One of the key reasons why people leave corporate employment to start their own businesses is to have control of their schedules, often for the first time in their lives. Not having to be in the office at 8:00 am each morning and not having to ask for vacation days are definite perks of entrepreneurship; they reel employees in to the dream every day.
In reality, new small business owners quickly realize that they have to work 40, 50, or even 60 hours a week, especially in the first years of business. They escaped the rat race in hopes of working less, but working the idyllic 8 hours a day becomes elusive in the early days of business ownership. Entrepreneurs love working for themselves, but finding work-life balance is one of their biggest struggles.
Work-Life Balance Isn’t Straightforward
Achieving “work-life balance” is easier said than done – it’s not straightforward. The typical entrepreneur is deeply immersed in the day-to-day activities of their business; the microbusiness owner is more than the president or CEO, he or she has to wear every hat from supply manager to finance director to chief marketing officer. The long hours involved in running a company make managing a business and one’s personal life daunting – a real balancing act.
When business owners fall victim to the common pitfalls of business ownership, like working round-the-clock, they can feel like a slave to their business, and this goes against the key motivations of business ownership – freedom, control and flexibility. In effect, a large percentage of business owners feel:
- They work way too much.
- They don’t spend enough time with their families.
- They would rather be working 40 hours a week.
- Only they can handle certain tasks and it’s difficult to delegate to others.
If business owners can’t carve time out for their family and friends, their health, personal lives and businesses can suffer. And, if they don’t take care of themselves, everything else will eventually be out of whack. Being overworked is unhealthy; unchecked it can lead to health and relationship problems, and most of us can agree that nothing matters more than our families and our health.
If you’re working 10 or 12-hour days, 6 or 7 days a week, perhaps your business is running you and it’s time to take your life back – that’s what Richard Branson did. In his blog, Richard Branson said this about work-life balance: “Having a busy career, doesn’t mean that you can’t live your life to the fullest. Prioritize time with your loved ones and put it in your work calendar as you would a meeting.” Not bad advice!
It’s All About Establishing Boundaries
If you’re thinking, “Yes, that’s me. I’m overworked!” recognizing the problem is the first step to finding a solution. The second step is to establish boundaries. Why? Because, all business owners have to learn to create personal space; no one else is going to do it for them. If you want to take your life back, follow the below advice and you’ll be on the road to achieving work-life balance in no time!
- Once you’re aware of the problem make a plan for striking a better balance between your personal and professional life.
- Learn to delegate – this is HUGE. You have to let go of the reins to have more time for yourself.
- Outsource tedious, non-revenue generating tasks, like social media, web maintenance, payroll, and administrative work. This will help free up a lot of your time.
- Streamline your business so it’s more efficient.
- Stay organized in your business and prioritize tasks.
- Don’t let your life be ruled by your phone. If you take your phone everywhere and answer emails and calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, it’s time to create some distance between you and your phone.
- It may sound crazy, but nature can be very therapeutic. Get out and do what you love whether it’s fly fishing, hiking, camping, or even surfing.
- Create more time with family without electronics. Have at least one meal a day with your loved ones in an “electronic-free zone.” Cook together. Sit down and eat together without looking at your phones.
- Don’t run your business alone. Ask for help from a business coach!
When it comes to running a business, it’s exhausting. Every business owner needs help. It takes more than one person to run a successful business – it takes a community. Most business owners admit that without the support of their “village,” they’d be completely lost.
What about your team, your village? Is it non-existent or lacking? At AdviCoach, we understand that small business owners struggle with work-life balance. Our coaches can help you identify your business and lifestyle goals. We’ll help you implement strategic solutions so you can create a well-oiled machine that will run seamlessly while you actually step away to have fun with family and friends. After all, aren’t those some of the reasons you got into business in the first place? To have more scheduling flexibility and fun?
Can a business coach help you achieve the sought-after work-life balance? To find out, don’t hesitate to give us a call today.