When I was employed, I worked in a shared office. My supervisor used to make a certain remark every so often:
Nthanda you are the hardest working person in this room, but you know what the problem is? You are always working on your own things, not company work.
He wasn’t wrong, and I guess that is one of the many reasons I had to leave – I was very passionate about other things. As principle, I would make sure I do the work which was delegated to me very quickly, so I could have time to do the things I was really passionate about. I would spend my hours writing my blog, and editing YouTube videos – the things I loved doing more.
I remember having a very hearty talk with my dad when I wanted to leave my job – expressing how much I hated my job (not the work itself, just the idea of working in a field I had zero passion for), and wanting to pursue the things which set my soul on fire. My dad wanted stability for me, so he wasn’t most pleased, but he allowed me to leave.
So here I am, 11 months into my fulltime entrepreneurial journey, knowing I can manage to count the actual number of hours I have spent sleeping in this year. This month was in particular the hardest, because we had to launch two projects in two very separate disciplines (music and education), and I am very-detail oriented.
I have been the project manager on the Music In Africa / Music 4 Malawi Live – Kwathu Upgrade project, while also starting our second phase of the Digital Malawi project. I had to juggle creative production, and setting up a second hub plus community engagement. I am as amazed as you, that I am still holding it together.
It has been hard in many ways, setting up brick and mortar businesses. I at a point had to send my staff on a 2 week unpaid leave because I could not afford to pay them, but it was 2 weeks out of 10 months, so even when I do beat myself up about that ‘failure’, I have kind of been alright.
I mentioned I have not been sleeping. It’s not because business is hard. I mean, business IS hard, but I will be dishonest to declare that as the reason for the lack of my sleep.
See, I am obsessed with what I do. Lately, I realised I actually dream about my business, and solve real life situations in my sleep. I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, and open my laptop to start working.
I often lose track of time, and before I know it, it’s 2am and I have been busy working on a website /pitch /proposal. I do not have a sense of time when it comes to my business(es).
The downside of loving what you do – is that you love it. You will do anything for it. You will work 14hr days for it. You will burnout for it. You will invest every single penny for it. You will give your life to this work. You might not even have time for anything else, because of this love.
I don’t even have a love life anymore. What is even that? I giggle often when I think of it because I cannot believe I became one of the people who are married to their career (in case you are curious, I am choosing this career over humans any day, nice as humans may be). It’s not even from a bitter “I hate love” point. Love is still as wonderful as ever, I just don’t have the bandwidth (that I used to have) to be emotionally invested in anything/anyone.
I have actually had a salary since February, but I have invested 100+% of it, because I wanted this business to work. I have never even felt a pinch, cause I love this work.
It gets worse cause the more things work out, the more I want to invest and work for it. So here I am. It is 2247HRS. I am still working. I was creating the B2B website. it looks stunning, so naturally, i want to continue working on it. But I have to leave for Mangochi at 0800HRS tomorrow, and must make time to rest. Nthangwanika got here with a bottle of champagne. She said we are celebrating the launch of the Mangochi hub before I leave for Mangochi. That’s another thing – you forget to take moments to celebrate all that is happening around you.
But this is not a ranting post. I know it sound like it is, but I am grateful I get to do something I love for a living. I am grateful I get to live and breathe this work, and I hope in my heart I don’t burn out again. I will try to rest, and do my best not to burn out.
Did you know pre-fulltime entrepreneurship, I was actually an IG baddie? Gosh. I miss my IG so much. I miss this blog too often, but I just do not have the time for content creation. I have at least 3 travel vlogs that are yet to see the light of day. I hope they do get the chance to.
And in loving what you do, you get other people to love what you do with you, and that is the biggest blessing of all. Even on the days they are doing little to nothing, I am just grateful to have my team and tribe around me, knowing I am not in this alone.
Let me take this moment to introduce you to the wonderful few who get to lose this mind with me:
All my love,
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