Why is it You Only Work Hard for Others and Not for Yourself?

Many of us have a tendency to pour out our time and energy on other people and their projects while neglecting our own. We just don’t have the energy or desire to show that much enthusiasm to our own endeavors. It can be a damaging cycle if we let it, especially as an entrepreneur.

When you are dealing with a solo entrepreneurial enterprise, you are the boss. You are also likely to be the only one you can depend on to get a job done or finish a task. So why would you push your own goals to the side to help out someone else? Why work hard for others and treat your own duties with a lackluster and uninspired attitude?

Fear of Failure

Failure is real and quite often we don’t even realize it’s a source for our lack of effort with our own goals and ambitions in business. If we fail to handle business correctly, the whole entrepreneurial venture could come crashing down around us.

The truth is, failure is always going to be lurking around the corner. A single decision could make or break your company. Fear of failure can be crippling and dramatically stunt the growth of your business. You’ve got to put in the work for your own company if you want to reap the rewards.

Constantly avoiding failure by devoting your time and energy to others just prolongs the inevitable. Failing isn’t all that bad. Most successful people fail before they achieve success. So be prepared to fail! Simply get back up, dust yourself off, and try again. Most solo entrepreneurs will tell you, this isn’t their first fall, and they’ve had to skin their knees a few times before they got it right.


We are social creatures. We like to get little pats on the back and hear how good we are doing. We feed off positive feedback and encouragement. It fuels the fire and keeps us pushing forward. It’s addictive, and it’s also a dangerous pattern to get sucked into if you’re trying to build a business on your own.

When you’re working for yourself, you aren’t going to get that constant validation from others, and nobody really cares if you managed to mark off all the things on your to-do list this week. However, you should care. Congratulate yourself on a job well done!


Overwhelm plagues many entrepreneurs. Starting and maintaining a successful business takes a toll. You are human resources. You are the repair department. You are the technical analyst, the chief financial officer, the president, accountant and receptionist. It’s all on you and it can be overwhelming!

It’s why we sometimes choose to put our own duties on the backburner and thrust ourselves into something for someone else.

Here’s the deal: If you need a break, take it. The object isn’t to work yourself into an early grave. You are trying to effectively run a business and that takes hard work. Do the work, but take care of yourself so you are able to maintain that same gusto you had in the beginning.


If you’re working on a project for someone else, you aren’t working on your own., and the reason might be as simple as accountability. You have to hold yourself accountable for the failures and successes of your own business. Sometimes that’s a difficult pill to swallow, especially if things aren’t going in your favor.

It’s scary but it’s worth it. Learn from your experiences and believe that resilience and hard work get results.

Joy Overlooked

When you started your business, you were likely incredibly excited and couldn’t wait to get started. You put in your heart and soul and felt great pride as things started coming together. Then, all the sudden, your delight and enthusiasm dissipated. You would rather be helping someone else out on a task than working toward your own goals and dreams.

If this is the case, it’s time to rediscover your joy. You are in the middle of things, and you can’t see all the aspects. You are overlooking the reasons you started your business. You need to go back to the beginning, before you ventured out as a solo entrepreneur, and remember what sparked your initial desire to run your own business.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s perfectly fine to help others. In fact, it’s actually beneficial. You form professional relationships with others and one day when you need a hand, you’ve got plenty of volunteers at your disposal.

Just be careful not to sacrifice the health of your business while you’re out there helping your peers. Chances are, you’re avoiding something deeper in your own business which needs to be addressed and remedied.

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