Finding work-life balance for entrepreneurs who want to grow their business may seem like the office version of mission impossible. But with the right strategies, it can be done!
HOW DO YOU MANAGE WORK-LIFE BALANCE WHEN YOU’RE TRYING TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS?
It’s the question that was on one of my listener’s mind. Maybe it’s on yours too.
In the very early stages of a business (I call it the start-up phase), people expect things to be hard at times. They expect they’ll have to make sacrifices. And they’re usually fine with it.
It’s when they move to the second stage, the growth phase, people decide it’s time for things to settle. And then,… THEY DON’T! THIS is the moment we start asking about strategies to achieve work-life balance, like my listener did.
On the surface it seems like business growth and work-life balance are incompatible by default. But the key-word here is “on the surface”.
Because when you dig a little deeper, it’s absolutely do-able.
I’LL SHOW YOU HOW.
Let’s talk about Growth
But, first we need to talk about growth.
See,… THERE IS GROWTH AND GROWTH.
Several years ago, I hated the question ‘What are your growth plans?’
Because in my mind, I was NOT growing my business. As a matter of fact, I was content with the size of my business as it was. I had NO desire to grow it into a multi-million dollar machine.
What I failed to understand was that… YOU CAN’T NOT GROW YOUR BUSINESS.
- To maintain the status quo (as I wanted) you should at least aim to grow your business at the rate of inflation.
- Even if you don’t want to boost staff numbers, you still want to evolve your business systems and software, so your improved efficiency creates higher returns.
- And then, there is a thing that is called negative growth.(Just throwing that in there, because you may be growing in the wrong direction.)
As I said, it’s impossible not to grow in one form or another, even if your idea of growth is not ‘an explosion’.
Which means… this episode applies to you, even if you think it doesn’t.
The Question Is… HOW?
You’ll get it.
These days, I look at the question 'How do you manage work-life balance as a business owner' differently. I want to grow my business. However, I don’t want to work so hard my work-life balance is compromised.
If you assume this is the point I’m going to pull my favourite subject ‘systems, process and tools’. YOU’RE WRONG!
Because, important as they might be, all the productivity hacks and time management systems in the world will not get you the elusive work-life balance. (Well, …not on their own anyway.)
Because work-life balance for entrepreneurs starts with
intentional decision making
So, rather than tell you about the importance of systems and processes, I give you ‘6 Strategies To Achieve Work-Life Balance While Growing Your Business’.
6 Work-Life Balance Tips For Business Owners (That Are Even More Important Than Systems And Processes)
1. Strategy For Work-Life Balance: Fine-Tune Your Business Model
What you want: You want to have a business that fits in with your life, rather than desperately trying (and failing) to juggle life around your business. Maybe you have a young family and you only want to work 20 hours a week? Maybe you have no desire to manage a big team? Or maybe you want to work from anywhere in the world? Bali one day, Lisbon the next.
How you get what you want: Work-life balance for entrepreneurs starts with the right business model. Evaluate different business models and choose one that aligns with your desired work-life balance. Consider factors such as the amount of time you’ll require, how much time do you want to spend, the scalability potential, and the level of control you have over your schedule. Opt for a business model that allows you to organise your operations and commitments in a way that accommodates your lifestyle preferences.
How do you manage work-life balance as a business owner? Unless you get the business model to reflect you, … it ain’t gonna happen.
2. Strategy For Work-Life Balance: Work Within Your Zone of Genius
What you want: You want a business you actually enjoy! Doing things you excel at. Spending all day doing things you hate can be incredibly draining. The same goes for tasks you feel you’re actually not that good at. You may end up feeling it’s all ‘need’, with very little room for what you ‘want’. Not quite the idea you had when you started out.
How you get what you want: Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in what is the norm. It’s incredibly liberating to step away from industry or society expectations. Instead, focus on building a business around your unique strengths and talents. Do what works for you, not what the world expects you to do.
Identify your zone of genius. Find the tasks and activities that come easy to you and you enjoy the most. Then structure your business around these. Delegate or outsource tasks that don’t fall within your zone of genius.
You’ll find it gives you…
- Increased efficiency
- Higher satisfaction
- Less stress
Bonus tip: Ensure you specialise your services instead of offering ‘everything to everyone’. We spoke about focussed service offerings last week. I didn’t mention it at the time, but it’s also an important strategy for work-life balance. If you missed it, you may want to go back to it. You can find it here.
3. Strategy For Work-Life Balance: Know Your Ideal Clients
What you want: You want clients who appreciate what you do, rather than drain you on every level. Nothing works more demoralising than having clients who hire you for your expertise only to overrule every professional recommendation you make. They are the type of client who demand results yesterday but fail to do their part of the job. They squeeze you for the bottom price and expect you to jump at their whim. Ugh!
How you get what you want: Work-life balance for business owners is about so much more than effective time management. A very important strategy for work-life balance is to choose your clients wisely. Clearly define your target audience and ideal clients. Understand the characteristics, values, and preferences of the people you want to serve. This clarity will allow you to attract clients who align with your working style and who are enjoyable to work with. Don't be afraid to set boundaries and politely decline working with clients who do not align with your values or who drain your energy.
4. Strategy For Work-Life Balance: Find Your Ideal Clients
What you want: Knowing the type of clients you want is one thing. Attracting them is another. You want your perfect clients to line up at the door (or fall into your Inbox). Well… kinda. You want to feel appreciated and valued by your clients. So much so that they stick around for the long term.
How you get what you want: This is why a compelling value proposition matters. Pinpoint what sets you apart from the competition. Figure out how you can solve your clients' problems or meet their needs. Then it’s a matter of communicating the unique benefits and values your business offers to your target audience.
5. Strategy For Work-Life Balance: Establish Effective Communication and Boundaries
What you want: You want your clients to stick to the office hours. Your evenings, weekends and public holidays are yours! Heck, you may want to go on a holiday! (The decadence of it!! ) What you want is to not constantly feel ‘on call’.
How you get what you want: The only way to get clients to respect your boundaries is to …
- Set clear expectations and boundaries from the beginning.
- Communicate your working hours, response times, and preferred methods of communication.
- Be prepared to stick to the boundaries you set. (It’s only a matter of time until someone will challenge them.)
If you find this strategy for work-life balance particularly hard, I recommend going back to my episode about onboarding new clients. You can find it here.
6. Strategy For Work-Life Balance: Seek Support and Accountability
What you want: As a business owner, you want to do a good job. You love serving our clients and get happy feedback. But NOT at the cost of our family time, mental health, physical health, other things we want to pursue,… happiness. And not just for a week or a month, but for the rest of our career as a business owner.
How you get what you want: Surround yourself with like-minded entrepreneurs or join business communities where you can share experiences, exchange ideas, and receive support. Engaging in mastermind groups, mentoring programs, or work with a business coach who can provide valuable insights, accountability, and guidance to help you with strategies to improve work-life balance.
But also, the job of evaluating and refining your business model, target audience, and service offerings is never done. Over time, you will gain more experience and insights. You may discover new ways to optimize your work-life balance. But also, your circumstances are forever changing. Babies turn into teenagers, parents become elderly. So what is a perfect work-life balance today won’t be that in 10 years from now.
So, stay tuned-in and keep aligning your business with your personal and professional goals.
The ultimate question is: What is the priority right now? Tomorrow the best strategy for work-life balance may look different all over again.
Need Some Help With That?
Need a fresh pair of eyes to help you fine-tune your business and your business strategy to find the elusive work-life balance?
A good business coach has the experience, but more importantly, will do all the listening, extracting the information to help with unique strategies to achieve work-life balance for YOUR business and YOUR life.
Where are you now?
Where do you want to go?
How do you get your life and business to work together in synchronicity?
Book a FREE Scale Strategy Session so we can start building a Business Your Way!
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