The Webmaster Guilt Syndrome
By Sharon Davis
People don't like to talk about it, but it's time somebody did. Chances are, you or someone you care about suffers from it. It's Webmaster Guilt Syndrome, or WGS.
Why is it that so many webmasters feel guilty when they work? This is not true for "traditional" business owners. The shop owner who hangs out his shingle doesn't feel guilty when he works day and night for a year or more before turning a profit. In fact, it seems admirable.
But yet, when a webmaster has to peck away at the keyboard until all hours of the night, it's somehow different, shameful. It's peculiar, this web-guilt phenomena.
WGS manifests itself in many ways. Some of the more common symptoms include:
- Working between the hours of 11pm and 3am when other, normal people are sleeping.
- Overcompensating in other areas; refusing to use daycare for their children, frowning upon any type of convenience foods, frantic bursts of housekeeping in any spare moment.
- Rationalizing to your spouse or others (I'm sorry I've been at this so long, it's just that I'm installing this script...).
- An inability to succinctly describe what you do (I'm the Owner, Writer, Editor, Programmer, Web Designer, Advertising Manager for an online Telecommute and Home Business Website).
Not surprisingly, many online entrepreneurs also suffer from the "SuperMom/Dad Syndrome".
I imagine it often stems from the fact that many virtual business owners are drawn to web business out of a desire to be at home with their families. And therein lies the dilemma. Isn't the whole point of working from home to be able to spend quality time with the family? So when reality sets in, that is that starting and running a web business is just as demanding on your time and resources as many other businesses, we feel guilty.
So, what's a Webmaster to do? Well, being that the numbers of online business owners are growing as we speak, there's no shortage of peers to commiserate with. I have found great comfort, support and validation from my fellow webmasters.
The good news is that there is a cure. Symptoms almost completely disappear with the receipt of a paycheck.