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Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You?

This post was most recently updated on March 26th, 2014

Do You Own Your Own BusinessSo you started an online business.  You put endless hours into it, and you enjoy doing so.  You have submersed yourself in free and paid tutorials.  You work harder than anyone you know, even though you may not be making money.  It has become a true labor of love.

You understand that an internet business is not a “get rich quick scheme,” and you have been plugging away for… how long?

You may have terrific engagement on your blog and social media.  Everyone thinks you are a “rock star” and maybe an authority or expert in your field.

You are striving with everything you have to “make it” in your business.  Hey, you may even made a few sales yet?  Maybe you’ve already become a successful affiliate marketer and commissions are rolling in.  Maybe you are really crushing it with your product and services.

Whatever stage you might be in with your business, my question to you is this: Do you own your business or does your business own you?

Remember When You First Started  

I am sure one of the reasons you wanted to start your own business was for “financial freedom,” or to be able to stay home with the kids, or have the ability to work when you want and be in charge of your own life.   Whatever prompted you to invest your time, money and effort into owning your own online business…  that is what needs to sustain you in working your business over the longer term.

But again my friends, my question to you is: Do you own your own business or has it gotten to a place where your business owns you?

Overwhelmed Yet?

The reason I ask this question is that some people get distracted by so many things that they start drowning in a pool of “overwhelm”.  Some people are in business for a year or two only to decide that it just might be too much work for the little or no return they’re getting.  

Are you doing one or more of these things?

  • dragging your feet about getting to the next level of your goals.  
  • dreading to write that next blog post.
  • always purchasing the newest shiny object.
  • carrying around your iPhone answering every call, even when it is family or play time.
  • keeping a constant eye on your Skype that you leave open all day to answer every call.
  • suspended in fear that you won’t “make it.”
  • emulating the richest guru in the business?  And if so, are you dissatisfied that you are not making as much money as they are?
  • putting in so many hours that you have ignored your healthy diet and exercise.
  • shutting out your friends and family.
  • following someone that gives you an exact blueprint of what you have to do, but somehow it doesn’t work for you.
  • giving up the things that you used to enjoy so much.

The fastest way to have your business crash and burn is to try doing too many things at once, and expecting them all to work overnight.

Whose Time Is It?

Owning your own business is a very time consuming effort.  If you enjoy it, you are happy to spend your time doing what you do.  But if you are not enjoying it, you could feel like you are being robbed of your time by your own business.

It’s quite a task to lay the foundation of your online business, to get followers, develop an email list…  How much time are you spending on your business?  How much time are you reserving for personal enjoyment and fulfillment?

When you own your own business, it can easily dominate just about all of your time.

Take A Quick Survey

Before you spend another day making money or trying to make money in your business, I’d like you to take a quick survey… a little self-examination.

  • When was the last time you took a vacation?
  • If you have kids, how much time are your spending with them?  More because you work from home or less?
  • Are you feeling anxious because your “big break” didn’t come yet?
  • Do you take time every day for yourSELF?
  • Is your time is flexible enough to allow for some spontaneity in your day?
  • If life throws you a curve ball like an unexpected illness, or a surprise visit from the in-laws… is your business thrown for a loop, or can you just rearrange your time a bit to accommodate these sudden events?   
  • Are you keeping up with your favorite exercise program, or did you give it up?
  • Is your spouse or family member asking you to pay more attention to them?
  • Are your family and friends questioning you why you are locked up in your home office too much?

Your answers to these questions will hopefully give you cause to examine more carefully just how much your Business Owns YOU!

If you think, in fact, that you’ve lost your “ownership” (or at least some of it) of the very business that was supposed to set you “free”, how are you going to fix it?  Well, stay tuned to part 2 in my next article on this subject, and we’ll explore some solutions.

In the meanwhile, I appreciate your feedback in the comments below!

Many Blessings,

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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55 Responses to Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You?

  1. Patricia Gozlan June 2, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    I love the title of this post, it is a powerful question that invites online business people to think:1. are we having a balanced life?2. are we totally fulfilled by the way we manage our business?3.are we having the results we are planning or are we giving our power to something outside of us, meaning giving away the responsibility of our success?It took me 3 years to understand that less is more, my dear friend and I\\\’m still learning.Wanting too much is sometimes synonym of fear of not being good enough,in my case the fear of not being the number 1 as an online business person.When I transformed my fear letting go of wanting to be the best in everything my business took off.Amazing as always what one can achieve when looking inside with honesty.

    Thanks Donna I love your posts and the messages in your blog!

    • Donna.Merrill June 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

      Hey Patricia!

      That is a fine example of taking control. Once you transformed your fear, your business took off. That is such a wonderful message to us all!

      Many thanks,

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..The Power of Social MediaMy Profile

  2. nick catricala May 30, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    I was away from the blog world for a while and missed many of your great post… but will catchup soon:-) Starting now with this first post out of 3… I will get to the others soon.

    So the big question: “Do you own your business or does your business own you?” A: My business own me haha 🙂 BUT in a nice way.

    I explain in a few words… I make my business to support others at any time… and love doing it free of charge.

    By doing this, it is obvious I am busy, correct? And the business own me, correct?

    And now for your surprise (just kidding, since I know you already had the correct answer) My business own me but I own my time.

    By owning my own time, I schedule meetings between 10 am and 2pm 5 days a week and make changes according to circumstances.. just as I did two days a go… when my availability was none for the day because I drove to Toronto to visit my dentist to get some painful reminder to keep my teeth healthy 🙂

    I know I mislead you earlier by saying that my business own me… but by now I hope it is clear that making a small adjustment (scheduling a specific time to do business) is best and we are able to continue support others as time come.

    Tahnks SO MUCH for all your suggestions.. and all your great supporting guidance to run a successful business… always learning more and more from you.. and LOVE it.

    All the best in every way.
    nick catricala recently posted..Coming Back to where I like to be….My Profile

  3. Temilola Globalwalyy May 18, 2013 at 5:51 am #

    When i saw your post Title, Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You? What came to my mind was, How in the world will your business owns you…
    But getting down to read your point, i think i understand your post very well..

    There is no doubt you are owns by your business if you dont have time for yourself, family and friends, we all wanna have our own personal business so as to reduce the stress we have at work or have time for our family

    So how can you be working for yourself and still get stressout??

    Thanks for writting this post.. Looking forward to read part2
    Temilola Globalwalyy recently posted..Causes, Symptoms and First Aid of AsthmaMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill May 19, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

      Hi Temilola and Welcome to my blog.

      The reason why we get into our own business is to have the time to spend for ourselves and family. Sometimes we get into that work zone where we cannot get away from it.

      So it is important to remember why we got here in the first place. For freedom.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Flying The Coop For Fresh Eyes On Your BusinessMy Profile

  4. Michael Belk May 13, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    Donna, I believed I was in charge of my business, but after reading this post I realize how much time I dedicate to my business and who is really in charge.

    I am doing a lot of the activity you outline and I also realize I need a better plan to deal with the dangerous direction I have chosen.

    I do not have a spouse so it is easier for me to make the mistake of spending too much time online.

    That could be good or bad. Thanks for the eye-opener.
    Michael Belk recently posted..A VIP cultural event at the World famous Orpheum theater.My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill May 15, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

      Hi Michael.

      Well I’m glad this was an eye-opener for you! We can spend endless hours of non productive time. The trick is to see where the money is coming in, put 80 percent of your time there, and the rest other places.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Is Your Spouse Supportive Of Online Business?My Profile

  5. Rosemary O'Shaughnessy
    May 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    You have made some excellent points in this article . It is so important to manage your business and remember the purpose of it is to serve you . One great thing about having a puppy he makes sure I keep a good routine of exercise and time away from the computer.

    Take care Rosemary

  6. Frank Woodman May 12, 2013 at 12:36 am #

    As both a small business owner and one who provides services and support to small businesses I see the effect of the strain on business owners every day. And the issue of burnout and time management are always their to be addressed and managed.

    So it’s good to see you write an article dealing with just these issues and I hope it gives many help in dealing with time management and balancing personal and professional time demands.

    Remember we never see on someone’s tombstone… “I wished I could have worked more or gave more to my business.”
    Frank Woodman recently posted..Is Your Accountant Current or are They Sadly Behind the New Regs.My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill May 15, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

      Hi Frank,

      I also see the effect on small business owners offline and online. Phew…It can really knock one for a loop.

      It is all about positioning yourself as a “business owner” and I learned that the hard way many years ago with an off line business. But I sure learned quickly!

      When I cut my hours, people were angry. But eventually they calmed down and got used to it. Same goes with internet marketing. We cannot be there on demand. It’s impossible.

      I love your tombstone saying!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Is Your Spouse Supportive Of Online Business?My Profile

  7. Terry Henry May 8, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    Hi Donna, this an excellent point you bring up here…btw, some of those bullet points hit very close to home. As someone who has online and offline businesses, I gotta admit, they pretty much own me right now and eventhough I love what I do…it’s not exactly how I pictured it would be.

    All that being said, I am making some changes in the way I operate so that it doesn’t have to be such a grind. Thanks for such an excellent post, I look forward to part 2 🙂

    Terry Henry recently posted..The 3 Core Principles of Internet Marketing SuccessMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill May 26, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

      Hi Terry,

      Sorry for my late reply. I also have an off line business and an on line one. It can take over you if you let it. The problem is “fear.” If we are not afraid to take a step and take time for ourselves, it will be there when we get back..I promise!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Flying The Coop For Fresh Eyes On Your BusinessMy Profile

  8. DeAnna Troupe May 5, 2013 at 7:07 am #

    Very good post. I will admit that it is easy to get so wrapped up in your business that you forget about the very reason you started your business in the first place. One way I solved it was to block off certain time for family time. Sometimes it is not always the same day of the week, but I try to make sure one day out of the week is not full of business stuff.
    DeAnna Troupe recently posted..My blog was chosen to be in an infographic about entrepreneur blogs!My Profile

  9. The Food Curator
    May 5, 2013 at 6:58 am #

    Good post, it’s a trap a lot of people fall into…not getting your work/life balance right. It sounds easy but in reality there are many blocks in the way. Glad you are helping people get it right 🙂
    The Food Curator recently posted..Wimpy…still the home of the hamburger?My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill May 5, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

      Oh yes,

      Real life is full of blocks. We need to overcome them and not let the anxiety take over us.

      Just think: If we were working for someone, we would take vacations and not call in. So why the heck not do it now?

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You?My Profile

  10. Sue Price
    May 5, 2013 at 12:42 am #

    Hi Donna

    This is an excellent post and one many online marketers should relate to and by the comments so far I can see they are.

    Before I came online my various businesses owned me. Even on vacation I would check in and be on my cell phone (sick really).

    I craved for a different life and when we moved from Sydney I knew I wanted to work from home. There are times when I feel myself fall into that trap again but over the last year I have had so many curve balls thrown I have been forced to not be owned by my business. I had the thought while reading this that maybe I needed the proverbial Mack Truck to do things differently. Interesting ….

    Again Donna this is a great post.

    Sue Price recently posted..Can a Book Change Lives?My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill May 5, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

      HMM SUE!

      Sometimes it takes life situations to hit us on our heads to change. In your case your family needed attention…what a year!

      Now as you step back into the swing of things, you realize that nothing really changed. People still know you are here!

      Therefore now You own your business, without that anxiety of being away.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You?My Profile

  11. Mayura
    May 4, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    You just nailed it dear 😉 I’m sure many bloggers and entrepreneurs will relate well here.

    You know how much I believe in my intuition 🙂

    If I was depending on blogging or writing, I’m sure I’d feel so drained myself. I thought it many times when I hear someone made the wrong choice. Though I enjoy blogging, I don’t think it can be my way of income though many folks pushing me on it. You know how it feels when you made the right choice. no? 🙂

    As you know I’m fond of technical stuff and my online business is about offering related services. Surprisingly, at the outset of online business, I’ve got clients and been doing well until I’ve got a new project where I needed to hold on with my own business for a while.

    I’m enjoying what I do and I feel so glad to work from home Donna 🙂 On top of all, I value freedom I have though I’m busy enough with work. Busy enough to build my future I’d say. Is that “being owned by my own business”? I don’t feel it’s too much though. I can take time when I need it too 🙂

    I can’t wait to read your next post ’cause I know there’s more helpful tips to take control of our businesses effectively Donna 🙂

    You have fantabulous weekend my friend 🙂

    Mayura recently posted..Add a Twitter Tab for Your Facebook Page with WooboxMy Profile

  12. Julie May 4, 2013 at 9:00 am #

    The way I see it, your self-examination questions are good for pretty much anyone. We may need to revise some of the questions a bit, but we would all do well to evaluate how our work, whatever it is, imacts our lives.
    Julie recently posted..Counterfeit KindnessMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill May 20, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

      Hi Julie,

      Sorry for the late response, I was away for a while. We do need to always evaluate ow we work and how it impacts our lives.

      Sometimes people get lost in work, and can let business overtake their lifestyle.

      It is important to spend time with our family and our friends.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Flying The Coop For Fresh Eyes On Your BusinessMy Profile

  13. Sonia May 3, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

    Donna, great post. I can’t say my business (if that)owns me, but my day job owns me more. It pays the rent. Now for what I do online, I see it as a labor of love that for awhile I left alone for personal reasons; but it wasn’t because I couldn’t keep up, its just that I didn’t make it a priority.

    After some careful thinking and time to myself, I took it as a much needed break and I was happy I was able to get my mind in tune with what mattered most: helping new bloggers. When I get home, I have a strict schedule that always falls apart because my dog tends to want my attention and I don’t say no, so I find myself blogging at late hours of the night. Does it work for me? Yes, but I can say when I started, I was a slave to the game for sure.
    Sonia recently posted..Enter to Win a Premium WordPress Theme by ThemeFuseMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill May 4, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

      Hi Sonia,

      Well Well girl, you have it all balanced! I know that when we start, we are so consumed. Trouble is that people still get stuck there.

      Thank goodness you found your balance and not a slave to the game!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You?My Profile

  14. Dee Ann Rice
    May 3, 2013 at 1:46 pm #


    How true that is. I think for many bloggers their business owns them. I have been there and finally decided that I had to spend some time not in front of the computer even if I already did not have enough time to do everything I wanted to do on my blog.

    I do what I can get done in the few hours a day I get to work online and just plug along.

    I am looking forward to the second part.

    Dee Ann
    Dee Ann Rice recently posted..Picture It!My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill May 3, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

      Thanks Dee Ann!

      As long as we get all our “stuff” done in a day we are fine. But when we let our business take us over, it is a different story.

      I have met so many people that don’t take time off. It’s important to do so every day!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You?My Profile

  15. Gladys
    May 3, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

    Hello Ms. Donna
    Great post. This post will make you think over and over, about business.

    I have many things on my “platter” so I have to keep my schedule and stay balance. I believe balance is the key. Somehow we need to figure out how to adjust business time and pleasure time.
    I do take vacations and this weekend I am going to Virgina. There is a cabin there and it is so peaceful. Usually we hike and just sit around and play cards, games and just take some time to breath (LOL).

    Thank you again and I am looking forward to part two.

    Gladys recently posted…Emotional Health…Developed Through Self-Esteem
    Gladys recently posted..Emotional Health…Developed Through Self-EsteemMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill May 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

      Hi Gladys,

      Yes, I agree that “balance” is the key! Sometimes it is difficult for people because they don’t know how to balance. Or if they take a break, they feel guilty or anxious about their business.

      These are the people who take their phones with them and are slaves to it.

      I am happy to hear that you are going to Virgina and taking time to breath!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You?My Profile

  16. Silviu May 3, 2013 at 7:15 am #


    This post is about mindset and mood. Yes, you need a positive attitude and a good time management. Then you should do your best to avoid burnout. This reminds me of one saying: “Don’t work hard, work smart.”
    Indeed, this is what we must do. Automation, efficient tools, connections, leverage all these factors must converge in order to set us free even from our own beloved business. We don’t live for our business. We do business to have a successful, wonderful life. It’s a mean, a tool not an end.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

    Silviu recently posted..What Do You Need to Start Your Own Blog and Be SuccessfulMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill May 3, 2013 at 11:52 am #

      Hi Silviu,

      Ahh love that saying “don’t work hard, work smart.” It is one saying that needs to be on a post-it on our desk.

      We must leverage all those tools for our business in order to prevent burnout.

      Yes it is about mindset and mood! Once we can establish that, we will have more free time.

      Thank you for stopping by,
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You?My Profile

  17. Sylviane Nuccio
    May 1, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Well, I’ve to admit that my work totally owns me. And I have very little time to myself over any given week. Even Saturdays and Sundays are full of must do. Sometimes I’m thinking I’ve got to stop some day, but some day never comes.

    At times my brain totally crashes, though, and that’s when I just watch videos on you Tube 🙂 and of course they’re the park where I go walk and run often and that about it.

    I know that there is something that I’ve got to do this year, and it’s quite my job, because having both a business and a job it’s totally crazy.

    I know I have the tools and knowledge to do better than this and that makes me even madder to be at that in my life right now. I know I’ve got to act. Thanks for this great reminder to take a break.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..The Power Of The Mind To Attract Incompetents BewareMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill May 2, 2013 at 12:56 am #

      Hi Sylviane,

      Boy do you have your hands full! Working and running your business, which entails tons of writing is very time consuming.

      You do have a choice. Work smarter! By that I mean take those breaks as the weather is great and spend more time at the park.

      Pretty soon you will generate enough money to phase out of your job …
      You are in pretty high demand for your excellent writing.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You?My Profile

  18. Carolyn
    May 1, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    Hi Donna, You really nailed the important dangers of pouring yourself into your work and ignoring the other aspects of your life. This could be true for any business, it involves hard work, but balance is important too.

    There’s a saying that Americans live to work and Europeans work to live. Living over there I learned that was mostly true.

    I like your check list, I’m sure many of your readers will recognize themselves in that list!

    Thanks for this article, Donna.
    Carolyn recently posted..15 Fantastic Chrome Extensions to Make Your Life EasierMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill May 2, 2013 at 12:53 am #

      Oh they have Carolyn!

      Americans have this mindset of working hard will bring a strong return. Untrue! Balance, effectiveness and persistence are the key factors of owning our own business, owning our own lives!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You?My Profile

  19. Rachel Lavern
    May 1, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Funny, a former client (turned friend) and I were emailing just yesterday about this. A little over a month ago, I veered my coaching business off in a slightly different direction and am I ever busy. She was expressing envy that I owned my own businesses and I responded that my businesses owned me for now (emphasis on the ‘for now’). I do love what I do and I was turning now most social engagements; however, I re-grouped last week and life is much more normal for me now 🙂
    Rachel Lavern recently posted..On Making Right DecisionsMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill May 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

      Well good for you Rachel!

      Sometimes it gets to the point where we get that wake up call and have to re-group.

      I’ve known you a while now and see how far you have come with your business. Re-grouping is a great idea because as our business grows, we must make the necessary adjustments.

      So happy to hear that!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You?My Profile

  20. Neamat Tawadrous
    May 1, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    OMG, I was just thinking about how much time I spend on my business and how much I am missing out on the other things especially my time with my kids and my husband. He is not happy about it and we always get into fights about how much time I spend on the computer and stay late every night doing work.

    This is just a wake-up call and a message right on time but honestly I don’t know how to fix it. I will wait eagerly for part 2 to explore the solutions with you.

    Thanks Donna for sharing this message at the right time. There couldn’t have been a better timing.

    Be Blessed,


    • Donna.Merrill May 1, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

      Hi Neamat,

      I have heard many stories like yours. Spouses get frustrated when we are in this business. It is because there is no get rich quick solution and they get a bit antsy.

      You are in this business so you can stay home with your family and I know you well enough to say that this is the center of your life.

      But, there are ways to balance this out and also communicate to your husband.

      AHA…you just gave me another point for my next blog.

      Thank you,

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You?My Profile

  21. Carol Lynn May 1, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    Another winner post, Donna. I go through periods of not knowing who owns what, for sure. Sometimes it’s all work, all day, and I miss the fun stuff because I’m doing too much. The worst part is that I know I could be more productive if I stopped working so darn much. Lots of times I do “filler” stuff and waste time that I should be using more productively anyway! I read a really interesting article just yesterday about how you will fill up as many hours as you have with work. So if you have 3 things to do and 3 hours, it will take you 3 hours. But if you have 3 things to do and only give yourself 2 hours, you can still do them in 2 hours!

    A lot of times we have to remind ourselves that working longer hours is not always being more productive. Time for family, friends and just re-energizing are all things we need. Especially if we run our own businesses, we want to be sure we remember WHY – and I doubt that has to do with being shackled to a desk all day!
    Carol Lynn recently posted..3 Tips For Writing A Better Press ReleaseMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill May 1, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

      Hi Carol,

      Yes, we do not want to be shackled to our desk all day. That’s the reason why we started our own business!

      But we do want to achieve and some of us are over-achievers. That is all well and good, but why are we letting our time be unbalanced?

      I remember when I first started and one of the things that was stress over and over in trainings of having your own business was the “freedom” you want to attain.

      Where the heck is that if we don’t take vacations? If we don’t turn off our phones? We can easily get in the groove of letting time slip away.

      Been there done that. It was not until I reprogrammed myself almost a year ago with a hypnosis podcast I downloaded of how to be more focused and calm and do work in less time.

      I have successfully done that. I must admit I do slip into those days where I realize I still have my PJ’s on at 5 in the afternoon, but at least I am aware.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You?My Profile

  22. Lisa
    May 1, 2013 at 6:36 am #

    Donna, I loved this title, was it written for me? LOL. I haven’t kept up with exercise and the hubs always asks me to shut the computer down. I did okay on the rest of the questions so not as bad as I anticipated. I tend to make more goals once I reach one and they are never enough. I do plan on taking more vacation time this year away from the computer. I do get away and take pics of nature to help relax me and get me off that darn computer. Great topic Donna!
    Lisa recently posted..Old Twitter Followers That Haven’t Tweeted Being Swept AwayMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill May 1, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

      Hi Lisa,

      Lots of spouses ask to shut the computer down. I find it a common situation. But maybe they just don’t understand what it takes lol.

      I know so well that goal problem. I was doing that for a while and then realized I was putting too much pressure on myself. So I lightened my load, and went slower and more focused.

      Now I have time to do what I want when I want to do it.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You?My Profile

  23. sherman smith April 30, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    Yes Donna, I’m guilty of this 🙁 … When I get home I closed the door and start working on my blog. Everytime my friends call I always tell them I’m working on my business or blog.

    But… I make an effort to exercise, go out on weekends, spend time with friends and family. The only thing is not spending enough time with them. Yes we all want to make it, but there’s got to be a balance. Whenever I sponsor someone into my business, yes, i do want them to know it’s going to take much effort to get their business going, but also I want them to balance out their life as well.

    Whats the point of starting a business if you don’t enjoy it as well as enjoying life period? Thanks for this reminder Donna!

    • Donna.Merrill April 30, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

      Absolutely Sherman.

      People somehow get sucked up into their business without balance. They seem to get obsessed by the goal of money. Yes, we are here to make money, but lifestyle is what is so important.

      We started our own business that does take a lot of time and that’s the truth, but as you say, balance is the key!

      Many Thanks,

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You?My Profile

  24. marquita herald
    April 30, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    Thought provoking post Donna. Taking your questionnaire was a walk down memory lane for me because it reminded me of how much better my life is now vs when I worked for … well, the last company I worked for. It’s actually been 10 years since my last vacation, but that’s primarily because my last employer had a nasty habit of informing managers at the last minute they would be unable to take time off (not to mention requiring us to work through holidays) so I think I had 3 or 4 vacations cancelled as a result. The good news is I’ll be taking an extended vacation this fall. 🙂
    marquita herald recently posted..How to Turn Conflict into OpportunitiesMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill April 30, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

      How great Marquita!

      Make sure you stick to your vacation plans! It is difficult when you are working for someone. I haven’t worked for someone for many many years. I always had that Entrepreneur Spirit!

      I did work for a few years after I finished school, but that didn’t last too long. I felt “owned” and always found a way to support myself.

      There were highs and lows when it came to financials but I always managed to keep happy. When all is said and done, that is what counts for me!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You?My Profile

  25. Adrienne
    April 30, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    Oh damn it Donna, I hate it when you’re right!

    Okay, so my situation is a little different and although I have not had a vacation in like forever I will be traveling not once but twice next month so there.

    Now I think I can honestly say that it definitely controlled me for about the first four years. I was so bound and determined to figure this all out that I never got off this computer. I never did anything with my friends on the weekends but I did take time for family.

    You’re also very aware that I live alone with Kayla but I do still take walks everyday and now that Mom lives next door I break for lunch and dinner to spend time with her.

    I am still addicted to what I do but I honestly love it. I don’t yet have it set up so that if something were to happen to me I’d be covered. I’m just not at that place yet although I am supporting myself. That’s more then most so it’s a good thing.

    Thanks for the wake up call. Like Harleena and Cori have already said, it’s one that most people probably need to hear.

    Adrienne recently posted..Blogging: We Are In It To Win ItMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill April 30, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

      Hi Adrienne,

      I know you well enough to say that you are super organized and spend time with your mom and Kayla. But now two vacations? Good for you!!!

      When we begin our work, we seem to be “owned” by our business. We do try so hard to get things rolling to make a return.

      But we must acknowledge that although we love what we do, we do need to pamper ourselves, even if we are not at the point of making money yet.

      This was one thing that I did not learn when I first started. I spent 2 years in a cave. Gave up opportunities for vacation. Heck, I was even invited to the South of France by one of my clients and couldn’t imagine taking my mindset away.

      I do believe that this message needs to be heard, especially for the newbies.

      The one thing I did do was take day or weekend trips.

      I am at the point now from self hypnosis that I did this year and also my production coach, that I must get my most difficult work done at the beginning of the day.

      Now that I have a pattern set, I eve take a day away from the computer every now and then with no anxiety at all.

      Thanks for sharing your experience,

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You?My Profile

  26. Corina Ramos April 30, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    Just like Harleena, this could not have come at a better time and believe it or not, I got teary-eyed. I’ve always believed God uses others to deliver his messages and you gave me mine :).

    Just the other night my husband and I were “discussing” how much I’ve been working lately. It’s not that I’m overwhelmed but because I’ve been making great strides and I want to build on that momentum.

    Still, he reminded me why I decided to work from home and it made me slow down. Your post today sealed the deal. Yes, for a while my business was owning me but I’ve turned it around and back on track 🙂

    Wonderful post Donna!
    Corina Ramos recently posted..Monday Work from Home Job Lead Madness 04-29-13My Profile

    • Donna.Merrill April 30, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

      Awww Corina,

      I do believe God sends us messages in ways we cannot explain. I am so happy you “clinched the deal.”

      We do need to slow down and smell the roses. Heck, that’s why we are here in the first place!

      I wrote this because I seen some of my long-time blogging friends walk away from the business lately. We do need to give ourselves time. As long as you block that time in your day you will feel like a different person.

      I was caught up in the blogging and syndication for hours a day. Now, because I was on a production schedule, I have learned to bite the bullet. That had to come first, then my blog.

      I don’t spend as much time on social sites anymore because I am focused on the areas where money is coming in. I love Social Media and still am on it, but with less time and more discipline.

      Blessings to you,
      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You?My Profile

  27. Bren April 30, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    haha Oh my, if blogging is a “business” in which I think it is, it definitely OWNS me! 🙂 Too many times I think we get caught up in our “business” that we forget to take time to smell the roses and admire what’s most important, our families. 🙂
    Bren recently posted..10 Fab Things on the Way to FiftyMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill April 30, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

      Yes Bren,

      Blogging is our business. If we spend too much of our time on it and not “smell the roses” we will quickly burn out.

      Although blogging is my life and I love it dearly, there is a time to blog and syndicate. But creating a time frame and sticking to it, will free up your day to enjoy other things that keep you balanced.

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You?My Profile

  28. Harleena Singh
    April 30, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Just the right article for me at the right time 🙂

    I DO feel drained at times and often have to pull myself away from work for concentrating on the other work that also need my attention.

    I guess the Internet IS addictive, though not fully I would say. A lot depends on the way we manage our time. You listed some great ways how we all tend to get overwhelmed, and they are ALL so true. I could relate to some of them too. I guess we tend to start things and take to much on our hands. While it is good and may be most of us need to do that, but then where and what is the limit? Who sets these limits except us. The answer also lies in our hands.

    Moderation is the key I feel, so that other things that need your attention are covered up too.

    Thanks for sharing this with us and making us realize so many things. Have a nice day ahead 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted..Is The Fat In a Diet Really Bad For YouMy Profile

    • Donna.Merrill April 30, 2013 at 5:02 pm #


      I am so glad this helped. In my next post there will be a long list of to-do’s

      Yes, the internet can be addictive, but what we must concentrate on is why we got here in the first place! Freedom. Freedom to be with our family and so many other things.

      Glad you enjoyed it!

      Donna.Merrill recently posted..Do You Own Your Business or Does It Own You?My Profile

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