Being a business owner can be all-consuming. You love what you do, and you want to spend the time necessary to ensure your work is successful. Unfortunately, that can also mean that your business tends to overtake your personal life. You might find that you’re letting communication with friends and family slip, losing focus when it comes to your personal goals, or just generally feeling burnt out as you move through your day-to-day.
But the entrepreneur life doesn’t have to mean that you’re constantly overwhelmed and neglecting the rest of your world. The key is to take actionable steps toward combining work and life in a way that works for your unique situation.
Focusing On Work-Life Integration Over Balance
There are so many articles, books, podcasts, and videos out there encouraging entrepreneurs to find a work-life balance. The truth is, “balance” is almost impossible as an entrepreneur. Your business is a huge part of your life, that’s never going to change. Even if you work a normal 9-5 schedule (or less!), that doesn’t necessarily mean your work won’t be on your mind, or the occasional emergency won’t crop up that requires you to work on a Saturday morning, or outside of traditional business hours.
It’s much easier, and often more beneficial, to focus on work-life integration over the often-unattainable balance. Work-life integration might mean that you work around dropping off and picking up your kids at the bus stop, or taking the afternoon to hike and working in the evenings. The more you embrace that some seasons will be busy, and others will be more flexible, the more you’ll be able to live your life in a way that combines everything you love without stressing yourself out about trying to strike a perfect equilibrium every day.
There are several things you can do to create boundaries to prevent your work from bleeding into your life too much:
Uninstall your email or other work applications from your phone to avoid using them when you’re not “at work.”
Set specific working hours for yourself and stick to them.
Allow yourself 2-3 days a week (in a row) where you take off as a “weekend” to rest and recover. Even if they aren’t the traditional Saturday-Sunday weekend days, it’s important to give yourself room to breathe.
Don’t accept meetings outside of your work hours.
Learn to “power down” on work projects when you need to connect with the people around you, or even if you just need some time to breathe.
Whatever boundaries you choose to set, stick with them. It’s tempting to be available at all times for your clients and colleagues - don’t. You want to continue loving what you do, and you want to continue loving your life. Budging on your present boundaries could lead to getting burnt out more quickly.
Separating Your Finances
As you work to creating stability in your life as a business owner, one key step to take is separating your business and personal finances. Keeping your personal and business expenses separate, and paying yourself a set “salary” (even if you’re a solopreneur) can help to provide a sense of consistency in your life. It’s also important not to consistently dip into your personal savings account to cover big business expenses.
Although this advice is important to maintain your finances, it’s also important to create this additional boundary between your work and your personal life for less tangible reasons. Knowing that your business and your personal finances are consistently separate eases any concerns you may have about going into debt to fund your business, or being unable to spend as you need to because your business has taken up all of your personal budget.
Incorporating Self Care
When you’re a business owner, it often feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day. You might be scrambling to fit everything on your work to do list in, and then feel burdened by the day-to-day tasks that we used to enjoy. Avoiding burnout isn’t easy, but self care can help. Self care tends to be a trendy topic these days, but the truth is it can be anything that actively contributes to you feeling better about yourself and your life. This might mean making time during your day to get in some exercise, taking an hour on Sunday to meal prep healthy food for the busy week ahead, or taking an afternoon off to spend time with friends and family.
Self care can also encompass the things we know are good for us but consistently move to the back burner - like financial planning. As you move through your life as an entrepreneur, it’s important to make time to actually take care of yourself, and that means taking care of your money. The brain space that you currently use to worry about your finances could be used for expanding your business, relaxing, or enjoying this incredible life you’ve built.
If you’re overwhelmed when it comes to building a financial plan, you’re not alone. Speaking with a financial planner can help. Schedule your 30 minute consultation today. We’ll talk through your biggest financial concerns, and how we can help to solve them and continue working toward stability in your life as an entrepreneur.