Work Smarter or “Work Martyr”

Business owners need to manage their business, but also their time and energy to function at their best, and that means spending time away from work.

Likely you put long, hard hours in to build your business beyond the startup stage. Perhaps you lived without work-life balance, missed important milestones, and made personal sacrifices to build a successful business.

Now you should be reaping the rewards of a successful business, but are you?

Working with independent business owners, we have seen what’s known as “The Work Martyr Complex” time and again. It’s when business owners are chained to their business. For a variety of reasons, these business owners feel unable to get away from the day-to-day operations. The Work Martyr feels indispensable: only they can do the job; their staff can’t be trusted; or their business cannot function without them.

Business owners need to manage their business, but also their time and energy to function at their best, and that means spending time away from work. (The same can be said for employees!)

Work Martyrs put in long hours are drained, impatient, less effective and efficient. Their time away from the business is spent on the phone, checking email, watching remote security feeds and micro-managing from afar.

Their Martyr status is harming their personal lives, their health, and their happiness.

Successful, happy and well-balanced business owners:

  • Know how to delegate
  • Have excellent processes and systems in place
  • Surround themselves with well-trained and trustworthy staff
  • Are aware of what constitutes a true work emergency
  • Make their family and health a priority
  • Indulge in their hobbies and pursue their interests
  • Enjoy downtime and go on vacation

Likely you’ve witnessed both ends of the spectrum: the Martyrs and the Smarters. The Smarters are in the moment, enjoying downtime with the people they love. The Martyrs are yelling into their phones, panicking about the WIFI connection and are detached from the people they claim to work so hard for.

It’s not easy for all business owners to reach the point of enjoying a good work-life balance, but it is possible. We’ve helped so many over the years and we would like to help you. Please reach out to us if you’re ready to forsake your Martyr status. liz@thebusinesstherapist.com

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