The Tightrope of Getting the Entrepreneurial Balance Right
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Becoming in charge of a business is one of the most exciting things we can ever do. There is that sense of the unknown but also the reality that we are embracing a passion of ours and bringing it to the masses. But it’s amazing how many people seldom look beyond this initial wave of excitement. After the “honeymoon” period is over, the real challenge begins. And this can throw a lot of issues under the spotlight, not least when it comes to getting the balance right. A lot of entrepreneurs talk about that all-important work-life balance, however, how can we incorporate the balance into our lives through our entrepreneurial dealings, personal life, and, more importantly, our mindset?
Make a Lifestyle More Important Within Your Business
People focus on getting growth and funding, which means that they end up spending 80+ hours a week on their business. And as great as these things are, it is a sure-fire shortcut to burnout. If you start to make lifestyle the most important factor within your business, you can grow with that approach in mind.
One of the best ways to do this is to look at the type of business you want to run. People that are just starting out can look at the many businesses for sale and find something that truly aligns with their lifestyle. When you look at it like this, you start to grow with that principle, and you will be less stressed as a result.
Learn Something New Away from Your Business
So many of us think that we have to be by our computer or phone, and if we’re not within arm’s reach of it, we get twitchy. Sometimes, we have to force ourselves to stay away from our computer, but the best way to do it is by making the switch to something equally as productive, yet different to the business.
There are many things you can do, such as learning a language or taking music lessons. When you start building a schedule where two evenings a week are dedicated to your learning, and if you’ve already invested money in learning these things, you will be more dedicated. There’s no limit to what you can achieve, and also, it’s important to remember that there is plenty of carryover into other parts of our lives, even something as different as karate lessons or learning to play the piano.
Because when you start to use your body and brain in different ways it teaches you the value of looking at a task differently. You can get stuck in work mode, and this means you’ll end up thinking about things with a very streamlined approach, but if you start to do other things that force you to be creative or step out of your comfort zone, you will naturally bring this into other areas of your life.
Scheduling Your Life as Well as Your Work
One of the best things entrepreneurs do is to schedule everything. When you schedule those times to recharge, such as exercise, a social function, or even a good old-fashioned nap, you will have something to look forward to, but it will also give you the motivation to manage all of your time appropriately. When we start to schedule activities in our lives, we look forward to them, but we also know what we will be doing a week from now or a month from now.
As any entrepreneur will tell you, it is important to have a schedule in place, and even if you don’t like the idea of scheduling a certain activity, you can just leave the space blank in your calendar so you can do what you want, but only as long as you set yourself the rule that you do not check your phone or emails during this time!
Understand What Fuels You
If you struggle to get the balance right, you have to look at what rejuvenates you. If you are working up to 80 hours a week, this is a lot to deal with, and so you have to ask yourself what you are using for fuel. You will need to have healthy snacks to reduce your cravings and keep you going, but you also need to look at the quality of your sleep.
If you are also exercising, you could be doing too much. Exercise is important but it shouldn’t be of the intense type every single week. If you are doing too much, you’ll start to burn out, and this will make everything feel worse. When in doubt, prioritise recovery! Recovery will involve nutrition, sleep, and stretching. If you are sitting at your desk all day, you’ve got to make sure you are more flexible, this will encourage blood flow and you will feel fresh up, so you can tackle tasks with more vigour.
In business, the art of delegating can take some time to learn, especially if you do not have employees. But you can be creative and start to delegate more of your life duties. When you shop online or ask for a bit more help from your partner, this will mean that you can get the work you need to do completed, but you’ll have more time to spend with your significant other when you are at home.
Putting Yourself First
As an entrepreneur, you need to prioritise your abilities to recover. If you are not putting yourself first, you are not giving your best to any part of your life. In business, we can start to delegate, but this is where potentially having a business partner could be invaluable. However, you must remember that if you are going into business with someone else, no one should feel like they are bearing the brunt, or taking the whole weight of the company. Everybody has to give their best to the business, but they also need to address when they are not functioning at their optimum. There is nothing wrong with prioritising yourself if you feel you’ve given your all for so long.