The pressure I put on myself can't be any harder than the pressure I ... put on myself. Stand up and confess, "I, Michelle am a workaholic." Truth is I started my business not to have to work myself into the ground to meet other people's demands. Over time, I made the great discovery, I still have to meet other people's demands (clients). The saying "work smarter not harder" is the applicable tool to keep life in balance. Problem is economics + delegation are conflicting at the moment.
So sharp manager that I am I need to "noodle" some solutions to the scale tipped the wrong way. Ever find yourself stuck in this quagmire? I bet if you're a business owner reading this blog you know what I'm talking about. Here are some things to think about:
Guilt is not an excuse to give 10 times more than you get in payments. If you're being paid to do a job do the job to the best of your abilities. But you are not obligated just because you have a client making certain demands to give him/her 10 times what the contract stipulates. There is a point where it's pure insanity. And this is where ...
Find a new client comes into play. Any clients whose expectations are too much for what you're being paid to do can be replaced. Just like in romance there are plenty of fish ... there are plenty of clients. I adopted the word "next" a long time ago. Now you don't want to be capricious about it. But clients whose demands consume your day and they're not paying enough to consume your day need to be evaluated. You could easily find a new client whose demands are fair along with fair payment. In that respect, your at least making money while you're working harder vs. smarter.
Take the pressure off! Turn the cooker off! If you're anything like me you are your own worst critic. You don't know when to quit throwing yourself on the funeral pyre. Be kind to yourself. All you can do is all you can do. When I get in stress mode, I try to remind myself "one step at a time" and focus on the step. Don't look too far out ahead. Just keep your focus on the task at hand.
Careful planning also prevents undo stress. Plan ahead but don't look too far ahead either. You should have a precise plan in place and then execute it. If you've thought it all out then you'll be able to get to your goal without much fuss. Now things happen, and you should (if you planned well enough) be able to make adjustments.