A Healthy Work/Life Balance Is No Unicorn

Taking time for yourself is not only healthy, it's necessary to succeed.

learn more about Rebekah Epstein

By Rebekah Epstein

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

To an entrepreneur, finding a healthy work/life balance can a mythical concept -- on par with locating the eternal fountain of youth or discovering the Loch Ness Monster. While it might seem farfetched and unrealistic, finding a life outside of work is imperative to your success.

There is no question that being an entrepreneur is tough and intense, especially if you are trying to get your company off the ground. It can become almost impossible to think about anything else. However, from my experience, I can tell you that if you don't make time for the activities and people you love, you will burn out very quickly.

As entrepreneurs we have this mentality that if we aren't eating, sleeping and breathing our businesses, we aren't working hard enough to succeed. The irony is if you work all the time, and don't prioritize your happiness and mental healthy, you will probably never reach the success you envisioned.

Related: Real World Work-Life Balance: How to Find Your Entrepreneurial Zen

Kelly Holt, founder and editor in chief of The Austin Phoenix, gives an accurate analogy: "Hiking a mountain is strikingly similar to building a business, in that it becomes more challenging the closer you get to achieving your goal or reaching the summit. If you wait until you're exhausted to realize the importance of finding a balance, it can cripple your progress."

Here are some ways to make work/life balance not just a mythical concept, but a reality in your life:

Take a vacation. Pretend you work for someone else -- would you feel bad taking advantage of your allotted vacation time? No, probably not. So don't feel bad about allowing yourself the same luxury as an entrepreneur. Your business will not go under if you go to the beach for a few days, put up an out-of-office message and leave the laptop at home.

Getting away can actually be beneficial to your company. Crosby Noricks, a fashion marketing strategist and founder of PR Couture says that, "Maybe it's because I'm a California girl, as New York friends like to tell me, but I think time off actually fuels my creativity and gives my brain space to come up with better ideas, solutions to problems and efficiencies that I can't always access if I am operating at a furious pace."

Related: Richard Branson on Parenting and Work-Life Balance

Don't talk about work all the time. You know how it is really annoying when people talk about their children 24/7? The same applies to an entrepreneur, when they can only hold a conversation about their business. While your friends and family are supportive, they don't want to hear about it all the time.

Only work late two nights a week. I implemented a few new rules for myself last year: I can only work late two nights a week and one day a weekend. Your to do list will never be completed, so most of the time it is okay if you leave tasks for another day.

Plus, if you work when you are tired or unmotivated, quality will decline, and your clients really will be mad. If you just wait until tomorrow, chances are you will make fewer mistakes, and be able to come up with better ideas.

Schedule in hobbies. Most entrepreneurs like to plan ahead. By Sunday night, I have my whole week scheduled. I put my personal and professional life in the same calendar because they are both of equal importance to me.

Fellow female entrepreneur Carol Han, of CA Creative, admits, "Making a hard commitment to carve out definitive time for hobbies and personal interests is essential." She continues, "I love yoga and rely on the practice for everything from fitness to finding a bit of peace of mind in my day, so I make it an absolute priority to go five times a week. I put the classes in my calendar and come hell or high water, I show up. I treat them as though they were client meetings, because if I didn't, they would constantly get moved to the back burner."

Related: 'Polished, Poised, Prepared': Confidence Tips from Women Entrepreneurs

Rebekah Epstein

Founder and Publicist, Fifteen Media

Rebekah Epstein is the founder of fifteen media, an agency that works exclusively with PR firms to streamline media relations in a digital era. She specializes in representing technology, health care, business and lifestyle companies.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Everyone Wants to Get Close to Their Favorite Artist. Here's the Technology Making It a Reality — But Better.
The Highest-Paid, Highest-Profile People in Every Field Know This Communication Strategy
After Early Rejection From Publishers, This Author Self-Published Her Book and Sold More Than 500,000 Copies. Here's How She Did It.
Having Trouble Speaking Up in Meetings? Try This Strategy.
He Names Brands for Amazon, Meta and Forever 21, and Says This Is the Big Blank Space in the Naming Game
Business News

American Airlines Sued After Teen Dies of Heart Attack Onboard Flight to Miami

Kevin Greenridge was traveling from Honduras to Miami on June 4, 2022, on AA Flight 614 when he went into cardiac arrest and became unconscious mid-flight.


How to Detect a Liar in Seconds Using Nonverbal Communication

There are many ways to understand if someone is not honest with you. The following signs do not even require words and are all nonverbal queues.


After Early Rejection From Publishers, This Author Self-Published Her Book and Sold More Than 500,000 Copies. Here's How She Did It.

Author Karen Inglis breaks down the strategies and tactics you need to generate awareness and sales for your self-published book.

Business News

These Are the Most and Least Affordable Places to Retire in The U.S.

The Northeast and West Coast are the least affordable, while areas in the Mountain State region tend to be ideal for retirees on a budget.

Thought Leaders

5 Small Daily Habits Self-Made Millionaires Use to Grow Their Wealth

We've all seen what self-made millionaires look like on TV, but it's a lot more subtle than that. Brian Tracy researched what small daily habits these successful entrepreneurs adopted on their journey from rags to riches.

Business News

Jake Paul and Lindsay Lohan Fined $400,000 for 'Illegally Touting' Crypto

The SEC just disclosed that eight celebrities agreed to a massive settlement without admitting guilt.