By Denise O’Berry Friday, June 15 2007
You bet. But it takes work to make it happen. 😉
The good news is that if you take the time to make sure you balance your personal life with your business life, you will reap the benefits in both areas. A burnt out person isn’t effective while at the business helm or at play.
“No one can immerse himself in work nonstop, without a break, and maintain a healthy sense of perspective,” says Ty Freyvogel, former entrepreneur, current angel investor, and founder of makingsenseofyourbusiness.com. “Try it and you’ll surely start to exhibit bad judgment in your business decisions. You’ll start feeling the effects of constant stress. You may even eventually burn out, or worse, start experiencing health problems. At that point, your company will certainly feel the effects of your lack of balance.
So where do you start? Here are a few tips from Freyvogel for you to check out.
Factor your family into your life. Hopefully, your family is already one of the main reasons you work as hard as you do, but they still need your attention and affection and you need theirs in return. True, your business supports your livelihood, but without the things that really matter, your professional life will be empty and unfulfilling.
Make a plan and stick to it. You know that business plan you’ve been following in order to build a profitable company? Well, now is a great time to create a plan for your personal life. Grab a calendar for the summer months and get to work! If you’ve got kids who will be playing on sports teams this summer, go ahead and decide now on the number of games you think you will be able to attend. Figure out which games on their schedules work the best with yours, then mark these dates on the calendar. Doing so ensures you’ll give these family events the same weight you would a critical client meeting.
Don’t overestimate how well your business is doing. If you have recently started a business and the money is flowing in faster than you ever imagined, spend with caution . . . whether the “currency” is time or money or both! Just because it seems like the money is there doesn’t mean it will always be, so don’t book an expensive or too lengthy vacation.
If you do go on a vacation, make it a real one. What’s the definition of a real vacation, you ask? A real vacation doesn’t involve having a cell phone attached to your ear, a laptop that is constantly alerting you about new email, or a BlackBerry that can be carried every place you go so that you don’t lose touch with the business for even a second. If you’re going to do any of these things while you’re on vacation, you might as well not even go, because you won’t be able to really relax or give your family the attention they deserve.
Don’t make every lunch a business lunch. Entrepreneurs tend to “do lunch,” not have lunch. That’s understandable. The mid-day meal is the perfect time to woo new clients, shore up relationships with existing ones, or just sit alone in a pub with a legal pad scribbling down new ideas. (And that’s assuming you even take a lunch at all; many entrepreneurs wolf down a bag of chips at their desk.) But do this every day of the week and you’ll start wondering if there is life outside the business sphere.
You don’t have to have a family to take a little break this summer. If you’ve started a business but haven’t yet started a family, you may think none of these rules apply to you. Well, you’re wrong. Entrepreneurs are known for their inclination to work at breakneck speeds without ever coming up for air. The summer is a great time to take a break from the business even if it is just for one day to do something you enjoy, spend time with friends, or just sleep in.
Okay, time to get started. See you at the beach!