When I started a freelance writing business more than 20 years ago, the goal was to be independent. I didn’t want a boss. I wanted to do it all myself. On my time. On my terms. It was a challenge as a young wife in a new city, with no friends or family or professional contacts. But I eventually grew my “business” into a 60-hour workweek, writing and editing for local businesses from my apartment. I was so proud of myself for “succeeding” — and so grateful for the flexibility and financial freedom that accompanied my success.
What I didn’t see right away – and I can be a little slow sometimes – is that this success was leading me along a path to nowhere. A path to longer hours and larger paychecks, but less time for my family and for myself. A path to busy-ville. And a path to loneliness.
I think that happens to a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners. They work so hard to build something, only to discover that they are creating an overwhelmed life of isolation.
After I had three babies in five years, I came to the conclusion that this kind of business no longer served me. I craved balance – between work and family. I longed for boundaries – between business and personal time. And I desperately sought mentors to build me up – and teach me what I needed to know in order to create a better business and life. [Read more…]