How Much is Too Much?

I work.

A lot.

Aside from my day job, I’ve got my gun training classes, this site, advertising and online marketing for a few companies, and a large custom software project.    I’m working 60-70 hour weeks and have been for at least 2 years.

When it all started, it was all necessary.   We were in debt, I was underpaid for my industry, and we couldn’t make ends meet.   Today, our debt is nearly gone, our savings has grown, and I make considerably more money that I did 2 years ago.

But I’m still running as hard as I can.

My wife is unemployed, but I don’t think that matters much.   I probably make enough at my day job to cover our lifestyle.   I’ll know for sure in 2 weeks when my benefits all kick in.

But I’m still hustling.

When someone calls me up to ask to pay me for a project–a highly skilled, high-margin project–how can I turn them down?   When the headlines drive people into my classes, how can I say no to the money?

I’ve been accused of being a workaholic, and I can’t argue with it anymore.   I’m working all of the time, and the rest of my life–my marriage, my kids–is suffering for it.  I’ve spent so long with not enough, is it possible to just enjoy what I’ve got?

I’ve got no hobbies.   I rarely spend time with anyone.   I quit working an hour before my kids are asleep, and see them in the morning just long enough to get them to daycare.

I’ve got to scale back.  That means my plans to go self-employed are getting paused, but that was mostly an exit strategy for my last job.  I enjoy my current job.  I’m doing what I love in an industry I care about.

What can I cut?

  • This site.  I could sell this, make a bit of money and reclaim that time, but I need this vent.  I need to be able to talk about my finances and release whatever pressure is building up.
  • Gun classes.   This business takes up about 10 hours per class, with 1-2 classes per month.  It’s not a huge time sink.  Right now, business is booming.   There is an old saying: “You have to make hay while the sun is shining.”   Eventually, the market will slow down, but for now, we’re one of the most successful businesses in our market.   I can’t turn this tap off.
  • Marketing company.   This is the biggest time sink I’ve got.   It’s also the most profitable.    This is where I spend my time every evening, and where I think I need to wind down.  I’ve got a couple of major commitments I can’t back out of, but when they are done, I think this has to go.  I simply can’t keep going like this.  We’ll keep the business entity, so we’ll be able to say yes to the right projects and be ready to go with the next brilliant idea….crap, there I go again.

My name is Jason, and I’m a workaholic.   The idea of shutting down my business hurts, but the idea of losing my wife and kids hurts more.   I don’t know how painful winding some of this down will be, but rest assured, I’ll be sharing the progress here.

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  • 10 comments

    Comments

    1. …as a SAHM, I take offense to you saying your wife is “unemployed.” You need to be looking for work to be unemployed, which, maybe she is, but if not a SAHM is employed around the home, doing things that would otherwise not get done.

      I’m sorry you have to shut down something you love. Could you maybe sell it and keep some hours on in a different capacity? There are lots of people looking for profitable organizations like that.

    2. Ugh. Sorry. I confused you with another “Jason” whose wife IS a SAHM. I’m sorry your wife is unemployed and you have people like me being mean about it by not checking their Reeder info more closely than names and basic info/writing style.

    3. This is a very tough problem that many of us face. Bringing balance to our lives is very hard to do. But the key would be to trade off a little bit. Do things with the family and stay involved knowing that work will be there tomorrow. Gaining perspective and a different mindset may be all you need to be OK with all your big agenda. No one can tell you what is right for you but keep working the problem and trusting your heart and your love for your family. Just an older guy’s spin on things.

    4. I’m a workaholic also. I’ve been thinking of cutting things out or spending less time in certain areas but it’s hard to say no!

    5. Hey….your wife might be unemployed…but doesn’t she spends her days to take care of your kids, cleaning the house and stuff? Doesn’t she cook and make everything ready for you? So, she definitely does something (if not many things). Do not hate housewives for not making money for you. My mom worked when I was a kid. Could you imagine how her kids felt when both parents were gone? But… I am not against working mommies. As long as they don’t neglect their family…go with it. I guess you are really a workaholic. It is okay, you just need to take some break several times during the year. Spend holiday abroad or in another state with the whole family. So, what you have done is worth it.

    6. Too much work is when you no longer have the time for your family. Just like what you said here, the idea of losing your wife and kids hurts more. So you got your answer right there buddy. Family always comes first. At least now you have an idea of what are the least and most important things in your life. I wish you well.

    7. Jason 😀 I think it’s wonderful that you want make your family the priority. Makes me think of the song ‘Cats in the Cradle’ – sad state of affairs. Keep telling yourself that you’re doing it for them, make that a goal – spending time with and being closer to your family. If that cash gets too heavy in the meanwhile, though, always feel free to throw some my way!

    8. Maybe just post half as much for the next 3 months and see how it goes Jason? Hope you can find that balance you are looking for.

      After 2-3 years of 70 hour weeks, I burned out. But I still worked 50-60 hour weeks for the next 10 years.

      S

    9. Tough decision. Looks like I am heading toward the same problem.

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