I hear so many people in business these days talking about work/life balance and as they expound on how they achieve this I hear a lot of scheduling, running from one thing to another, working late at night, exhausted by the end of the year and often not earning all they had hoped too, they smile with a tint of resentment in their voice saying they will “get there”.
That’s when I ask them where “there” is ? Most times this ends in a flippant comment that involves swearing and laughs.
There is never a time when I am in this setting that I don’t want to tell them the secret I have learnt over 25 years in business, quite honestly work/life balance is a myth and those that are successful in life and business this the hard way often in a burn out situation.
Let me explain this for you , so you can learn from me and get to a satisfying life quicker than I did.
I was a bookkeeper when I married my husband and quite content to climb the ladder to accountant and then partner, but I contracted Meningitis which shut my system down , 12 weeks later i was pregnant, yes that myth is true, antibiotics nulify the working properties of a contraceptive pill. So, I left work, had a baby, and contracted work from various accountants and worked 25 hours a week. This is working well until I fell pregnant with number two, long story short I had 4 girls under 5 and work from 10 accountants that took up 40 hours a week. I “managed it for years , convincing myself that i had perfected a “work/life ” balance until one day at 4 years of age my youngest daughter’s appendix burst and I ended up beside her bed in hospital for 5 days and this was before iphones hung off all our hands. I was so present because my daughter was so sick that I didn’t even think about business, that was until I got home and found I had lost 1/2 my clients because I hadn’t met deadlines.
I was so upset, I kept saying “why does being good at one thing have to cost something else?” after months i drew this conclusion and have lived by it ever since, Life is not designed for balance,it’s designed to be lived at 110 %, so whatever you are putting your hand to, be present at that and give it 110% .”
I learnt that when I am a mum I want to give 110%, when I am a business owner I want to give 110% and this is how I have done it for over 20 years successfully and now have 2 successful businesses and a life I am madly in love with.
- When at work make sure that anything else you do is out of your mind
- When you are not at work, don’t think about it
- Set up strong business practices so you don’t have to waste time repeating something that could be automated
- Be realistic and grow with your business, always know when you need staff, when it is time to delegate
- Set realistic goals, get honest, maybe you could grow your business a little slower or wait to start a family
- Be truthful to yourself about the cost it will take to make your life work
- Know your non-negoitables and never compromise them
- Live within your body’s limitations, everyone needs down time, know when you do.
You are the most important part of your business, being educated about how to do business that works for you because the goal is always for you to create a life you love and a successful business that pays for it.