Go Big and Go Home Achieving Work Life Balance as an Entrepreneur

Balance work life

Starting a business literally takes over your life. It is not a little commitment, but means that every aspect of your life will be affected. One of the biggest temptations is to work all the time to make sure that everything is working and running perfectly, exactly the way you would like it to.

This creates a problem that is two-fold. First, your home life suffers and you are not setting yourself up for the right kind of balance going forward. You can miss out on great family memories at best, and at worst can ruin relationships and set yourself up for regret.

Secondly, by trying to do everything and control everything yourself, you will probably sacrifice the quality of your work. You can’t do everything equally well, and you can’t be involved in every decision intimately and still do the work you need to focus on in a timely manner. So how do you achieve a work life balance and still make time to go home while you are an entrepreneur?

Outsource What You Can

You can’t do everything well, and you can’t do it alone, so don’t. Make your business into a collaborative team effort. There are many things you can outsource without sacrificing quality or losing control of vital aspects of your business.

  • Accounting: Most daily accounting, your taxes, payroll, and other numeric tasks can not only be outsourced, but it gives you an accountability system that ensures you keep spending under control.
  • Web Design: Once you have chosen a domain name, you need to design a website and fill it with copy, graphics, and more. You can hire professionals to do this, and then approve what they do later. This will not only save you hours, but a great deal of frustration.
  • Marketing and Advertising: Once you have created your website, you need to use it and other methods to market your products and engage in advertising. Hiring help with these tasks will make your marketing better and more effective, and will save you tons of time.
  • Mundane Everyday Tasks: Cleaning the offices, washing windows, and restocking the bathroom are necessary, but not for you or your limited staff when you are building a business. Hire out these simple tasks to free up even more of your time.

When you outsource, you get the help of real professionals, and your business and your sanity will both benefit. This will free up time for you to actually go home and engage with life outside of work.

Incremental Growth

You need to have a plan for growth, and that plan needs to include limits that are directly related to what you can reasonably do in that amount of time. The worst thing you can do is overcommit and find yourself unable to meet customer expectations. This will kill your business.

While sometimes it is appropriate to take a risk and stretch yourself, it should be a calculated risk that does not involve you sacrificing quality to reach a goal that may not benefit your company in the long run. Incremental growth, and a plan for it, is essential.

It is okay from time to time to tell a customer, “not now.” This can look more like “I have some time fee in my schedule early next month,” or “we can start on that in a few weeks.” The fact that you are busy can make you even more desirable when a customer knows you are in demand.

You can only produce so fast, provide so much good customer service, and serve so many customers without sacrificing quality. The principle of incremental growth will help you keep your ambitions in check.

Using the Domino Effect

The domino effect is the act of looking at what tasks in your business are first of all most important and second of all, will have the biggest results. For instance, creating some great ad copy or content for your website may also make the job of the marketing department easier, and therefore accomplish more than one task at a time.

This is sometimes hard to determine, but an important step before taking action. What action will have an effect on other action, so as a result accomplish the most? Tackle that task first rather than starting in the middle of the row of dominos, so to speak, and leaving half of them still standing.

This will take some practice, and you will likely make some mistakes. Prioritizing tasks according to what will actually accomplish the most rather than what is right in front of you can be a challenge, but it is worth the effort because of the impact it will have on your work-life balance.

The Importance of Self Care

Lastly, but certainly not least, you need to prioritize self-care. You need to nurture yourself every day in at least three ways.

  • Mentally: Engage in something outside of work that makes you think. Read for half an hour, do a Sudoku puzzle or the crossword. Keep your non-work brain sharp.
  • Spiritually: Meditate, but do directed meditation. Early in the day, meditate on gratitude. Before you go to bed, so some calming meditation exercises and breathing to help calm your mind. You will fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
  • Physically: Work out, go for a walk, take a bike ride, or make a quick run at lunch time. Speaking of lunch, eat healthy and use healthy snacks throughout the day to maintain energy and feel better.

It’s essential that your work be balanced with your life, but this is hard to do when you are first an entrepreneur and starting out. Don’t neglect it though. Outsource, plan, and don’t neglect self-care. These steps will enable you to both go big and go home.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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