I’m sitting down typing this on my mac air, outside on my verandah (or deck or patio depending where you come from), on a Wednesday afternoon.
So far today I’ve done two “tasks” that you would call work. I wrote two emails, one for my own email newsletter and one for the Become A Blogger newsletter, letting subscribers know that Eben Pagan has opened doors to his Guru Blueprint program with a new video. I considered that enough work for today, but then an idea for a blog post hit me, so I began to write.
On Monday night I started getting a sore throat. It hasn’t progressed to anything more than that, so I’m hoping I’ll be back to 100% in a day or two.
I’m a bit of a sook when it comes to being sick, and the first thing that goes is my work ethic. I just don’t feel like doing anything at all. To be honest, my motivation fluctuates enough when I’m feeling fine, hence when I do get the urge to work, I make sure I get stuff done. I suppose the fact that I’m writing this blog post right now is a good sign that I’m not feeling too bad.
Life Sucks When You Are Sick
I haven’t been sick in quite a while, but this wasn’t always the case. I remember when I was in university, nearly every exam block, so at least twice a year, at some point I’d get a cold or flu.
I put this down to a combination of being stressed, having to study and write papers to deadlines, often focused on subjects I didn’t want to work on, and being surrounded by a bunch of people doing the same thing – and getting sick together. The result is stressed people passing their colds and flus around at exactly the wrong time, when you have heaps of work to do to pass your exams and finish your assignments.
As soon as I left university, I noticed I didn’t get sick nearly as often. No longer was I attending a campus where I was exposed to lots of people and my life was much more in my control. I was doing what I wanted to do, or at least working towards it, on mostly my own terms.
Some of the worst memories I have in my life are from times when I haven’t been well.
Back in 2008 when I traveled around the world and visited 25 cities, which of course was an amazing experience, I also had one of the worst years of my life for being unwell.
I got sick a couple of weeks before leaving Brisbane for Fiji because I had so much to get done before I left. I then got sick again in Fiji, probably as a result of the stress built up and releasing as I finally started traveling. I was sick again in London and then again in Singapore, my final stop before returning home. Each of these periods, to put it bluntly, were awful times in my life, despite the cool places I was visiting.
Traveling is great, but you have to realize due to the exposure to different climates, people, new germs, so much time spent inside airplanes, poor sleeping patterns because of time zone changes and just the stress of not having a proper “home”, you are bound to find yourself a little less than healthy for a week or two.
Of course there is nothing worse than being sick and still having to attend a job. I’ve only had this happen a couple of times when I’ve had part time jobs, but I know from the people around me, that plenty of you head to work even when you aren’t feeling great because you feel you have to.
Any time you feel you have to do something, and that urge is stronger than your need to rest when not well, shows me that something is out of whack in your priorities.
The Freedom To Do Nothing
Besides 2008 when I traveled, most years since I’ve been running my online business I’ve been in top health. On the rare occasion when I haven’t been well, the freedom to make the choice to do nothing and just rest is a real benefit of running your own business.
Let’s face it – spending 8 hours trapped inside an office when you are crook is not a good idea. You don’t feel well, your productivity is down and you risk passing on whatever “dreaded lurgy” you have on to your workmates.
When you work on your own business, when you are sick you can just stay in bed and recover so you don’t pass on whatever you have to other people, or force yourself to do things when you’re far from the best condition to get work done.
Even in your own business, sometimes there are things that just have to be done. Usually though, they require an hour or two of work and then you can rest back down on the coach and catch a movie or read a book while you work only on feeling better. That’s a pretty good selling point for starting your own business.
I think this might be one of the best and most under promoted benefits of the Internet entrepreneur lifestyle. You don’t get sick as often, you have more time to control your meals and eat healthy, you can balance your stress levels because you control your deadlines and what work you do, and on the odd occasion you do get sick, you can sit back and focus on giving your body what it needs – rest and healthy food/vitamins – all while your business continues to make money.
It’s like getting paid sick leave without having to ask anyone permission to take the time off!
Your Health Is A Good Barometer
If you want to know how well your life is going, one of the best barometers is how you feel.
I know that seems simple, but it’s true.
If you’re frequently sick, or you always feel stressed and have a sense that there just isn’t enough time, or the fun has gone out of what you do, or you are demotivated, or depressed, or any combination of these things, then you likely have the balance wrong.
Running your own online business gives you the power of choice. Choice is freedom, and when you can choose how much you work, what you work on, what you eat, how and when you rest and exercise, what things you don’t do, what people you surround yourself with and ultimately what you do with every single minute of your life, your only challenge is finding a balance that works for you.
The balance requires constant adjustment, but if you don’t have the freedom to make the choices to adjust things, or you’re making bad choices that result in illness or too much stress or you lack passion for what you do, then you know you need to change something.
You have the power to begin changing your life towards this level of control and freedom right now. When you spot imbalances, don’t just sigh and accept them or become angry or frustrated, plan how you will change the situation and then start executing the plan.
That way, like in my life, at 3pm in the afternoon, after publishing this blog post, I’m going to sit down on my couch and watch an episode of Doctor Who, simply because that’s what I want to do right now.
Time Lord Wannabe