How can business owners create a work-life balance?
Running a business and balancing family life along with other life commitments isn't easy! Is it even possible? I would love to hear others' take on this topic.
Balance and having a life. Well it's business and it depends on what you want from it and what you are able to put into it to get what you want from it.
- Income - Some people want to get the business to a certain level of income so they can then sit back a little and watch it go beyond that with ease, hard work first, enjoy later.
- Life - What does that mean to you? sit back relax and let others do the work, perhaps you tweak the strategic plan occasionally... That's nice achieving that is another thing. Plan out what it would look like and then figure out how to do that.
- Timeout - Take a half day off twice a week, and go well away from the business, tell others you are going to a meeting, lie if you have to... and resist the temptation to make up for that time on the weekend. You will soon find you can get most of the things done as if you were still at work.
The first thing to do is to ahve a clear picture/understanding in your own mind of what that actually is.
What does it look like, the balance. What would you be doing, how would you be feeling?
The more tangible you can make it, the easier it will be to create some baseline data and then actually determine what you need to do more of or less of to establish balance.
To use the words in an analogy of balance; what are the leverage points, what is the fulcrum point?
I have a 5 step simple framework that I am happy to share if you would like.
what if you are not suppose to ... just yet?
Imagine if you decide to align WHY you do your business with your life values.... then the energy you put inot your business is worthwhile.
If it's a case of not seeing return on your time investment yet - then perhaps it is skills based, and the good news is SKILLS can be learnt.
However I wonder if your question highlights one of the biggest donwfalls of business owners.... their THINKING!
First comes thought, then comes words, then comes action.
Your brain and self-talk underpins the beahviour that follows
I recokmend you get clear on your PURPOSE, step out a paln to achieve it then fill the gaps with skills or thinking - which one is it that you notice you need the most help with?
And that's where to close the gap.
You work doing something you love so you can truly 'live.'
Often the issue is believing that having is business is something different to having a life. Running a business is part of your overall life. Going to work is part of your life. It is all part of living. The question is always then how much do you want to dedicate to the working part of your life and how much to other things. What is it that you want to achieve in your life? Maybe that might help in working out what the balance may look like.
Why do you see the two as opposingly different that you need to balance both? What if you sought work-life integration? Do you love the business you have and why it does what it does for who it does it for?
I think one of the first things to remember is balance doesn’t mean 50/50, at least not on a daily basis. You need to set boundaries so you can easily see when the balance needs to be recalibrated.
Also, you will likely need to augment your business so everything isn’t 100% reliant on you. That means finding consultants or freelancers that can take on some of the workload that isn’t essential for you to perform yourself. These could range from administrative tasks to keeping track of financials. Doing everything yourself will burn you out and isn’t really sustainable, especially as your business starts to grow.
Find an accountability partner who can call you out when your balance is outside of the boundaries you’ve set for yourself.
Thanks everyone. Great tips here. Work is part of life and it's important to have some sort of balance. I agree with @Jef Lippiatt that you need to make sure the business isn't 100% reliant on you. As a business owner you can't be spending your time on the little things. Outsource what you can to free up your time so you can focus on the big picture and grow your business. Some good tips in this article.