6 Tips to Improve Your Work-Life Balance

By Generational Equity


Entrepreneurs often take great pride in their ability to juggle disparate responsibilities as they build their company. However, no one can do everything, and the “always-on” mentality eventually drains you of your creativity and drive. Here are a few tips to help you improve your entrepreneurial life:

  1. Foster self-awareness. Start-up leaders need to foster a sense of self-awareness of when it’s time to hire someone more qualified or more efficient for a given task. It’s important to be able to recognize when your boot-strap solutions to HR or accounting are hindering your company’s ability to grow. And keep this old saying in mind: What got you here won’t get you there. That means the skills you need to create a company and grow to $5 million in revenue may not be the same needed to then grow to $50 million and beyond.
  2. Give yourself a break. No one can go all day, every day without recharging their batteries. Learn to recognize when you need a break and give yourself permission to step away from the business. Whether it’s a walk around the block, a regular tee time with your buddies or date night with your spouse, build in time away from your business to refresh your thinking.
  3. Don’t try to have all the answers. As you build your company, recognize that you sometimes need help. The world is simply too complex for any single person to know everything that’s best for a business. So, the next time a problem crops up, be open to consulting an industry expert or trusted advisor rather than trying to solve an issue outside your expertise.
  4. Create a schedule. Adhering to schedule allows you to Put First Things First as recommended by Stephen R. Covey in his seminal business book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. First published in 1989, the principles covered in this short read are as useful as ever. And, by putting first things first on your schedule, you’ll always find time for those things that bring balance to your life, such as a call to your mother or an exercise class.
  5. Hire an executive assistant. Nothing will multiply your effectiveness as company leader like an executive assistant. This video from Kauffman Founders School slays every argument you’ve ever made for why you shouldn’t hire an assistant.
  6. Turn off, or turn down, your smartphone. It’s easy to let your business become your life, particularly when you own a smartphone. The good thing about carrying your business in your pocket is also the bad thing about it. Your mind and your relationships outside work need relief from your business, so turn off the alerts and silence the ringer at least once a day. Say, during dinner with your kids. Also, if you find yourself constantly talking about work with family and friends, make yourself stop. Ask about their lives.

Even if you only implement one or two of these tips a year, you’ll soon improve your work-life balance for the better. Learning to balance your personal and professional life better will also help you when you are eventually talking to buyers of your business. They will be concerned if you are at the business 24/7 and do not delegate decisions to your key managers and staff. Learning to hire, mentor, and develop talent is important to not only your life balance but also for building a “buyer ready” business.

By Jessica Johns Pool.