Managing a business startup can be one of the most demanding jobs out there.
We are all familiar with the notion that to become a successful entrepreneur, and get your business startup off the ground, you have to be dedicated, driven and willing to work long hours. All of this is true, but many people believe that the only way to demonstrate that you are committed is to work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. The truth is that, longer hours do not equal higher productivity.
More often than not, entrepreneurs put so much emphasis on business success that they miss out on the other aspects of life. In an attempt to prioritize their work, they often lose track of the other important aspects of life. Forget the idea that as an entrepreneur “There’s no such thing as work-life balance”, because there is. Of course, this isn’t achieved overnight, but you can make it happen. Not sure how to go about it? Take a look at the following steps that will help you design your business around your life, and not the other way around”.
Establish your vision:
Life without vision is almost like going on a road trip without a map. Without this map, you may just end up going around in circles, and ultimately reach nowhere. Realizing what you want out of life and work, and knowing how to obtain them is crucial. In order to reach your goals, you first need to know what those goals are. What kind of life do you want? Do you want to live luxuriously? Or are you aiming more towards a humble life with peace and harmony? You may think that there is no way for you to guess what you may want 10 years down the line. But remember that your vision is a part of you, and it will change as you change. No matter what your vision is, as long as you let it guide you, you are on the right track.
If you are an entrepreneur who wants to create a work-life balance, you cannot live by the “one day at a time” mentality. If you want to achieve success in life and business, just taking life as it comes won’t help you get to your destination. You will have to work hard to reach your goals, and you cannot do that unless you think long-term. Even when you are planning your day-to-day activities, you need to set your priorities in a way that eventually lead to that ultimate goal. To achieve this you must put the systems and processes in place that enable you to achieve that goal.
Stephan Aarstol’s article in Inc, Design Your Business Around Your Life–Not the Other Way Around talks about Learning the art of management by absence, which is a concept popularised by Tim Ferriss in his superb book, The 4-Hour Workweek. “The key is having great employees who allow you to step away from the day-to-day without things falling apart. When you learn how to outsource and give your team autonomy, it frees you up to create balance in your life.”
This approach can be priceless for those striving to achieve that work-life balance. With less operational tasks, more outsourcing and delegation, you can spend more time on core work activities, or take some time out to increase your social activities.
Put efforts in building a network:
Your networking abilities are critical not only to the success of your business, but also to the overall quality of your life. If you want to make your small business grow and keep ticking without constant intervention from yourself, you need to build relationships and create a diverse network that will help with your business management and daily operations. Maintaining these relationships and taking action when necessary is crucial. It takes a significant amount of time and drive to build an extensive network of friends and associates. But the benefits of business networking is priceless
Once you are confident in the network you have built, you should consider outsourcing as much as you realistically can. With fewer employees the less people you have to manage, hire, and fire. You can also use websites such as Freelancer to find high-quality talent that you can outsource work to anywhere in the world.
With all the technology entrepreneurs have at their disposal in today’s digital age, businesses can operate from almost anywhere in the world. The three essentials you need to work from anywhere are email, phone and Internet. With these three essentials you can cut out the hassle of big city congestion, and the general hustle and bustle. With reduced stress you are likely to be more energized, productive, and focused on the task at hand.
New technology is changing attitudes regarding where you can work, and what time you work. The choices are now wide open. Whether you want to stay at home, travel, live remotely or run a virtual operation with staff working around the world, it is achievable. I’ve even heard stories of entrepreneurs closing million dollar deals whilst relaxing on a beach and sipping a cocktail.
Maintain a work/life balance that benefits you, and your business
You must be familiar with the saying “all work and no play, makes jack a dull boy”. This is especially applicable to entrepreneurs. Of course in the initial phases of setting up a business, you have to work hard to create a smooth operation. And then additional work is required to engineer your business around your life. It takes a lot of work to achieve this balance but the benefits are invaluable. Your business should revolve around your life, and it shouldn’t be the other way around.
Poor work-life balance can lead to stress and low output. Achieving work-life balance is integral to your general health and well being, and it increases your satisfaction and motivation. You are likely to be more committed, more flexible and more responsive to your business and customers’ needs.