By Susan Guillory

We’ve got it all, right? We set our own hours, act as our own bosses, and do what we love. But does that mean we’re happy as entrepreneurs?

It occurs to me that, from the outside, others look at our world and automatically assume that we are happy. They’re jealous, after all. How great is it to not have a dictator for a boss? To work in your pjs?

And yet, what these people don’t see is that there are long hours at work, clients who drag their feet to pay us, and mounting expenses. Certainly entrepreneurship isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. Answer the questions below to find out if you are really a happy entrepreneur.

Pose the Question to Yourself

As I’m writing this, I ask myself: Am I a happy entrepreneur? For the most part, yes. But there are days when it’s all I can do to sit still and write an article. Days where I’d rather be anywhere than at my desk. I think accepting that there are ups and downs in entrepreneurship is the key to long-term happiness.

If you can’t yet answer the question, here are a few more to get the wheels churning.

When I Wake Up, Am I Excited About My Day?

In general, I’d say you shouldn’t dread your day at work. You might not be leaping out of bed to get to the office (or maybe you are), but you should have at least a little heart flutter at what the day might entail. For me, I love that every day is different and unpredictable.

Do I Enjoy My Customers?

When you started your business, you did so to help Customer Segment A with Problem B. Probably at the start, you were delighted to do so. But are you still? Does helping your customers still float your boat? Or do you come to resent them? I’m lucky to have some really amazing clients that are genuinely a joy to work with. That’s not always the case.

Am I Still Doing What I Love?

There’s that term you hear floating about the Internet: “Do what you love.” And certainly, that’s a good aim for small business owners. But consider: Do you still feel that you’re doing what you love, or has that love waned?

If Your Answers Lead to “No”

If, after addressing these questions, you realize that maybe you’re not as happy an entrepreneur as you’d like to be, I encourage you to find your way back.

Simply taking a break could be all it takes to recharge your battery and get you back on track. If that doesn’t do it, consider hiring help so you can focus on the aspects of your business that you enjoy most. And if that still doesn’t cut it, consider whether you even want to continue to run this business. It may be time for a complete shift in direction. Selling or closing your business might be your best course of action.

You deserve happiness. And while it may not come every single day, you need to ensure that your path is a joyful one. If it’s not, find what brings satisfaction.