The Work/Life Balance: Is it Possible?
Small Business expert Rieva Lesonsky shares her experience and insights on balancing the demands of home, family and work life.
Truthfully, I don’t believe that work/life balance is possible—especially for small business owners. And when you’re passionate about your business, if it’s more than just a paycheck, it’s easier to accept this and enjoy the ride.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advising you to ignore your life in order to grow your business. I do think it’s possible to achieve a level of work/life integration that will work for you, your business and your family. I know many of you struggle with this issue, I know I do. And indeed I’m still trying to integrate my business and personal life a little better.
Here are five tips that have helped me do this:
- Involve your family and friends. When you start your business make sure you talk to your family and friends and let them know they’ll probably be seeing a lot less of you—especially in the beginning. Then, (and here’s the clincher) tell them about your business, your hopes and dreams, what you’re working on. If you can make them feel involved, they’ll be more likely to support you during the rough patches and cheer you on in your triumphs. Plus, you never know when someone will have a great idea for your business.
- Surround yourself with like-minded people. Ambitious, energetic entrepreneurs seem to attract other ambitious, energetic friends. When you’re surrounded by peers who understand your drive, you have much more in common and can relate better to their problems and situations. Make an appointment with a SCORE mentor who can help you integrate your work and personal lives.
- Stay healthy. This is a do as I say and not as I do. I’m not saying I’m not healthy—my doctor says I’m fine. But I don’t eat right. I don’t exercise. And I don’t get near enough sleep. This isn’t smart—and I’m working on it.
- Have a guilty pleasure. You may enjoy keeping up on political gossip, reading trashy crime detective fiction or a fishing trip with the “boys.” Whatever your guilty pleasure is, rewarding yourself with life’s little pleasures can be reinvigorating and keep you sane during especially stressful times.
- Stay in the moment. Whether you’re working hard on a project or hanging out with the family, stay in the moment and enjoy it. Although, it’s hard not to let your mind drift to your to-do list, make the most of each day by soaking in every experience.
Have a question about work/life balance? Connect with a SCORE mentor online or in your community today!