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Jen Groover on Work-Life Balance for Entrepreneurs

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In this special feature of 'Ask Entrepreneur,' Facebook fan Candice Frederick from Miami asks: How do I manage to fit in exercise and spend time with my loved ones, when I need to focus on work?

When beginning a business or desiring to grow your business, it takes an immense amount of energy and attention. So the first thing you need to do is to express to your friends and family what your goals are.

Explain what you desire so they can better understand where you’re coming from. And let them know that you’re going to have less time. It doesn’t mean you don’t love and care for them or their well-being. But what you’re focused on right now needs to be a priority in order to fulfill your own dreams and live life passionately and on purpose. In turn, down the road, you’ll be able to give them more of what they desire from you.

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Speaking openly with your loved ones will help them realize they’re not losing you; they’ll see you have specific goals in mind and if you’re supported, you’ll have an easier time reaching them.

When you share that with your friends and family, the ones that are truly there for you will understand and most often offer help. Maybe they’ll help with picking up kids or groceries, or other simple tasks. You’ll find that you can actually create a support system. Your honesty will allow you to receive compassion instead of complaints.

You might find that there are others who don’t support you. Sometimes, you have to shed those people from your life, because --- as I’m sure you know -- if they loved you and wanted you to be happy, they would support you. This brings us to a crossroads, where we need to let go of some people and things in our life as we begin our own personal journey of growth. (And that can be particularly tough for women entrepreneurs, who are used to being caretakers.)

A word about exercise: A fitness routine is a really important part of the process of maintaining the stamina to drive our success. It’s one of the first things we give up in order to make time for other tasks, yet it’s one of the most important aspects of our lives.

Exercise enables us to sleep better and have more energy. So sometimes we have to shift our perspective of exercise from “a task that takes a chunk of my time” to “a task that I can do in spurts throughout the day when I have time.”

So maybe instead of going to the gym for an hour in the morning, break it up throughout the day. Let’s say you can do 15 minutes of jogging/walking in the morning, push-ups in between calls and emails, and 20 minutes of yoga before bed.

You could also shorten the length of your workouts and make them more intense. Whatever you choose, remember that exercise is an important factor in your entrepreneurial success.

What's your biggest question for Jen about time management or work-life balance? Ask it in our comment section below.

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