard road, and today he's the real deal. A singer songwriter who has earned recognition and accolades nationally, plays major venues, but continues to follow his own path and doesn't give in to the trends that I am sure he gets pressure from.

This morning he sent me an email with a link to one of his new songs, and a brief discussion of what life is like on the road for a musician, as well as an invitation to his show in Portland on October 8th. It's the perfect song for entrepreneurs (lyrics below).

Keep 'on keepin 'on

Like a puzzle fitting pieces, there’s no secret give it time.
Stay hopeful, keep moving, be gracious, enjoy the ride.

Jumping sideways, falling upwards, feeling worn out like a tired shoe.
It’s worth repeating keep moving, stay hungry, don’t be scared to lose. 

Find the fire when the flame is gone. Take one step if you can’t see beyond you. 
We can’t just throw pennies in a pond. 
It takes work; sometimes it hurts; keep on, keepin’ on.

Like a mystery you uncover, Like the shaping of a weathered stone.
Sunny days come, the moon glows, we’re all travelers on a windy road.

Find the fire when the flame is gone. Take one step if you can’t see beyond you. 
We can’t just throw pennies in a pond. It takes work; sometimes it hurts; keep on, keepin’ on.

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