Overcoming Work Addiction: Step 2 – Know the Signs

Godpreneurs fight their work addictions by drawing closer to God.

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My mother is a workaholic.  If you call the office at 11:30 at night, she’s likely to be there.  I guess the apples doesn’t fall far from the tree after all.

I’m not sure why my mom works so much.  She’s a government employee so it’s not like she makes overtime.  I’m still stumped.

But when I ask myself the same question, I started to discover some very…Ugly….Things about myself.

I noticed that I would stay at the office longer when my marriage was having problems.

I began to realize that the reason I would spend so much time at the gym was because it gave me an escape from my wife and problems in the business.  I’m not talking about an innocent weekly routine of going to the gym…No….I was fully soaked into CrossFit and the culture of competition and growth.

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If we entrepreneurs don’t watch out, we can easily convince ourselves that working more hours is necessary to bring more money home for vacations…And that going to the gym is needed for our health.  But if we’re not vigilant to the signs, we could easily fall into the same trap I fell in…They really became addictions.

And my addictions almost became fatal to my marriage.

So what’s an addiction?  Great question.

Some addictions that kill us are more obvious.  Tobacco, drunk driving, heroin overdose, etc.  But others are more silent and innocent, like eating too much that leads to diabetes and heart failure. These innocent addictions are bigger killers than the first obvious ones.  We tend to overlook these…Like I was overlooking work and exercise.

See, addictions are either

  1. Substance: alcohol, caffeine, weed, cocaine, prescription meds
  2. Process: work, exercise, gambling, shopping, pornography

This blog specifically focuses on work addiction, a process.

The medical diagnosis of a work addition is

  • Failing duties at home
  • Continuing despite physical harm
  • A frequent craving and strong desire to work more or start new projects
  • Frequent social or relationship problems
  • Need to put in even more hours or start more businesses to get the same effect
  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Starting more businesses or spending more time on a business than intended
  • Failed effort at stopping to work so much or start more businesses
  • Significant amount of time, energy, and thought regarding your business
  • Time spent working in or on your business is more than time spent on social or fun activities.
  • Continuing to start new projects or businesses despite harmful consequences

Do you see any of the symptoms above in you or a business friend?

On a scale of 0-10, what do you rank?

I’m like an 8….I mean, I wrote each bullet point which means I go through each point to one degree or another.

Simply put, the signs of entrepreneurs addiction is anything you do in your business that is harming you in some way and you can’t stop it.

The work addiction controls and harms you.  No one starts a business hoping it will take control over them.  Yet we often let this happen over time.

The Bible says

I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?

Romans 7:24 MSG

You’re not alone in your addiction.  Even Paul had his problems with sin.

Ask yourself: if your wife told you to be home by 5 pm everyday, does that thought stress you out?

It did for me…And that’s when I knew I was addicted.

Godpreneur Rule #73: Godpreneurs recognize their addictions and partner with God to fight them.

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