In My Life, There's No Such Thing As "Work"
I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about how much of my time is invested in Indie Business and Indie Beauty. Of course I've read most of Tim Ferris' book, The 4-Hour Workweek, and I am familiar with the things he suggests small business owners do to free up their time to do things they really enjoy. In fact, I have for years done many of the things his book suggests. I can appreciate wanting work "work" less, and I've been thinking about that quite a bit lately, especially now that we are starting to tape Indie Shopping.TV beginning Fridays at 10:15pm EST. Here's a photo of me on the set after last night's show.
The photo was taken around midnight. I'm tired, but do I look like I'm “working” to you? I think not. My Indie Business is so closely related to my life that there is almost no distinction between the two. As a Christian woman, my "work" is to serve God and His people as best I can using the talents, gifts and blessings He has given me. As a wife and mother, my "work" is to serve and partner with my husband, and to raise our children to be healthy and strong, and able to make vibrant contributions to society.
As the host of Indie Shopping TV, my "work" is to celebrate the achievements and products of Indie Business owners nationwide. As founder and president of the Indie Beauty Network, my "work" is to learn from and serve 700+ Indies Beauty Business owners every day. As host and producer of Indie Business Radio, my "work" is to find and introduce listeners to a person who opens our eyes to new ways of thinking and behaving. As co-editor of Bootstrap Babes Blog, my "work" is to collaborate with Jamila White to create articles that inspire women to launch, own and manage businesses on a shoestring budget, without breaking the bank or creating mountains of debt. With each speaking gig, my "work" is to travel to a new city city where I meet new people with great stories to tell and wonderful examples to follow.
I invest long hours and work with dozens of colleagues each week to make all of these things happen. But none of it is "work."
I Have Concluded That I Don't "Work"
So here's what I've been thinking. If the traditional definition of "work" includes doing something you are trained to do, and which you may or may not enjoy, in order to earn a living, then I have not "worked" since 2001 when I resigned my last traditional full-time job.
The fact is, I really don't know what "work" is anymore. Everything I do is connected to the core of who I am as a woman, a wife, a mother, a business owner, a teacher, a motivator and a person with an insatiable curiosity about what's around the next corner in my life.
Sure, I love vacationing, but when I do, my laptop or Blackberry comes with me. And I don't consider it an imposition when, after a day at the beach, I check my email and have to help an Indie Beauty Network member access an important piece of information that is critical to her business success. That's not work. It's what I do, and I do it whether I'm sitting in my home office or spending a few days at a resort with my family. That's just the way it is. And it's not "work."
So I guess when I think of Tim Ferris' book, I wonder why it would be appealing to me to reduce what I love doing in my life down to only a few hours a week. Talk about trauma. I'm sure I'd manage, but I also think I'd be itching for something else to do, or longing for a new and exciting person to meet and get to know.
A Perfect Storm
I believe we are living in the midst of a perfect storm. Because of the Internet and other technological advances, never has there been a time in modern American history when so many people need to own a business, at the same time they want to own a business, at the same time they can own a business. What I think that means is that more and more people will find their work lives merging with their non-work lives, to the point where there's no division between the two. There's no more "work." Instead, there's just life, and what a wonderful life it is when you can do something that puts food on the table as it also enriches your life, your families' life and the lives of the people you serve.
Question: Do you "work?" Has your "work" and your life merged so that your "work" really doesn't count as "work" anymore? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.