WORK + LIFE
Press this button to restore life settings.
I have pressed this button twice so far. The first time was in 2004, when I was a professional soldier in the German army. Professional soldier is a status similar to a civil servant. And the best thing about this is that you are financially secure for the rest of your life.
Reset. Refocus. Restart.
But money is not everything in life.
I was completely unchallenged with my job and dead unhappy, which is why I pushed that reset button to change something in my life. So I switched from the 100% secure job with the government to the 100% risky job in entrepreneurship, because I felt more challenged… by the motto “If I do a lot, I get a lot, and if I do nothing, I get nothing.”
The second time the reset button had to be pressed was in 2013.
After I applied in 2004 to change my service in the army from professional soldier to temporary soldier, I left the Bundeswehr in 2006 to become self-employed. My wife was already self-employed with her company since 2000. In 2010 we decided to merge our two small companies into one. I was so caught up in the role of self-employment, that I didn’t notice a lot of things. Following the typical German way of thinking “higher-faster-further” I focused on exceeding the sales and profit numbers from the previous year. It was not uncommon for our workdays to be 16 hours long. I didn’t notice the signals around me, until one day my wife fell down in our living room. I was traveling somewhere and was not aware of anything. No one knows how long she laid down in the room, before she regained consciousness. She had ignored the warning signals of her body for a long time, until her body said: “Girl, if you don’t want to hear, you have to feel! Her doctor diagnosed her with burn-out and advised her not to do anything for half a year. But how could that work if you are self-employed?
So, we took a five-week break on a lonely beach
in Tanzania and had endless time to think about our lives and to rack our brains about the meaning of life in general. So we asked ourselves why we started our own business and gave ourselves the answer, because we wanted to have a better life. Did we have a better life? No. So we pressed the button for the second time and turned everything around again. From 10 employees we are now 1.5 and “higher-faster-further” we have put to rest and now allow ourselves more time off each year, we do what we enjoy and don’t let others stress us out.
However, it was a hard road
to come to these realisations, but we are glad that we did it.
They are totally simple,
but many do not see them. It’s like the forest and the trees😉😂.
Lesson Nr. 1:
You only have this one life, so fill it with as many positive things as you can. It’s your life and not the life of your customers, your co-workers or your neighbors. Your heart not only serves to supply your body with blood, it also directs you to paths you should take. Your mind is also a guide, but unlike your heart, it’s stupid.
Lesson Nr. 2:
At the end of your life there comes death and you can’t take anything with you.
Change your perspective, look at a car as a commodity that gets you from A to B and not as a status symbol. If a stressless couch in your living room is important to you, it is only because you feel comfortable sitting or lying on it, but not to impress your guests.
Ask yourself the serious question of how much money you need to live happily and how much you value free time.
Don’t look at quitting or downsizing your business as a defeat, but as a new challenge.
Lesson Nr. 3:
When one door closes behind you, at least two others open afterwards.
So, you shouldn’t be afraid to quit something just because you haven’t found something new yet.
We flew to Tanzania in March 2020, therefore, in the Corona time again at our “life saver beach” and wanted to return in April. Our bank balances were, as always at this time of year, far down, the bank statement consisted of onion paper, speak it brought tears when you looked at it 😂😎.
The airlines canceled the flights, Tanzania closed its airspace a little later and Tanzania (mainland) was not included in the political retrieval program.
We arrived back home two months late.
We also thought at first that the door was flying shut behind us and we would not find a door to open.
But hey, it was the most awesome time of our lives and today we are better off than before we left. 😊😎