Wondering how to achieve more work/life “balance” as an entrepreneur?
First, the bad news. I don't think it's entirely possible. Let me explain…
To give you a little context, I'm an entrepreneur running 2 online businesses, HollywoodHomestead.com and SylvieMcCracken.com. I'm also a wife and a mother of 3 kids, none of which are currently in school. So I've got a lot going on.
Here’s what “balance” looks like for me and it changes a few times a year as the seasons of business and family life change. It's a little bit of an ebb and flow.
Over the course of a year I try and create some balance. Over the course of a quarter, I try and create some balance. But over the course of a month or a week, sometimes there's not a lot of balance. For example, during a launch I’m usually working twice as much as when we’re not launching.
Now if you’ve been hanging out here for a little while you know I’m a huge fan of outsourcing 80% of the tasks in my business. I have a team that helps me with a lot of things. I certainly don't do everything myself at home or in my business. But the truth of the matter is that I am a small business owner with a small team. So when something breaks at 11PM during a launch period, chances are good that I’m gonna have to put on some gangsta rap and step in and handle it. 🙂 And that ultimately means that I have a little less family time during those few weeks. That's just how it is and I’m okay with that.
How do I “balance” that out?
Plan for it
By planning for it as much as possible. If I know a launch period is coming up. I try to make sure my family is prepared for it, my team is prepared for it and that we've left ourselves plenty of time. That we've got a coder on- call in case something goes wrong so that we can minimize the surprises and be ready to handle them.
But the truth of the matter is that there's only so much you can plan for, and sometimes there's just heavy periods of work. Launches are kind of like our entrepreneur “Super Bowl”.
Schedule the down time
After a couple of launches my team and I learned to schedule slower weeks before and after a launch where we can spend more time with our families and just keeping the businesses running as opposed to actively working to grow them.
If you're feeling a little bit frustrated that this work/ life balance thing seems like a bit of a myth, I’m sending you a virtual hug and a nod of agreement and understanding.
I would encourage you to look at things, (your year, or your quarter) from a bigger bird's eye view. And try to create some “balance” over the long term a little bit more as opposed to each and every day.
Are you an Entrepreneur AND a parent?
Boy have I got a book recommendation for you…
A couple of quarters ago I read Jim Sheil’s book, The Family Board Meeting, and ever since then I’ve been scheduling “board meetings” with each of my kids once a quarter. Life changing for entrepreneur parents. I’ll let Jim explain it to you in the book since I’m sure I can’t do it justice and it would require a whole post of it’s own.
Now I want to hear from you! What are your thoughts on work/life balance? Do you schedule family time as you would a business meeting? Leave a comment below and share this post with your friends.