Can You Really Separate Business from Personal When You’re Your Own Business?

For most of us, the line of demarcation between personal and professional gets fuzzy.  

This is especially true for those of us who pilot our own enterprise.  And our numbers are growing.  Technology and an evolving marketplace will only increase the ranks of self employed, solopreneur, small business operators.  

Why It’s Tough To Separate Biz & Personal

Businesses are started, managed, staffed, and patronized by people.  That makes business personal.  The more the business is yours, the more personal it becomes.  

While my business doesn’t define who I am, it’s very personal to me.  I started it at age 25.  I was paying off college and renting the loft in my buddy’s condo.  I had a total of $1,200 in revenue contracted for the rest of my life.  Today, here I am.  Yeah it’s personal.  I built this.   

Your business is personal to you too.  It’s difficult to separate yourself from your work when you created the work!  

Everyone struggles with the quandary of personalizing business.  Even in the movies.  

In You’ve Got Mail, Meg Ryan’s character, Kathleen Kelly, makes a valid point.  Her family owned bookstore is being shuttered.  Tom Hanks, playing the part of Kathleen’s competitor, tells her, “It was business, not personal.”  

To which Kathleen replies, “All that means is it wasn’t personal to you.  It was personal to me!” 

Want another cinematic example?  Look at The Godfather.  Whenever the Corleone family said, “It’s not personal, it’s strictly business,” they killed someone.  Actually, multiple people.  

When It’s Your Business, It IS Personal

Generally, your professional life and your home life walk in lockstep together.  When one is spinning out of control, they usually both spin out of control.  When one improves, they both improve.  Because humans can’t compartmentalize. 

Rather than stress yourself over this reality, embrace it.  Sync your personal and business lives.  Apply equal time and energy to make both thrive.  

It’s not bad that your business is personal to you.  Just make sure your business feeds your personal life in the same way your personal life nourishes your business.  You can’t truly separate the two anyway.  

Damian Mason is a businessman, agriculturist, author, and speaker.  He helps organizations and individuals Do Business Better. 

Angie Carel