Step off the hamster wheel


Recently, I was featured alongside my husband, Ian Locke, in a Wiltshire Business article focussing on our independent separations from corporate life to run coaching businesses; me business life coaching and Ian personal training and nutrition.

The headline was, perhaps inevitably, “jumping off the corporate hamster wheel”.

No offence to my corporate clients but it is how a lot of us who move to running our own businesses feel.  we want control over our own destiny, choice over how and when we do things.


However, I had a couple of conversations recently with people who are running their own businesses, following their own plans and goals but who were struggling to keep up with the demands of their businesses.  They were overwhelmed, frustrated, wondering what they were doing it all for…


Hello?  Haven’t these people just created another hamster wheel, jumped on and started sprinting for all they are worth?  In business we sometimes feel we have to do everything at the same time, take on and implement all the advice we’ve been given and do it all ourselves.  We just want to make our businesses work and in so doing, we lose clarity and focus and tire ourselves out instead.  And unlike in corporate life, we do all this on our own.

The good news is that you have a choice.  This is not corporate life so you have more power to change your approach.  You can:

  • Call in reinforcements and get some much needed specialist expert help so you can work smarter and on the things which get most results
  • Call your business to heel by setting priorities and going back to your values and the reason you set up the business in the first place


“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing; the next best thing you can do is the wrong thing, the worst thing you can do is nothing” – Theodore Roosevelt


Remember that everything you are doing today is the result of a decision so if you don’t like the consequences of a decision, make a different decision!  You can shape and reshape your plans and business model until it works for you.  I had a mini meltdown the other day (I am prone to these when for a little while I wondered what I was doing, and why, and began doubting the quality of my decisions.  I started to panic but I was liberated from those feelings when I remembered that at any time I can decide to do things differently, I can even make a U-turn if I like or take a completely different approach.  It is entirely up to me – so long as I make those changes for the right reasons.  When I say “right reasons” I mean that I have given it my best shot and held the faith.  I have looked at my results and weighed up the options.  I have consulted others.  I haven’t run away in a moment of panic or frustration because it is difficult or outside my comfort zone.


“Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks” – Warren Buffett


Just reminding myself that I had this power led to instant relaxation, greater clarity and most importantly, the ability to enjoy my business again.  That’s what we all want, right?

Do get in touch with me if you need fresh perspective on your life in business.


A clarity call costs nothing but could help you to shape a working life that brings out the best in you so you can give your best to your business. Call me on 07990 514537.

For more information on face to face and on-line personal training, do feel free to call Ian Locke on 07900 692014,





  1. Martin Jarvis

    Some sound advice there. I think this is one of the things that new entrepreneurs often fail to anticipate when moving from a corporate environment. Business owners do have the power to change things, but it’s a difficult call to make when taking the pressure off may prevent winning that new client or have an adverse impact on your turnover… possibly just pushing the problem further down the road.

    Often corporate employees also have the option to take a step back and consider their options, and most likely they will still earn the same that week as the week before.

    • Shirley

      Thanks Martin. As you rightly point out, the consequences for corporate employees are very different. Sometimes, just recognising that you have a choice is enough to enable you to feel you are in control. Just knowing you could do things differently, if you chose to, can make a big difference to your outlook.

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