The independence of the entrepreneur isn’t a myth. As a young founder, you’ll find that there’s no such thing as a nine-to-five routine, and the freedom that comes with that flexibility may wind up as invaluable.
But, like any job, there are privileges and sacrifices. Some entrepreneurs will freely give their business their all, day in and day out -- sometimes to a fault. I know many entrepreneurs who end up clocking in 16-hour workdays instead of stepping back and reevaluating what’s working and what’s not (for more on avoiding this trap, check out The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber).
On the other hand, it’s always possible to work too little, leaving your business with untapped potential. So, what’s the best way to strike a harmony between these two extremes?
Here are three tips:
1. Prioritize. It’s best to set reasonable goals that align with your purpose and passions. What do you care about most? Where do you need to spend your time? And what’s the best way to strike a balance between the two?
2. Track your progress. Heading a successful business isn’t just about philosophy, though. It’s also about making tough decisions -- especially when it comes to nose-to-the-grindstone hard work. That’s why it’s key to have accountability systems in place, like measuring your numbers on a daily basis.
Keeping track of daily metrics is key to charting and sustaining growth in profits as well as the size of your company. After all, it’s dangerous to hire new employees without knowing if you can afford to hire more staff or what positions you need to hire for. In addition, knowing your metrics will also help you chart the performance of your current employees, so you can be a more informed, helpful leader.
3. Ask for help. Your first and best resource is your staff. Your second is your dedication and passion. But there’s another resource that remains untapped to many entrepreneurs: your fellow entrepreneurs.
Reach out. Find a community. And find a mentor. You’ll find that fellow entrepreneurs can offer perspective and insight into how to grow your business in a smart, sustainable way -- without putting a strain on your personal life.
Also, good coaching will keep you asking yourself the right questions, keep your priorities straight, and keep you focused on goals. I recommend The Strategic Coach program, as well as The Business Doctor Jeff Miles. After all, just as there are countless kinds of successful small businesses, there are limitless ways to create a fulfilling, successful work-life balance.
How do you balance starting up with living your life? Let us know your secret in the comments below.
Joe Barton is the founder of Barton Publishing and other websites that promote natural health through teaching people how to cure themselves using alternative home remedies (using simple grocery store items, herbs, vitamins, exercises, and more), instead of expensive and harmful prescription drugs.