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7 Tips for Staying Balanced in Business and Life As an entrepreneur, one of the most important things you can do for your success is establish an effective life-business balance. Here's how to get started.

By Lewis Howes Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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As an entrepreneur, one of the most important things you can do for your success is establish an effective life-business balance.

When I started my business I ate, slept and breathed work. From my career as an athlete I knew the value of hustle and hard work. So I set my mind to building something successful and in turn it became all I thought about 24/7.

In the meantime, my health suffered. My relationships became strained. I was anxious and distracted. It was about the time I realized I had gained an extra 30 pounds that I knew I needed to do something different.

Related: 6 Steps to Starting a Business From Zero

You don't need to figure it out the hard way like I did. Take into consideration these tips while you are setting up the structure of your business. I have found that I am more effective and productive when I take the extra time to follow a regimen of self care and life-business balance.

It may take some tweaking for you to find the right prescription, but here are some of the things that are working for me.

1. Stay healthy.

It's hard to inspire and enroll others when you aren't healthy. No matter what kinds of sales you're bringing in, if you're not taking care of your body, it's not sustainable. Put self-care high up on your priority list. Exercise, eat right.

2. Meditate.

Meditation is massive. Since I started practicing this regularly again, my anxiety, focus and productivity have all improved. Plus it's really helpful when you're managing a lot of stuff.

Don't worry about doing it the "right" way.There are plenty of methods so keep trying till you find one you enjoy. It should be restorative -- some people just follow their breathing and others use guided meditation. If you have a very busy and anxious mind, I recommend starting with a guided track.

3. Be clear on your vision.

Most of the problems people have with getting what they want come from lack of clarity. Figure that out first. Then go after it.

Maybe you aren't clear on your vision yet. If that is the case I recommend writing down what your perfect day would look like. What is it that you ultimately want to feel each day? Remember that you don't have to have perfection to start, just go in the direction of your dreams and take it one step at a time.

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4. Be discerning.

Know that some opportunities are just distractions in disguise. There are way too many good things to go after these days. Keep focused on your mission and say no to pretty much everything else.

5. Stay positive.

Replace negative self-talk with gratitude. This is a huge issue for most of us, but you have the power to free yourself from the cycle of beating yourself up.

Start practicing gratitude every time you want to criticize yourself. We waste more time worrying or complaining about something than it would take to just handle it.

6. Rest and restore.

No matter how hard you push, you are going to hit a wall if you don't take care of your mind and body. So much of what my guests and I talk about on The School of Greatness podcast is how to show up.There's no way around it. If you want to be great, you have to show up, make connections happen, and then follow up.This is a huge part of my own success.

But equally important is the opposite -- resting up. This includes unplugging for a weekend, from your phone and social media. Your body and soul need to recharge. Go outside and be in nature. Sleep. Read a book. Take a leisurely stroll with no destination in mind. These are the down times you need in order to stay focused when it is "go" time again.

7. Fill up your cup.

Having said that, you absolutely need to make time for fun, family, friends and fulfillment. It is no good being a lone ranger. Set your office hours and do your best to adhere to them while taking regular time out to unplug. Play your guitar that's gathering dust, or pull out the old tennis racket for a match. Take a walk on the beach.

Just remember, you are a human being not a human doing. The more balance you have in your business and life, the more successful you will be.

Related: 3 Keys to Designing a Life You Wouldn't Trade for Anything

Lewis Howes

New York Times Bestselling Author, Entrepreneur, Coach

Lewis Howes is a New York Times bestselling author of The School of Greatness and The Mask of Masculinity. He is a lifestyle entrepreneur, high performance business coach and keynote speaker. A former professional football player and two-sport All-American, he is a current USA Men’s National Handball Team athlete. He hosts a top 100 iTunes ranked Apple podcast, The School of Greatness. Howes was recognized by the White House and President Obama as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs in the country under 30. Details magazine called him one of “5 Internet Guru’s that can Make You Rich.”  Howes has been featured on Ellen, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The New York Times, People, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Men’s Health and other major media outlets.

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