Oh boy, this is such a great subject. It’s touchy and it crosses into the realm of boundary issues. I’ll give you my personal take.
I probably work more than I should. I must, if it’s available, I will continue until I reach my “goals”, which I’m sure will continue to grow. I am at the age of “acquiring” and that will soon begin to slow with time, I’m sure. That said, with the long weeks, plenty of nights working, and managing of personal computers and internet systems, like this blog, when I have time to clock out, sit free, I need to be free. Family events, hanging out with friends, making new relationships, it’s all the same.
The random conversation about phones come up, I’ve seen and had them thousands of times. The conversations about new laptops or tablets, new websites hitting the market, I spend a lot of time in this world. So, for some reason, when I chalk and leverage time for those that are close, I like to make it a point to shut off from all the work around me. The unfortunate circumstance, is that my work is many other peoples play, so there are many natural topics of discussion.
I’ve heard many times of peoples passions to start a farm, raise cow, chickens, pigs, grow vegetables, fruits, and all the like. As soon as you begin to sell what you harvest, it becomes a job. 15 years ago when I discovered my passion also has a demand, a dollar value for hour of service, my passion turned from love, to business.
I personally communicate this same story to many of my friends and family. It is very difficult. Many friends and family have common issues and are looking for the best and easiest solutions in the computer, internet, and mobile world. When that request comes in, it feels as if I immediately turn into job mode. I begin calculating the time spent, compared to the rate I would charge, and begin seeing free money given away. It’s sick, why do I think that way? It’s because that’s my job. And that is why I keep my personal life completely separated from my business life.
No need for blurry lines, work to make a living and perform non-work favors to build personal relationships.