The work-life merger

Life is about change. And one of the things that is changing most nowadays is the relationship between work and life. The era of sharp distinction between the two is over. No longer is it practical or beneficial to view work and your life separately. We are seeing less need for work-life balance and more need for work-life merger.

Not only are work and life merging, they are merging for good reasons. Trying to maintain two separate and distinct identities, one for life and one for business, benefits no one. Today, people want to make friends and do business with real people. The fact that you can get a two-fer by making a new business and social connection simultaneously at a favorite social networking site makes the life-work merger all but inevitable.

As founder and president of the Indie Business Network, I field email messages and phone calls in astonishing numbers. It is not uncommon for a new member to join IBN, and then ask 2 or 3 questions within an hour of membership activation so they can settle in and find their way around. I (or my assistant) always answer these emails, usually on the same day. Sometimes, it's easier to call so I do that.

Such was the case last week when a new member with a lot of questions joined IBN. After answering about 6 of 7 of her email inquiries within the span of about 48 hours, she emailed this:Do you ever have a day off?

I wrote back, explaining that all my days are days off. I don't work. I simply set goals and then take steps to achieve them. Because I own and manage a business from my home, my business and life goals are often intertwined. For example, I may edit and publish a blog post while waiting in the lobby as my daughter takes a dance class. Or I may sit at my laptop for 8 hours in one day so I can attend meetings, plan collaborations, process member applications, set up radio shows, etc. None of this is work. It's simply steps I take in order to achieve specific goals.

More and more, people are looking for ways to merge work and life into a homogeneous whole that helps them enjoy life more. I don't think this spells the end to traditional jobs. However, as fewer and fewer traditional jobs are available, I believe it will eventually be the youngest people in our society who hold most of them. This almost has to happen since middle managers are a dying breed.

Once a young person is trained in how business works, it's a simple and logical step for him or her to “retire” from the traditional work force and start a business as I did. Some will return to traditional work if an offer is appealing enough, but only after they've sold their business and no longer need to work for a living, or have grown their business to the point where they can oversee operations and work; full-time without much trouble. Along the way, their most prolific and intimate relationships will be forged and merged into the integrated whole of their lives.

Question: I know you own a business. I know you own it in part to make a profit. I know you spend hours a day on the phone, in a manufacturing arena and using various social marketing outlets. I know you are busy.

    But do you work?

I cannot wait to see the responses!

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.