Work/Life Balance For Entrepreneurs
Work/Life balance can be a challenge for anyone, on any path. It's especially tricky for entrepreneurs to find a way to joyously create a healthy balance between work and life.
As I consider some of the differences between entrepreneurs and ordinary people (entrepreneurs are nowhere near ordinary), I believe these three things make balance more challenging:
Lack of Boundaries: Often we leave a more structured work environment, only to be plopped into our own creation of something much less structured. We can work when we want to, where we want to. The work never stops. It's never really complete, as we move from one project to another.
Most entrepreneurs enjoy this. The trick to find work/life balance is to create healthy boundaries, so that relationships aren't neglected in the process. What good is wild success with your business if there is nobody there to share in your joy?
Mad Love for the Work:
The very reason we begin our own business is because we love it. We adore the idea of being our own boss. We have passion for what we're delivering, which makes it more difficult to step away from it. It's the first thing we think of when we wake up; our work is our muse throughout the day.
Our loved ones would really appreciate some attention. For more work/life balance, it's good for us to devote time and energy to our friends, partners, children and parents, as healthy relationships are vital to creating a joyous life. We wouldn't want to be alone, would we?
So Many Demands:
Often during the startup phase, we don't get much help. Everything needs to get done and there is no staff to help out. And later, when we have grown our business enough to warrant hiring employees, there are still urgent demands on our time to lead and direct the efforts of our team. The demand never really diminishes without intention toward creating autonomy.
These crazy obligations and responsibilities can take a major toll on our health and well being. We can feel resentful of the business, and our physical body never likes that kind of stress. Work/life balance means taking care of yourself; your body, your mind, and your spirit.
It's really possible to create a healthy work/life balance. It may not look like some other person's idea of balance, and to me, that is the key. It's not about the number of hours worked, or the time of day you stop working. It's about checking in with yourself, truthfully noticing what seems out of balance, and taking steps toward shifting that area of your behavior.
It's personal, and rightfully so, since you are creating your entire life through your beliefs, your words, and your actions.