Entrepreneurship: A life where you’re in control of everything from your schedule and your revenue to your team and your vacations. A life that offers so much more than the bog-standard 9-to-5 office job. A life that finally allows you to fulfill your potential and achieve your goals.
Entrepreneurship is all of these things, but it’s also a hard, hard slog. It’s working late into the night to try and finish a project. It’s waking up in the night in a cold sweat because sales are down. It’s forgoing family commitments because something just can’t wait. All told, entrepreneurship can take a real toll on your health – mentally and physically – if you don’t get the right balance. I’ve been there.
I’ve been so overwhelmed by the day-to-day running of my business that I don’t know which way to turn. I’ve let important things slide (my family) and I’ve run myself into the ground trying to juggle all aspects of my life. However, I have found balance in a few key areas, which I’ve shared with you below.
Why Do You Need Balance as an Entrepreneur?
Numerous studies highlight how entrepreneurs are more exposed to stress and mental health issues than other workers. For example, one report by the American Psychiatric Association found that 72% of entrepreneurs were directly or indirectly affected by mental health differences. They also experienced more depression (30%), bipolar disorder (11%), and substance abuse (12%) than other participants.
Unfortunately, so many entrepreneurs (myself included in the past) see downtime and time out as a failure. They see it as wasted time that they could be using more productively for their business. The truth is, when you’re working so hard and you’re not taking time out, you’re not working at your optimum level. You won’t be able to concentrate as well, you’ll get frustrated quickly, and you’ll make mistakes because you’re so tired.
Here’s how you can beat burnout and gain the right balance as an entrepreneur:
1. Enjoy Early Mornings Full of Space & Experience a Better Day
I can’t emphasize this point enough. If you wake up late and start hurrying through a pile of emails and social media posts because you’re behind, it’s going to affect your mindset in a huge way. You’re going to feel as though you’re constantly catching up and that there isn’t enough time to get things done. This will raise your stress levels (not to mention your blood pressure).
You also need to make time for yourself in the morning, too. Recently, I’d gotten into a rut of jumping into work and checking emails without taking some time out first. But now, I’m consciously taking time to breathe, meditate, and pray before I start working. And the difference I feel – all day long – is pretty amazing.
Your morning sets a precedent for the rest of the day. Make it mindful, calm, and stress-free. Don’t rush around.
2. Set Rules and Ground Limits for Family Time
Sadly, our families often take the brunt of our stresses, losing out to those last-minute deadlines or must-do projects. You have to make sure your work doesn’t take over family time. Because, if you’re anything like me, this time rejuvenates your soul, restores your mindset, and gives you focus.
I have a toddler and spending quality time with her really puts things into perspective. Your family is your priority, and while you’re building this business for your family, they shouldn’t take a backseat in the process.
So, to ensure you make this time and stick to it, set time limits for family time. Make these times so strict it’s like you’re heading to one of your meetings – you can’t be late and you can’t put minimal effort in.
“Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.” – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
3. Try Mediation and Deep-Breathing Exercises for More Grounding & Deep Thinking
Before any big event, e.g. a new product going live or an event appearance, I find meditation and deep-breathing exercises help ground me and refocus my mind. They give you that space you need to recoup your thoughts and lower your stress levels. What’s more, meditating doesn’t need to be all about incense and crystals. It can be something as simple as loading up an app on your phone for ten minutes. The one I use is called Calm.
4. Focus on Personal Growth & Delegate Monkey Work
If you want to achieve those bigger revenue numbers, you need to continue to learn and develop to see a real impact. This means you need to stop doing all of the “monkey work.” These are tasks defined as tasks that anyone can do. Delegate these so you can work on your own growth. Give yourself the time and space you need to develop a higher level of mindset.
Spend hours developing the strategy that will take your empire to the next level. Read books, listen to audiobooks or download podcasts from the greats in your industry. Some timeless authors you can find inspiration from for better, smarter entrepreneurial habits include Simon Sinek, Dale Carnegie, Donald Miller, Robert Kiyosaki, Mel Robbins, and Stephen Covey.
5. Make The Small Changes for Big Results
Entrepreneurialism takes dedication, hard work, commitment, and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. That much is inevitable. But remember, a burnout can have dire consequences on your mental and physical health. So make sure you’re putting as much effort, if not more, into your work-life balance by following the aforementioned tips.
Trust me, if you do that, you’ll not only feel better in yourself but you’ll notice the positive effects in your business too.