During my career as an entrepreneur I’ve discovered that work is a great excuse to get out of things I don’t want to do. Basketball game? “Can’t, I’m working.” Family reunion? “Can’t, I’m working.” Art gallery? “Can’t…workin’.”
“But it’s a weekend…”
“Yeah, I own my own business. I don’t get weekends.”
“But it’s a holiday.”
“I’m a business owner. I don’t get holidays.”
“If you own the business, can’t you take time off?”
“No, I have clients so instead of one boss I have 50, and they’re all breathing down my neck. I never get time off.”
“Why don’t you hire someone else to do this work?”
“Can’t afford it.”
“With all those clients?”
“I’m losing money on half of them. I pay good money for the privelege of working for them.”
“Why do you take on projects that you lose money on?”
“Because it always seems like I’m going to make money. It’s only once I’m committed and in too deep that I realize it won’t work out. And sometimes I do make good money.”
“Geez, your business stinks.”
It sounded good, or at least I assume it did, because everyone seemed to believe me. But I was lying. I didn’t know it at the time, because I fooled even myself.
Right now I’m in Hawaii. My wife and kids are at the beach. I stayed behind at the house because there’s work I have to get done. I’m typing this up, in between responding to emails—which is what I primarily do for work. It’s kind of warm, but I have a fan. I’d be more comfortable working in a cool basement in Utah, or anywhere else, with a view of a wall instead of beautiful green mountains and the smell of the ocean 100 meters away.
The last few hours have been productive. I’ve made progress on some deals. I’ve gotten a hold of a contractor I really need to help me out on a project. I’ve cleaned up a good portion of my inbox, responding to things I should have taken care of three weeks ago. I could keep on working like this for the next 10 days straight, and still not be done.
Why am I doing it? Why am I sitting here typing when I could be swimming with sea turtles and making memories with my wife and kids? When I started this post it was going to be about how sometimes work just has to get done, regardless of the circumstances. Now I’m starting to wonder. Am I fooling myself again?