The Root Of Workaholism And Why It Is Never Tied To Wealth, A Happy Life Or A Dream Business

By: Sandi Krakowski


It's a topic that many people don't want to talk about.

Right up there with overeating, procrastination, money management and fitness…. many entrepreneurs really don't want to talk about the topic of workaholism, let alone that it is most likely one of the biggest addictions of it's kind that holds people back and is not linked to wealth.

Many wanna be business owners hold themselves back with the excuse that they don't want to be a workaholic, thinking if they don't work, they are working less. Silly thinking, I know. The same wanna be people spend all day on Facebook, Twitter, Google and other web pages blocking out the fact that they are not doing the things they need to for creating wealth so by definition they already are workaholics, they're just not making any money. Workaholism is linked to constant movement more than constant work.

Workaholism is never attached to wealth because the root of this epidemic is fear of loss.

People won't stop working because they fear they'll lose the one big break. They press forward when they know they should be resting because in their mind, that is what successful people do and they fear not being successful. Fear is a big root if not the primary one when it comes to being a workaholic.

I personally built a $4.5 million dollar company working 90+ hours per week. That means, that aside from sleeping occasionally, my mind was on my business more than it was on anything else. Many of you know the story, it did almost kill me, literally. And when I made a commitment to never do that again, my life and my business began to flourish. I didn't lose out on anything, actually, in under 30 hours per week I've built our current company past $ 4.5 million in 1/3 of the time and with far fewer headaches. We outsource the 100's of hours I used to work in my previous companies. So the work is still being done, it's just not being done by me. With 16 employees, the company is being held up by a TEAM working together, not Sandi doing it all. 

First things first- how do you stop being a workaholic. Well, it's critical to be aware that there is a problem and then take actionable steps to hold yourself accountable. But beyond just getting another planner, calendar, desk timer, assistant who reminds you to stop working, it's even more critical that we get past our root issues, and that is fear.

  • Do you fear missing out on that big contract?
  • Do you worry about letting that one big client go even though you know it's not a good fit?

Fear of loss and fear of missing it are a big component to workaholism. It's also a key ingredient of living a life without boundaries.

Living without boundaries never creates wealth. 

When we are willing to take phone calls from very successful people at 11:00 pm at night just because of who they are, we are lowering ourselves so that others can tear down our boundaries. If someone is truly respectful and successful they won't ask you to be available at any time that they have open so they can connect with you. I advise you to be flexible when a good client or conversation presents itself but that doesn't mean shrink back, be manipulated or do whatever someone ones. Boundaryless people need training, so respect yourself enough to give them some.

PARENTS- be an example to your KIDS that you are serious about saying, "NO!" to workaholism!! Here's my family with none other than Gary Vaynerchuk. What a blessing to have some time with him… and to see my kids as excited to see him as I was! If I was working 90 hours per week that wouldn't be the case. They wouldn't want to see or meet anyone associated with my company.

If you want to know if you are struggling with being a workaholic, just ask those who live with you. They won't lie.  And if you are very serious about finding out if you are ignoring your relationships at home, the best way to do so is to simply ask. 

Map out your most productive hours.

Don't accommodate bad habits. People who want to work through the night tend to be more creative but they also need to make sure they are sleeping and resting through the day. My husband tends to be nocturnal and I am a morning riser! He is the owl, I am the rooster! But in honor of our relationship and being a good example to our children, he doesn't work until 4:00 am and I don't get up at 3:00 am . Most nights I am in bed and asleep by 9:00 pm. I love to get up before 5:00 am. Alan tends to like to get some good work done between 10 pm- 1:00 am. But then he calls it quits. This is called having boundaries with our lifestyle. If we both didn't honor these time frames, we might not be able to work together. Alan still gets up before 8:00 am and I still go to bed before 10:30pm.  We manage it like a team.

Ask those who are around you when you seem to be in your best mood.

Learning to train your body WHEN it can and will work is a big ticket to overcoming workaholism. Work when your creative flow is best and you tend to be in your best mood!

Most workaholics have a massive amount of tension and anxiety they need to release. This is why a good intense cardio or weight lifting workout can help!  Both Alan and I work out! Not only does it keep us in great shape and attractive for each other, but it helps direct our differing energies so we are in harmony with each other.  

Overcoming workaholism can be very challenging. Some people need a mastermind group or a mentor… others need an intervention.

Here's a litmus test for you- do you feel panic and shaky when you say no?  Well let me tell you this, so do I. But then I settle into the fact that this is most likely a good sign that I am supposed to say no. I make sure I'm not saying no because of fear or some other form of regret. And I also test the waters to give myself the freedom I need to make great decisions. If someone can't wait 24 hours for an answer from me on something they are most likely not someone I want to do business with anyways. If someone can't honor my privacy and keeps calling my cell phone even though they know I run a very big business, they are definitely not someone I want to work with. It's a walk of faith, honestly. Time is the thing that heals the most. But taking those first few steps to be sure that fear doesn't' have a noose around your neck is the ticket.  

There are times, like when we are preparing for a big project or event that I have to work some longer hours. This is an issue of balance and budget. Just like learning to balance and budget our checking account. If the total sum is still going to be great for our family, it's a small sacrifice and no one minds at all. But if it becomes the norm, it's a sign that you might have a problem.  

Learning to breathe is a big key to wealth.

Learning to say NO to the good things so that you can do the BEST things is what you want to pursue.  

As a mentor and a coach I've seen people let go of workaholism in our coaching programs, say no to things that were robbing their time, work hard to get rid of the fear of loss and they ended up tripling their income with less hours and effort.  YOU are designed by God my friends for more! You are given a unique gift to serve the world with. If you never get past your own personal issues, you are unable to serve the people who need you. Ever.  So make a decision that it is NOT about you, your goals and your plans… it's about impacting the lives of others with the gifts you posses.

Workaholism is not defined by the days you work. I know people who are so prideful about the fact that they only work Mon-Friday. Whatever… I take a 1 hr nap almost everyday… have 1 full day off per week from coaching at least 3-4 times per month. Take a 3 day weekend every month… and I write on Sunday afternoons and enjoy my clients on FB. 😉  It has nothing to do with set days, set hours. 9-5 doesn't mean you work less than someone who works 4pm-1 am a few days per week. It means you operate best 9-5. A BIG ticket to ending workaholism is to stop looking where others fail and be real and honest with yourself. 🙂 

Do whatever it takes to get out of the workaholic mindset and into Champion mode!  

Come on over to my Facebook page right now!   Hanging out with OTHERS who are just saying, "NO!" to the 90 hour workweek is a huge first step. 

With love,
Sandi Krakowksi