Happy, happy Tuesday or Thursday, everyone! I have no idea which day this podcast is gonna go out on. But today on The Work Of Becoming podcast, I want to talk to you about having an identity outside of work. I think this is probably relevant for a lot of people. It might be especially relatable if you’re an online business owner or if you work from home, because I’m mostly gonna talk, as I normally do, in terms of stories, and I’m gonna talk about me.
So, recently, I was chatting with my business coach, and I kind of had this hard realization that a lot of my identity was based in being an online business owner. My whole identity had shifted to be about being an entrepreneur. I was an entrepreneur as soon as I woke up in the morning. I was an entrepreneur when I was working. I was an entrepreneur when I was cooking dinner in the evening, and in particular, I was using social media during all of those times. So, I was taking Instagram pictures of my dinner and taking you along my day in stories, and I was on stories almost every single day, and I had this sort of 24-hour break that I instituted every weekend that was really good for me, but even that was not cutting it because I started to feel like my entire identity had been consumed by work.
I had a conversation with my partner about it, and he was pretty honest with me, and he was like, “Yeah, you’re pretty sucked into your phone, and you’re pretty sucked into work. You’re pretty laser-focused on that.” I didn’t really love that, and I know that, in particular, in order for Body Brain Alliance to grow, I have to be able to separate myself from the business. I have to be an independent human. And so, I asked myself, I was like, “Okay, outside of Instagram, what are my hobbies? What do I actually like to do? What do I want my evenings to look like?” I came to this crashing realization that I didn’t know because when I had free time in the evening, I was scrolling on Instagram, I was creating content, I was thinking about content. When I was in the shower in the morning, I was thinking about our ideal client and thinking about offers. There was no mental separation at all between who I was at work and who I was outside of work.
I don’t have any solutions here, and I don’t have any tips because I feel like I’m still in the muck of all this. But I will tell you a couple things that I’m playing around with.
So, number one. One of the things that I’m playing around with is really, really having a clear check-in and check-out time. I’m actually gonna talk about that on the next episode as a whole separate episode, so stay tuned for that.
The second thing that I’m focusing on is really giving myself a list of projects or tasks that I want to accomplish or that I enjoy doing outside of business. So, for example, I really like baking bread. I really like keeping my house tidy. I really like spending quality time in nature with my dog. And so, one of the things I’ve been working on is when I plan my week and when I plan in all of the tasks I’m gonna do for work, I also separately plan all the tasks and all the things I’m going to do for life. It’s almost like those images you see with black space and white space where you see the image and the image is white and everything around it is black. For me, it’s like work is white and everything around it is black, everything around it is just this murky time that’s filled with other things. When, really, I want it to be the opposite where I’m checking into work, I’m doing my work, I’m checking out, and then I am living my life.
And so, I just wanted to bring that to your attention today, and I encourage you to reflect on your own relationship with work, especially if you’re an online business owner. Do you have an identity outside of who you are at work? Do you want more of an identity, and if you do and you don’t have one right now, what are the things you might want to experiment with? What are the things you might want to play with? Who do you want to meet up with? I’ve reached out and reconnected with some old friends since I’ve been on this journey, and I think it’s important for all of us to have multiple dimensions of life, multiple spheres of life. We are engaging with different people in different ways. And so, especially if you are an online business owner, all work all the time, I encourage you to reflect on whether that is something healthy for you right now.
That’s what I’ve got today, and I will talk to you all in the next episode!