In 2017, I hit the five-year milestone for my first business, an achievement less than half of small businesses accomplish. It should have been a joyful occasion, but instead I found myself driving home in my car, sobbing, because it felt like I had worked the last five years for nothing.
My business was crumbling, my mental health was beyond suffering, and my bank account was likely going to be overdrawn, again. Despite all of this, I knew I was meant to be an entrepreneur. I just couldn’t understand why it had to be so hard, or why I couldn’t figure out how to achieve the elusive success I had been chasing.
I made a decision at that moment to do whatever it took to turn things around, but I was going to do it differently. I didn’t know exactly what that meant, but I knew that I couldn’t continue to do the same things and expect different results.
As it turned out, doing things differently meant doing two things:
- Working on improving my mindset through daily meditation and affirmations.
- Managing my time in a way that felt in alignment with who I ultimately wanted to become — the successful, high-achieving entrepreneur I knew I was meant to be.
I had been burning myself out thinking that working longer and harder was the key to success, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth. Once I made the decision to be intentional with my time, things began to change almost immediately.
When deciding how I was going to spend my time, these are the strategies that helped the most:
- Saying “no” to things that didn’t excite or inspire me in order to make space for things that would
- Making time for things that I enjoyed completely unrelated to work
- Creating boundaries around my time so that other people weren’t easily able to run my day
- Prioritizing my morning routine, which included my meditation and mindset work
It’s so easy to buy into hustle culture and believe that being busy is a badge of honor, but when you look around, are you truly happy with that get up first and go to bed last mentality? Is it worth sacrificing other areas of your life to chase professional success? Is what you’re doing now really sustainable in the long run?
Remember that you’re the one in the driver’s seat of your life. You get to decide who and what becomes a priority. Become intentional with your time and watch your life shift into something better than you ever could have imagined.