How entrepreneurs can achieve work and life balance continues to be a challenge, especially for the entrepreneur or business owner who works from home.
In 2006 I walked away from Corporate America and started my own business full-time. It was not a hard transition as far as managing my time because I had basically taken corporate America home with me. I just did not realize it at first. What do I mean by that?
Well, I no longer had to drive 17 miles one way to work. Instead, I walked a few steps to a bedroom in my home, which had been converted to a fully-equipped office. However, because of the type of work, I was on someone’s schedule and I had to fit in with their schedule.
I selected my hours to work for each client and logged into my computer a few minutes before the assigned time. Then I worked the hours I’d selected. The challenge came later, after I dissolved that corporation and began to work my skin care and image consultancy full-time. Later, when I went online the situation did not improve.
Now I was totally on my own, and while I’d set a schedule for myself, I did not always stick to it. It was easy to get caught in some work around the home, then it would get late and I’d decide that it’s too late to go out and do prospecting for the Skin Care business. Instead, I promised myself that I’d make an early start tomorrow.
Learning Online Marketing and getting involved with various training programs had the opposite effect. I was in my office at my computer for very long hours. You’d find me attending classes that sometimes ended at 10:00 pm on a regular basis. I did not have a ‘turn-off’ time.
When you’re employed, you know that you have to get up at a certain time, get ready for the day, and be out the door so that you can get to work on time. When the workday is finished, you make the return journey home and try to have some semblance of a home life before you go to bed and start the process all over again the following day.
Making the Mental Switch
Making the switch from employee to entrepreneur requires more than a physical switch. You also have to make a mental switch.
Despite any knowledge you’ve acquired over the years, when you become your own boss, you’ll find that maintaining a balance between work and the rest of your life is not as easy as it may appears. That’s because you still have to do the work, but there are other things that you must do, and decisions you must make daily.
For instance, if you’re a solopreneur who has an online business, you’ll be responsible for product creation, various types of marketing, like, social media marketing, affiliate marketing, and you’ll also be responsible for sales and customer service. It’s unlikely that as an employee in an organization you’d be expected to do all of those tasks.
When you work from home, and especially when you work online, it’s very easy to be always “on.” You’re switching from work to personal, hence the lines get blurred, resulting in a lack of focus in both areas.
Many new entrepreneurs suffer burnout because they’re so focused on learning “everything” and understanding everything that it creates stress rather than fun. That situation becomes even more intense if they’re investing a lot of time and money in training yet they’re not making any money.
It’s essential that you set physical boundaries as well as boundaries between work and non-work. Even if your office is on a table in your kitchen, you must set proper boundaries so that you work when it’s time you’ve designated for work. On the other hand, even if you use the same device for play, resolve that you will not open files that are work-related when it’s family time or time for self-care. So that your brain can understand this, it may be a good idea to literally shut down your computer when you’re finishing up with work for the day. When you open it again, you’re focusing on your personal life.
Lack of proper boundaries will impact your health as well. You need relaxation and time for self-care, thus, taking time away from work-related matters is essential. Remember that even checking emails when you should be focused on spending time with your family is stepping over the boundaries you’ve set or will set.
Life is fluid. You will have great plans and strategies in place and find that because of changes in your life, or changes in your work, you have to readjust. When your circumstances change, then you need to reassess your priorities so that you maintain balance. It will never be constant. But it’s essential that as an entrepreneur, you work at achieving work and life balance.
As I was wrapping up my post, I was delighted to see this Press Release from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, which confirms some of the points I mentioned on ways [Entrepreneurs] can achieve life balance and gave some additional pointers, which I encourage you to make a note of.
To learn more about how you can shift your mindset, click below to receive a copy of “Five Common Reasons Passion to Profit Businesses Fail and What to Do Instead” or just click on this link.
Thank you for reading,