Shop Life Columnists

Confessions of a Workaholic

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As I write this in mid-October, I’m four days away from a week-long vacation—also my first time taking more than 1.5 consecutive days off work all year. I know, I know—it’s bad.

But it’s been a crazy year! We restructured the company, we’re launching a new brand, we were hiring and onboarding—I couldn’t possibly take vacation during that time! I just need to get over this hump and then things will calm down and I’ll have plenty of time for vacation! Right?

Have I convinced you with my desperate excuses yet? Or maybe they’re starting to sound familiar to you, too?

I’ve always been a bit of a workaholic. At my core, I just like working. A couple months ago, when my boyfriend and I were watching an old episode of “Mad Men” in which some of the employees were forced to head into the office at midnight for an emergency meeting, he turned to me and said, “That is so you!” I’m still trying to figure out whether that was a compliment or not.  

Even my zodiac sign (a Capricorn) is a dependable mountain goat, slowly but surely climbing the mountain. 

I get a lot of personal satisfaction and fulfillment from working; as business owners, I’m sure many of you agree. And, it’s especially easy to justify those workaholic tendencies when that hustle can feel like the reason for a lot of business success. 

At the recent FenderBender Management Conference, I heard similar sentiments from a lot of shop owners about the long days and hours they put into their businesses. But, I also heard an even stronger refrain from our speakers: the need to take care of yourself as a leader. We’ve all heard the studies about the importance of time off—it reduces burnout, increases productivity and boosts creativity. The underlying takeaway? Time off actually makes you a better leader. Having a personal life, pursuing hobbies, not checking emails on the weekends—it makes you a leader who is fulfilled in all areas of life, not just one. 

That concept might sound obvious, but it can be surprisingly difficult to implement. As Jason Boggs said in a recent column, just because something is simple, doesn’t mean it’s easy. In this issue of FenderBender, there are a variety of stories all intended to help your business become more self-sufficient, grow as a leader and become the business owner you set out to be. There’s never going to be the perfect time to step away from the shop (or, in my case, the magazine) for a week. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t or that you don’t deserve to. 

Anna Zeck
Editorial Director

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