“I hate my job.  It wouldn’t be like this if only I owned the company!”
For many employees, the thought of leaving their day job “working for the man” includes visions of everyday happiness and nights of sound sleep. Oftentimes, the idea of company ownership also includes higher wages, flexible hours, and custom rules. After all, when YOU are the boss, YOU make the rules. For example, gone will be the days of senseless corporate meetings, the snoopy supervisor, and the too-chatty cube mate who has the seven most adorable grandchildren you’ve ever seen. These are just but just a few of the “I hate my job” reasons that propel some into the the world of sole proprietorship.

Dissatisfaction with the work you do isn’t limited to positions in which you work for someone. Understanding that you can own the company but hate the job is a harsh reality that many business owner may not consider. Consequently, business owners are disillusioned. Same as the honeymoon phase in a new relationship, the love you have for your business will wane.

For the love of dopamine.

According to Anna Tyrrell of Anna Tyrrell & Associates, ltd., and Common Ground: Conflict Resolution Services, ltd.,
“We thrive on any kind of novelty. The brain is alway seeking new and novel experiences to stay sharp because we get a little spike in dopamine, the feel good hormone, when something is new, anticipated, and exciting. Unfortunately, the longer we stay with that something, the dopamine kind of goes away. No matter if that is a person or your work. That feeling is natural and normal as it stems from a physiological response.”

There will be difficult and challenging times as a business owner. Knowing this will help diminish the “I hate my job,” mindset. Many of the same issues a business owner faced as an employee will surface again. Add in disappointment from expectations and reality versus personal standards. While our standards may be consistent, reality may require a business owner to shift and pivot. The result is disappointment and exhaustion.

“Business owners want the freedom to do the kind of work they love. Naturally, they quickly learn they also need to become problem solvers. Business ownership requires problem solving, a skill set not everyone has  It’s hard to be a jack of all trades. After all, you are not designed to do all that and incur costs to hire, lead and train just to delegate.

Help. I hate my job!
So, what you can you do when you own the company yet your inner voice says I hate my job?

There are few things Tyrrell suggests to bring back that lovin’ feeling.

  • Get a little spark of dopamine. Simply, get involved in a new experience. Plan and take a day trip,  long weekend, or a road trip.  Release any expectations and most importantly, have a good time.
  • If you are feeling burned out, visualize a candle rather than a bonfire. A slow, low, steady flame will burn longer than a roaring fire. Arrange tasks in smaller pieces. Many try to do too much too soon. It’s just not realistic for the long haul. Envision the future of the company as the slow and steady flame.
  • Engage in hobbies or activities you have more control over or that make you feel good. Perhaps coaching a kids team, joining a book club, or volunteering. Or, visiting people or places where others are happy to see you. This helps set that spark of dopamine.
  • Step away from forums, chat rooms, and social media that reflect the angst you are feeling. Find positive outlets for your spare time.
  • Get positive feedback from others. Share a meal or make time for family time.

Finally, surround yourself with people who bring you happiness.

Learn more. Listen to Workplace Stress with Anna Tyrrell on the Biz Chat Ohio podcast. Anna shares more self-help tips and simple strategies that you can do today.

This blog is made possible by Lakeland Community College and the Ohio Small Business Development Center.

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