W/LB – How Do You Achieve It?
As I am working on an article for an upcoming publication, I felt a strong need to have a discussion with my fellow entre/intra/corporate/preneurs about work/life balance.
Here’s a peek at the interview:
Q: How do you achieve work/life balance as an entrepreneur?
Well, I talk about work/life balance (W/LB) a lot in my chapter in The Entrepreneur Within You, and on social media platforms such as facebook and twitter. During the first year of running my business full-time from home, I had absolutely zero life, and absolutely zero balance. However, one of my contributors, and very close friends has a blog called www.mylifestylezen.com. I found myself reading it very often actually searching for clues on HOW to achieve balance. I read many blogs, sites, books, and talked to many of my co-entrepreneur friends. We have made some conclusions about this “W/LB” however, it takes a few to keep each other accountable to whether we are really achieving it. Due to the fact that many of us do not do so well in this area, we created a signature t-shirt line and facebook page called the #theysleepwegrindcollaborative – where we check in late-night to see who’s up, by doing ‘roll call’. Here’s a link: facebook.com/theysleepwegrind.
Now, back to the question at hand. It has literally taken me a year and a half to be able to consciously achieve W/LB. I was not doing this for a long time and it was causing a bad strain on my productivity and on my marriage, to be honest. My husband and a few close colleagues had to really get it through my head that I was way too much of a workaholic. I quit working full-time to NOT be a workaholic, and my workaholism got worse!
So, here’s how I achieve W/LB currently:
- Keep an accountability partner close to me (my very good friend and consultant)
- Ask others to let me know when they see me falling out of balance (my mommy tells me often and she can spot it from a mile away)
- I promise myself to listen to my body when I need rest or need to back off work for a bit
- Listen to my children, hey they tell me when I have worked too much in a day or on the weekend
- I have begun to plan 1 weekly meeting outside of the house with a client or friend, so that I can get out and play a bit
- We have planned one fun date a week for hubby and I, when the kids are now back in school full time
- I take myself on dates for tea, coffee, or shopping just to enjoy myself and reflect
- I began a workout regimen that I had not been doing before
- I love coffee, but 3 years ago switched to a ‘healthy’ coffee to reduce my migraines and jitters which has interrupted my work flow many times
- I allow myself creative freedom to help build my own artistic voice and portfolio at least 2 times a week (non-client work)
- I began drawing and soon to be, painting again (my first love of art)
- I began voicing my experiences as an entrepreneur to share stories and testimonies with others, so not to feel so alone
- I collaborate and connect with others online as much as I can – I love my Facebook community
- I have learned to outsource a bit and hired 2 consultants to help me grow my business in sales and marketing; it’s working tremendously and I feel less stressed
- After a year, I have finally embraced that hubby (who was a stay at home dad for 10 years), is here to help with the family business, he’s helped tremendously
- I have helped my children 6 and 11 to launch small businesses, publish books, design t-shirts and play in ‘art’ as often as possible to encourage creativity in the home
- I have coached quite a few other designers and authors of late, and find it encouraging to be able to support others’ endeavors
- Most of all, I have learned from a coach, to “fill my cup first, before I pour into my business, or into others” and it’s working wonders. She says, “you cannot pour with an empty cup.”
All of these things combined have helped me achieve a fun/amazing/encouraging and exciting W/LB over the past year.
Q: You said that you attend a variety of events, where do you find the time?
Well, when we published The Entrepreneur Within You almost one-year ago, I promised myself, and the “brand” that I would either plan 1 event monthly or participate in another organization’s event where we could promote the book and the movement. So far, we have, and sometimes more than one per month. For the events we have planned such as book signings, book brunches, TEW jr. meet-ups, live author workshops, picnics and more, I have always had my side-kick, daughter Jasmine (11) who is such a mini-event planner. She loves helping me plan the logistics, get creative with party details and embrace others assistance in the process. We always have great deal of sponsors and volunteers which is amazing.
I recently found that my 16 years as an executive assistant still shines when planning events. I absolutely love it and it gives us something to look forward to outside of work once per month. When we have an event coming up, I often end up working late nights, early mornings and finding time to coordinate things while I’m half asleep, but it’s all worth it in the end. We have had some great times collaborating this year with the TEW Crew!
I look forward to reading the full interview once it’s available, and of course we will share it with you!
For now, please visit our facebook page and let us know how you achieve W/LB!