You may have heard that living a balanced life is a goal to strive for, a healthy and wise way to live. If you’re a small business or web site owner, is living a balanced life even possible?
Yes, it is. But not when you’re starting a new business. Yes, but not when you’re taking your business to a new level. Yes, but not when you’re starting anything that will require a significant investment in your energy and time.
Just what does this notion of a balanced life mean, anyway? Does it mean equal time for work and equal time for your personal life? I don’t think so.
When I’m living a balanced life, I feel centered, grounded, focused. Whatever I’m involved in just seems to flow. I may be spending a much higher percentage of time on my business for a specific period of time and still feel like my life is balanced. My commitments to family, friends, community, and personal interests are very important; still, my web business may take 80% of my time in some cycles with my personal life getting only 20% for a specific period of time. Being totally present, focused, centered in whatever I’m doing is a priority. That gives me balance.
At the same time, I don’t believe you can become a ‘workaholic’ without paying a price over time: in effectiveness, energy, relationships, or health. That’s where the sense of renewal comes in, from those things that nurture, renew and sustain you.
Research on highly successful people shows that life may be out of balance for specific periods of time. When a new baby enters your family, is your life in balance? When you make a career change, is your life in balance? These significant life decisions REQUIRE that our lives be out of balance. The same thing occurs when you start a new business or grow your existing business.
Successful people DO focus their energy on specific goals they want to accomplish. The issue is how long are you going to invest in this goal? How long will it take you to reach a certain level of success and then set up a system to keep your success going? PLAN FOR IT and take these steps:
1. Let those you are close to know that your time will be devoted to your business for the next x period of time. Let family and friends know specific steps of your business plan and why you are doing it.
Build in personal time with family and friends: let them know when you will be available, in advance. This is time when you will be available for them. No laptop, no cell phone, no work, just you!
2. Enlist the help of those you care about. Too many web owners ignore this step and pay a high price for it. Those you care about want you to succeed! Invite family and friends to be part of your process so they are with you from the very beginning. Share your goals, discuss steps it will take to accomplish them, identify roles family and friends might play in the effort.
3. Remember those emergency instructions when you’re on an airplane? “Put your oxygen mask on first, then put the mask on your child.” Why? You can’t help others unless you take care of yourself. Please read that sentence again!
Never, ever give up self-renewal time each day. It’s your private time to renew and replenish. It may be 15 minutes in the morning or any time that works for you. But keep your commitment to inspire you, feed your soul, and de-stress your body.
Successful people use a variety of techniques every day to recharge, replenish and de-stress. Your goal is to be successful in BOTH your business and your personal life. Daily renewal and de-stressing will enable you to remain both loving and productive!
©Copyright 2000, Joann Javons. Reprinted with permission.
Joann Javons is author of “7 Ways to Unblock your Creativity” created to help other professionals market their private practice through networking effectively with their own contacts network.