Things are going well here, and the kennel is doing well for its first few months, but things are overwhelming. If you want to know the life of a new business owner (especially one who's training for a marathon), let me give you a few bullet points.
- You will never get to eat at home. I'll be honest, I got so sick of eating out that I even started telling friends that if they wanted to board their dogs with me, they could trade a few nights for a few home-cooked meals. Eating out isn't necessarily bad, but when all your meals are some sort of fast food, it gets old (and expensive) fast. Even on the nights when we may have had time to cook, you won't have any groceries, so the combined time of grocery shopping and cooking just isn't worth it. Hans and I have started to get into a bit of a groove, so we're eating out less. Our wallets and our waist lines are grateful.
- Sleep is a think of the past. If I'm lucky, some nights I'll get as much as 7 hours of sleep. That's if I'm really lucky. It's not at all unusual for me to only have 4 or 5 hours, and I'm not exactly high-functioning at this point. Often, these short-sleep days stem from nights at the kennel followed by early morning runs, so the runs leave me a little energized. On mornings when I don't run, I often feel tired and cranky.
- Forget about social activities. There's a concert you want to go to? Forget it. A friend is having a party? No way. You want to go out to the movies? Not an option. On days / nights where you might have the time (and possibly even the money) for these extra-curricular activities, you most certainly will not have the energy. Your life will consist of working, talking about work, thinking about work, and trying to escape from work.
- You learn what and who is really important to you, and you make time for it. Going to the movies is not important to me, but spending time with my best friend is. I could care less about parties, but my running is what keeps me sane most days. I am willing to sacrifice sleep and even a home-cooked meal so I can make sure I take time out for these important things. My health and well-being are also important, so I am learning how to give up some of my time at the kennel for more rest and time with family. This means letting go of some things and trusting my employees. It's like leaving my child, and this is not easy by any means.
I hope life is treating all of you well. If it isn't, kick it in the ass!