Maintaining Work-Life Balance as an Entrepreneur
Join Entrepreneur's The Goal Standard Challenge and make 2017 yours. Learn more »
A general cliché that characterizes the word Entrepreneur is - an ambitious person who works round the clock to keep his/her business afloat. We imagine them looking after every aspect of their business to make sure that every operation runs efficiently. In the whole scheme of things, what seems to be missing in our imagination is - the entrepreneur’s personal life.
People usually do not visualize a businessperson successfully managing both his professional and personal life, without having to compromise. Since they are in a position of power that comes with loads of responsibility, entrepreneurs hardly come across as family-oriented individuals or those who like to socialize. However, that is far from the truth. In reality, there are several examples of successful business magnates, who have managed to lead a balanced life without getting overwhelmed by either. Although it can seem difficult at first, it is not impossible to achieve work-life balance as an entrepreneur.
Ushering in the Friendship Day spirit, let us explore how business leaders can lead a successful professional and personal life by finding a middle ground, through which they can give equal importance to both.
1. Set a Routine/Prioritize – As an entrepreneur, it can be difficult to keep track of every single detail in your life and still take some time out for self. Therefore, it is necessary to keep track of one’s lifestyle and set some time aside for every task. Entrepreneurs can develop an agenda for all tasks at work and at home and stick to the same. Time management plays an integral role in leading a stress-free lifestyle. Thus, enterprises can set a time-table which can allow them to plan their day accordingly. It is advisable to set some time aside for work, some for friends and family, and most importantly, sometime aside for self to recharge.
2. Develop a new hobby – Becoming a successful entrepreneur requires a lot of grit and dedication. The get-up-and-go attitude of entrepreneurs is their trademark. It is what makes them stand out among their peers. However, these things can take a toll on their lives if they are not careful. They are expected to live up to the expectations that others or they themselves have set in order to succeed.
Although it demonstrates pure determination, entrepreneurs need to make sure that they do not burn themselves out in that process. As mentioned in the previous point, entrepreneurs need to set some time aside for themselves to recharge. They can invest some time in developing a new hobby, or pursue the ones they already have. Indoor/outdoor games like playing pool or going trekking, craftsmanship, coin collection, etc. are some examples, which can help alleviating stress and allow them to achieve peace of mind from time to time. They can also try to involve their friends in such activities which would allow them to stay in touch with their social circle.
3. Establish some Boundaries – In order to achieve ‘Zen’, i.e. the balance between professional and personal life, it is advisable to establish boundaries between the two so that any chance of interruption can be avoided. It is true that both can become demanding, sometimes at the same time. One may need to send an urgent E-mail or get an urgent call when they are home, or may have to deal with a family emergency while at work. These things are a part & parcel of life and the way we deal with such situations can have a lasting impact. Although both are important, entrepreneurs should try to avoid non-emergent work while spending quality time with loved ones, and at the same time advise their families and/or friends to set standards on what may be considered an emergency.
4. Learn to ‘Switch off’ – Nowadays, it is hard to imagine living a lifestyle that does not involve technology in some form or other. People have embraced it as a necessary part of life. Similarly, entrepreneurs have adopted technology in both their lives and their work as it has significantly helped them in increasing efficiency. Nonetheless, these benefits can also become frequent interruptions and add to the problems of an entrepreneur. Access to technology is a good thing, but, it should be noted that it is not a necessity. Instead of staying in constant touch with one’s business associates, entrepreneurs should know when to stop, and focus on cherishing private moments with their loved ones. Business deals can happen anytime, special memories can be created just once.
5. Delegate – Avoid being a ‘Jack of all trades (and master of none)’. It may seem like a great idea initially to take ownership of every single responsibility since it gives an entrepreneur a sense of power, of being the ‘Leader’ who everybody looks up to. However, it is best to realize that multitasking should be reserved for special requirements or when essential in an emergency.Any successful businessperson knows that people are not superheroes. They can falter at times and commit mistakes when taking accountability for multiple tasks. Therefore, entrepreneurs should realize that delegating work can significantly help in efficiently managing their business with minimal scope for error. If required, enterprises can always hire a secretary who can help them in planning and manage their tasks.
6. Staying True to Oneself – Finally, entrepreneurs should never compromise on their principles. They should identify what truly matters to them and be honest about it. Any kind of thought or need should which could directly affect their work-life balance should be openly communicated.
At work, entrepreneurs can enable an ‘Open-door’ policy which can encourage their employees to discuss any kind of issue which may be bothering them. This creates better relationship management within the hierarchy and also helps build trust towards both the businessperson and their company. Similarly, an entrepreneur should always accept the fact that when it comes to work and family, the latter holds greater importance. Investing time in personal relationships can greatly improve the life of an entrepreneur as well as create a strong support system.
In conclusion, it should be noted that being an entrepreneur should never be an excuse to compromise on either one’s work or one’s family. Prioritize and live life to the fullest!