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How to Balance Your Personal Life
with Running a Business
Starting and running your own business successfully can be very difficult. Managing to have a fulfilling personal life while also running a successful business can be even harder. Many successful business owners are not so successful in their personal lives and this may be because they have had to sacrifice many other things in life to build and maintain their professional success.
For many business owners, their business is their life. However, having interests, hobbies, and relationships that are separate from your working life is important for a healthy, well-rounded life. But how exactly can you keep your personal life in order while also meeting the many demands of running a business?
In this guide, we will explore some of the strategies that you can use to achieve this delicate balance!
Define Your Working Hours … and Stick to Them
When you are employed by somebody else, you may not think anything of simply switching your phone off and not thinking about work for the rest of the day after you have clocked out. However, when you are self-employed or running your own business, you can feel pressure to always be available as the face of your business. If you love to work all hours of the day and enjoy this busy and frantic lifestyle, this may not be a problem. However, if you want to have some time to relax or pursue other interests or responsibilities outside of work, such as family, friendships, relationships, or hobbies, this can be difficult.
Defining your hours of work can help you to keep a barrier between your work and personal lives. For example, you could set your office hours and make them known to your customers and clients, so that they will not be expecting service or replies to emails or messages outside of these hours. If this turns clients or potential clients/customers away, so be it—after all, you don’t really want to do business with people who do not respect your time and boundaries! Even if it is only an hour or two in the evening before you go to bed, don’t check work-related emails and perhaps even turn your notifications off. Allow yourself this time to recharge or pursue other interests, and don’t feel guilty about it!
When trying to balance work and personal life, the opposite problem can just as commonly be experienced. Family or friends may try to contact you during your working hours, as unfortunately many people think that being your own boss means that you can drop your work at any time you like without consequence! Share your working hours with your friends and family, and make sure that they know not to expect a quick response at these times. This means that if they do contact you, you are more likely to know that it is a genuine emergency.
Set up Passive Income Streams and Passive Marketing Strategies
You may be thinking “it’s all well and good to refuse to work during certain hours, but I can’t afford to lose out on any business!” If this is the case, you may want to think about implementing passive income streams and passive marketing strategies. Passive income is income that your business can make without you having to directly carry out work or services in order to receive payment. For example, having an online store that sells products is an example of a passive income stream. Of course, you still need to do the initial work of setting up the store, but you do not have to manually be involved with each transaction personally. You can receive money via sales while you are on vacation or while you are asleep!
Passive marketing is similar to passive income in that you do not have to personally “make a sale” each time you attract a customer. Setting up a website or social media account and paying for online advertising are both examples of passive marketing strategies. If you are unsure how to set up an effective website, why not outsource this? Birmingham web design agency ALT can help you design a high-quality website that will attract traffic and customers.
Having passive income streams and passive marketing strategies can mean that you don’t feel the need to be constantly keeping an eye on your business, leaving you free to spend more time with friends, family, or your partner!
Learn How to Effectively Delegate Tasks and Responsibilities
If your business employs staff, delegating tasks and responsibilities is a great way of allowing you to relax sometimes knowing that someone else will be able to “hold down the fort”. You will need to hire the right people for the job, implement an effective training program, and most importantly be able to trust your employees.
Having staff that you can delegate tasks and responsibilities to is not just a great way of allowing you to enjoy your personal life more, but it is also essential for your business operations. Even if you are willing and able to take on a massive workload yourself and succeed, what happens if you fall ill or if there is a personal emergency that renders you unable to work for a while? Relying on only yourself to do everything is risking the failure of your business by putting all its eggs in one basket!
If you are self-employed, this is obviously different. However, you can still delegate without having employees! Outsourcing tasks to other companies is one option, as is organizing your schedule so that you only need to focus on one thing at a time (some people call this “delegating a task to the ‘future you’”!).
Communicate with Others
It is important for our mental health to have open communication with other people. If you are suffering from stress or feeling overwhelmed by your workload or other business-related anxieties, it can do you the world of good to simply confide in a personal friend or loved one who is not affiliated to the business. Sometimes business owners can get stuck in their own “bubble” and hearing a second opinion from somebody outside of the business can really help them to see things clearly!
Further Reading from Skills You Need
Understand and Manage Stress in Your Life
Learn more about the nature of stress and how you can effectively cope with stress at work, at home and in life generally. The Skills You Need Guide to Stress and Stress Management eBook covers all you need to know to help you through those stressful times and become more resilient.
About the Author
James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and learning about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.