Maintaining a healthy lifestyle while founding and running a business can be far more difficult than it seems. Culturally we are given a picture of business ownership as self-determining, flexible and lucrative, and while it can be all of those things and more, it is also stressful, time consuming and difficult. Many business owners start their own businesses in order to take control of their time and their life, only to see their businesses become their life. While this is natural and sometimes necessary (especially in crucial periods and busy times) it is equally important to maintain balance to ensure you don’t burn out.
Maintaining a healthy balance
Life cannot be all work and no play. While the early stages of a new business are incredibly demanding and will require sacrifices, it is still important to set aside time for rest and relaxation, for family, for leisure and for pursuing hobbies. While in times of stress these activities might feel wasteful and may produce anxiety, it’s vital that business owners learn to put down the tools and let go on a regular basis. Of course, this is easier said than done.
The best way to ensure that you are maintaining a healthy balance in your life is to manage your time effectively. This means understanding how long work tasks will take and setting aside ample time to do those tasks, without procrastinating. This allows you to also set aside time for a family dinner or a night out with friends, safe in the knowledge that sufficient work time has already been allocated. Failing to create an effective time management system will result in either overwork leading to stress, or procrastination leading to low productivity. In the long run, both can be fatal to your business.
Seeing the big picture
At SavvySME we are dedicated to providing the knowledge and connections necessary to help your business succeed, but we also understand that a successful business is a means to an end. Owning your own successful business makes you financially independent and self-determining, allowing you to take advantage of everything the world has to offer outside of work. As an employee you are confined to set working hours, you have a fixed amount of holiday and you are often not in control of your working arrangement. As a business owner, the only consideration is practicality. As long as you can deliver your products and services and manage your business effectively, nothing else matters. Business owners are often able to work from home, or work remotely while travelling, which means they have more options when it comes to their lifestyle.
As a business owner, you are also in charge of delegation. While it will raise your costs and lower your bottom line, it is almost always possible to hire a member of staff or an outside contractor to take over responsibilities that have traditionally fallen on you. This has two positive effects - firstly, it allows you to take control of your lifestyle and use your business to empower you and enrich your life, and secondly, it allows you to focus on business development, networking and leadership, rather than getting bogged down in the nitty gritty of delivering your products and services.