Does a Work-Life Balance Exist for Entrepreneurs? Not Really.
Ideally, we all want a perfect work-life balance, but as you’ve probably already experienced, this mythical balance is rarely achievable. That can lead to more stress over being stressed and other feelings of angst or dissatisfaction.
To help you manage the work-life balance debate, tune out of the debate itself and start checking in with yourself. Ultimately it’s up to you to figure out what balance works best for your life and situation, but if you need some help finding that equilibrium point, there are others who have gone before you who can help.
Here are three tips to help you debunk the work-life balance myth and find your own set point for happiness.
If you’re interested in work-life balance in the first 36 months of starting your own business, you will lose. -- Gary Vaynerchuk
When you are first starting your business, you may need to abandon the idea of work-life balance. That’s a serious consideration for you as an individual and one you should weigh out before getting started.
You’ll need to get family, friends and loved ones on board with your full-court push and be prepared for some backlash at the drive you’ll need to get your business going. Often starting a business and starting a new relationship won’t realistically go hand in hand for most because of the time, energy and mental commitment your business will need.
If you’re already in a relationship, you’ll need to get your partner’s approval and support and make this push a team effort. Starting out, the work-life balance you achieve may be more like 90/10 than 50/50. Know what that balance is for you personally and be prepared to make the commitment to your decision.
I have never met a woman, or man, who stated emphatically, 'Yes, I have it all.' Because no matter what any of us has -- and how grateful we are for what we have -- no one has it all. --Sheryl Sandberg
As your business grows, blooms and blossoms, you’ll be able to make more decisions about what your work-life balance looks like for you. That being said, bear in mind that no matter what your entrepreneurial journey brings, you’ll have to make decisions about what gets more, life or work.
Sometimes those decisions will be easy, other times they’ll be more challenging. The important thing is that you relieve some of the internal pressure you place on yourself to “have it all.” It may be possible, but rarely do you have it all at the same time.
The entrepreneurial path is one of constantly assessing and reassessing what is the best long-term decision you can make in the moment.
You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life. -- Heather Schuck
Regardless of how much your entrepreneurial life requires you to devote to your work, knowing and loving your life and finding meaning in your days is what will ultimately contribute to the best work-life balance. This is why the advice to, “do what you love,” is so incredibly important.
When you love your work and are passionate about what you’re doing every day, you’ll feel deeply satisfied. It balances life and work more organically because part of what you’d be doing in your “off time” is exactly what you’re doing in your working time.
Achieve your best balance by making your passion your profession and get comfortable with the balance point that works for you personally.
Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.