Entrepreneurship is an incredible journey – one that's filled with great rewards, but also with uncertainty and stress. Me? I’ve owned my business for six years now. I like it – especially the flexibility – but it takes a little longer to learn how to create a good work-life balance.
Create a Schedule and Take a Day Off
Entrepreneurs always look forward to leaving the 9-to-5 routine and being in a position to work wherever they want, whenever they want. But they also need to know how to relax so that they avoid burnout.
Grayson Bell, a serial entrepreneur and owner of the company iMark Interactive, is a strong proponent of taking one full day off each week. “The free time allows your mind to gain balance, but also insight into your problems and stress,” he says.
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Kathleen Celmins, a partner at Stacking Benjamins, feels the same way. “We just started giving ourselves a half-day off. Meaning past noon on Tuesday, nobody in our business is working,” she says.
“I’m learning that just because I can do something doesn’t mean I should,” Clemins continues.
Having structure and days off is not only good for you – it’s a good way to set boundaries with your clients, too. Liz Theresa – an online business expert and web designer – says, “As soon as you work with a client at 7:30pm, guess what? That’s what time you’re available now.”
Kim Studdard, a blogger and virtual assistant, agrees. “People may still try to get you to break the rules just for them, but you have to put your foot down,” she says.
All of these boundaries and restrictions are going to help you to avoid burnout. Sarah Brooks – a busy mompreneur – told me, “One of my secrets to avoiding burnout is not to over-schedule myself.” It’s definitely hard to do when we have an automatic inclination to hustle all the time, but it’s something that we have to control.
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Remind Yourself of Long-Term Goals
Carrie Smith Nicholson put it best: “If I planted a seed today, I wouldn’t expect to harvest fruit from it for at least five – or even 10 – years. So why do I expect to see results from my business overnight?”
So don’t be in such a rush to see immediate results, as long as you work towards your long-term goals.
As Matt Becker says, it's important to have “a clear understanding of why the work I’m doing matters to the world at large.”
If you have that, you’re far more likely to confidently weather the highs and lows that entrepreneurship and self-employment bring.
Whitney Hansen, a millennial money expert and entrepreneur, has another trick to deal with stress: She thinks of her life in seasons. “When I changed my philosophy from one of a balanced life to a life of seasons, I began seeing better results and feeling more confident,” she says. “Being open to a life of non-perfection and living in seasons has helped me tremendously.”
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Outsource as Much as Possible
“Automate as much as possible,” advises John Rampton, owner of the company Due. John spends the time that outsourcing saves him with his family. Kayla Sloan, whose business grew faster than expected, struggled to find a balance till she started outsourcing: “Part of how I put more balance back into my life is by outsourcing as much as I can.”
Avoiding Entrepreneur Burnout: The Bottom Line
Entrepreneurship is definitely filled with many highs and lows. But with enough awareness, discipline, scheduling, and outsourcing, you can absolutely have a very successful business career without missing out on spending time with your family and friends.