As a small business owner, I get asked all sorts of questions. Most of the questions are in regards to my work and products, but second to those types of questions, I get a surprising amount of questions about the behind the scenes of running a business.
I think these questions are worthwhile to discuss and answer because I like to share my experiences with others in hopes that they find them helpful in what they are pursuing.
While I can’t answer every single question I get at the same time, I have found that many of the questions I get can be grouped into larger categories that I can answer. Here’s the fourth in the series of blog posts answering these category questions. I hope you find my experiences helpful! Whether or not you run a business, I’ve found that lots of the things I’ve learned in business also apply to life.
I’m a natural busy bee so balancing life is something that I struggle a lot with. I am the type of person who hates to sit still or have nothing to do. I don’t think I’ve ever had “nothing to do” in my entire life. It’s quite an uncomfortable feeling for me cause my brain never stops so when my body stops or doesn’t have something to do then I feel like something is wrong.
What has helped me the most with balancing my life is my family?
First of all, my husband has been a huge help. He is my opposite. He enjoys being still and can easily find peace in the simplicity of life. I refer to him as a brick wall at times because while he is my opposite in personality he is my equal in stubbornness. He’s one of the only people on the planet who can make me change course or stop what I am doing, like running into a brick wall. He is also very observant so he can tell when the stress of work-life balance is getting to me and he’ll tell me I need to focus on one particular area of my life that is lacking.
You may not have a partner like mine, but I would encourage you to find a friend, parent, sibling, coworker, or group that can help you to be accountable for the time you spend working and doing the other things that are important to you. You can be that person for them too and in that way make it mutually beneficial for the both of you.
Secondly my kids are another big influence on me. They don’t point it out to me with their words, but with their actions. When they get overly difficult, bored, or kolohe - I usually take that as a note that they need more from me. It is my belief that relationships are like wells and you can only take out what you put in so when a relationship is strained, I evaluate how much I’ve been putting into it lately and then go from there.
You may not have kids, but I’m sure you have important relationships in your life. Don’t forget to feed those relationships because there will always be times in life when you will need them.
Lastly, I try to balance my life by keeping things in my schedule that are just for me, for example working out or going on walks with friends. The list should really be longer and I’m working on it, but even having a few things that are for and about me at all make a big difference in how I feel about myself.
So I guess in summary I balance life by looking at those closest to me and taking into account their actions, words, and feelings with my own. Everyone is so different and every situation is so different so I can’t tell you what exactly will work for you, but I know that you can find it and that it’s important you do. You can’t produce and help others when you’re not in a good place - so take care of you and what’s most important to you. That’s what matters most.
Here are some specific questions I’ve been asked about how to balance life and business (Anything bolded is further commentary from me)
- Making, creating, prioritizing time away from family: start small and work up to more
- Time demands: batch working helps with time demands
- Passionately working my business without worrying about caring for the family. I always worry about caring for my family. I’ve come to accept that maybe it’s not a bad thing. It drives me to be my best, work hard, and not waste my time because it is time that I could have spent with my loved ones. In many ways, when we work we are caring for our families by providing for them and also showing them the importance of work.