Being a landscape company owner is a big part of what I do; it takes up most of my work time. I say “work time” because I’m not sure what to really call it. When you own a business, the lines between personal life and business life get blurred pretty easily. They flow together sometimes without a problem and other times they crash together like lightning hitting an ancient tree splitting it down the middle. That’s just how it is for me. I can’t turn it off, and I have never been able to. Sure, I go home at night and hang with the family, spend weekends at my son’s baseball games and go to movies, concerts and vacations. But, still, I never really disconnect; I’m just not wired that way.
I have side projects as well, like writing this column, running my consulting business, traveling the country speaking about business to other entrepreneurs. I have a new YouTube channel that I am trying to get off the ground. I go to trade shows and conferences, and if I’m not speaking there then I network and attend the seminars to learn as much as I can. All the while I am still running a decent-sized landscape business.
I’ve always been this way. I used to play music for a living, and back then I was in three bands, taught at three music stores, worked the floor at one of them and had part-time jobs in between gigs. Before that I had two paper routes when I was a kid, and in fifth grade I swept the parking lot of a mini mart for $1. The funny part is I still don’t think I work hard enough or do enough. As a matter of fact, there are still a lot of things I want to do, like write a book, start a podcast and speak at a TED conference, to name a few.
I never consciously realized I was like this; it was just my way of life. I’m used to going to “work time” during the day and then just rolling right into everything else without stopping. I write my articles, edit my YouTube videos and work on my other projects after hours. I can’t even go out to a nice restaurant without analyzing the place and trying to figure out what makes it tick.
Ultimately, I believe that all of this is why I have to be a business owner. Business is a grind and that is where I thrive. I’d be willing to bet there are quite a few of you reading this who can truly relate to what I’m talking about. You can’t stop; you are driven to keep doing, re-inventing, learning, finding those parallel opportunities (like speaking and writing are for me). It’s part of your DNA. In the old days, they called it “work ethic.” Call it what you want; it’s just what we do.