Chances are, you’ve heard of this “work-life balance.” Maybe you scoffed at the idea. As an entrepreneur, this seems impossible to achieve. There’s just too much to do, in work and in life.
What if I told you it didn’t have to be this way? As an entrepreneur, you can create a work-life balance. Ask yourself, how many hours a week, day and year would you want to work? Where do you fit into this business? Where does this business fit into your life?
Here are some big ideas you can implement as an entrepreneur to create a work-life balance.
Looking after yourself
Entrepreneurs tend to put their physical and mental health on the back burner to a long list of urgent priorities. The ironic thing is that without your health, all the other “priorities” quickly become irrelevant.
Business owners who have spent the better part of their lives working to increase their financial wealth at the expense of their health, turn around and spend their accrued wealth to heal their bodies from the damaging effects of stress and neglect of their fundamental needs. Healthy business owners have more energy, are more focused and make better business decisions. By looking after your health, you will automatically create a better work-life balance.
How can you make health a priority in your business?
Creating personal reward
It’s not enough to “show a profit” on the books at the end of the year if “you”, the business owner, were not well compensated for your efforts. At the very least, you need to be getting something of personal value as a reward for all your hard work. It is all too common to be paid less than market wage or no wage at all when you own a business or, even worse, to never have meaningful time off.
Personal reward creates a work-life balance because it makes you feel fulfilled by what you are doing. As a business owner, these rewards may be owning the car of your dreams or taking annual vacations with your family. The reality is you can only go so long without getting paid or having time off. Your company is stronger when you are happy, healthy and well-compensated for your efforts.
Scheduling personal time
Creating work-life balance as an entrepreneur can be achieved by staying on top of your schedule. Your work schedule needs boundaries. When are you willing to work and when are you not?
Don’t overbook. Be aggressive about protecting your calendar and your time. You can even schedule small mental breaks. Maybe you take a twenty-minute walk at lunch to clear your head. Or take some time to joke and goof off with your team. Simple mental breaks make a huge difference in a workday. You need time to rest or your day could quickly turn from good to “I don’t love this anymore” bad.
Creating your work schedule also means scheduling vacations— real vacations.
How much vacation time do you want next year? If you want to have two weeks off in August and another two weeks at Christmas, start planning now. You can implement systems so your business runs independently of you during your vacation.
Working solo? Even you can plan to have time away. Let your customers know well in advance that, for example, you are taking the month of August off. I do it; you can do it too! Plan the times you work hard and the times you rest.
At the very least, give yourself the same amount of vacation time that you would’ve got as someone else’s employee. Book your time off now, and start putting systems in place so that you can get away. Vacation is essential to work-life balance.
Delegating is the key to work-life balance! If you feel like your business can’t function without you there, then you can focus on building strong delegation and training systems.
You need to stop being your top employee—top seller, top manager, top CEO, whatever it is. If you can do it, that means someone else can do it too.
When you train your employees, you’ll find that they have respect, care and talent to contribute to what you so brilliantly created. And by delegating tasks to them, you won’t have to be working all hours of the day. Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should.
Work-life balance as an entrepreneur
All business owners have felt the enormous pressure that comes along with the responsibilities of owning a company. Over time, this pressure often turns into feelings of anxiety, fear, and doubt, which take a toll on your physical and emotional health.
To arrive at a place where you feel free to enjoy life and control your schedule requires structure. You are already working hard, so put yourself first on your list and work hard for yourself. Think of what you need to be healthy and happy.
Until next time, enjoy your Entrepreneurial Journey!