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Work-Life Balance: Achieve It

No matter how well you plan, there will be unforeseen roadblocks that must be resolved.

As entrepreneurs, we often try to have it all. We want to have control over our destinies by operating our own businesses, and at the same time we want to create a fulfilling personal life with our family and friends. Discovering the correct balance between these two worlds is often an aspiring entrepreneur's biggest challenge.

Your friends and loved ones will all make demands on your time. They know you are working hard, but they also want you to take care of yourself and them. Begin the process of creating balance by agreeing to discover how to be accessible to all of them--while staying centered, sane and prosperous.

Release any guilt. Do not become caught in the vicious circle of trying to please everyone all of the time. Achieving a dream goal is not a clearly definable process. No matter how well you plan, there will be unforeseen roadblocks that must be resolved. Be true to yourself; release any guilt by informing those important to you about the issue and how you are working to resolve it.

Set specific agendas. Setting specific timeframes for tasks gets everyone involved focused on immediate results rather than what-if situations. Whether it's a simple phone call or a client meeting, prepare an agenda and stick to it. Stay on point by stating the goal of the meeting upfront. If new ideas or challenges appear, save them for the end or schedule a future meeting if time becomes an issue.

Be 'schedule flexible.' When starting a business, people often set personal rules that they vow not to break: not working through lunch, leaving the office by a certain time or not working on weekends. As you build your business, there will be exceptions to these physical rules. Do not obsess about time; become schedule flexible by involving those important to you in your daily agenda. For instance, agree to check in with your spouse at certain times during the day to discuss business issues and how to resolve any conflicts with family life that may arise. A five-minute call can save hours of heartache.

Open time for discovery. Entrepreneurs are go-getters. Agree to accomplish a little less and open up to time for discovery. If it takes an hour to get to a meeting, give yourself an hour and a half. When you arrive, look around and see what you can learn. Is there a store you can visit to discover new packaging ideas? Are there business ideas you can gather by speaking with the receptionist? Or, use this time to check in on your loved ones.

Save time in your schedule for you. You are the vision behind your business; to succeed you have to keep yourself healthy and mindful. A 30-minute workout at the gym or a 10-minute walk can provide amazing energy so that you can always be at your best.



Romanus Wolter, aka "The Kick Start Guy," is author of
Kick Start Your Success and Kick Start Your Dream Business. Write to him at romanus@kickstartguy.com.

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This article was originally published in the March 2010 print edition of Entrepreneur's StartUps with the headline: Work-Life Balance: Achieve It.

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