This week's question from my portal “The Neagle Code: Directions for Life” comes from someone who wishes to remain anonymous.
HELP!!! As a small business owner, my entire life is devoted to running and keeping my business afloat. I have not had time for a personal life. When I get with people in my industry, one or two things tend to happen:
1) They want me to mentor them for free;
2) They want to sell me their services when all I want is a friend.
How can I separate my business and my personal life when they are one in the same?
Thank you for the question!
The problem you are describing in your question is nothing more than a boundary issue.
The fact that you see your business life and personal life as one is a key indicator that you have not set proper boundaries for your life and in your relationships.
Your business life should be your business life, and your personal life should be your personal life.
Here are some suggestions on how to set proper boundaries:
1) Have a set start and end time to your work day. Do not let your work invade your personal time. Work will always fill the time you allot it, so you may find that you are much more efficient when you have a limited time to work on your business.
2) Get involved in something outside your business. If you like to fish, join a fishing club. If you like to read, join a book club. If you like to hike, join a hiking club. This will expose you to people who know nothing about your business, but still share the same interests that you do. They won’t want anything from you except your thoughts on your favorite fishing spot, book, or hiking trail.
3) Schedule time with your current friends and gently let them know that you’re not open to a conversation about your business, and you don’t feel you can be their coach and their friend at the same time. You’d much rather be their friend. If you’re worried about what you’ll talk about, think about purchasing a small box of conversation starters. They are great to spark new and interesting conversation.
4) Do some journaling about who you are outside of your business. You need to begin to realize that your business is not your identity.
Keep in mind that as you do this, you may feel a small bit of anxiety. It’s perfectly normal as you begin to redefine who you are and what life you most want to live.
PS: The Neagle Code: Directions for Life is a weekly no-cost program that is open to everyone! Each week, I'll select and personally respond to one question received via the above “The Neagle Code” page that I feel in my heart will help the most people. (You may choose to remain anonymous if you wish, with our full support.) It is my deep, heartfelt intention that ~ in answering your questions ~ I may provide you with the Universal Truths that in committed application, will set you free. Simply submit YOUR burning question at: www.DavidNeagle.com/ask-david to participate.