The Balancing Act
Having been self-employed since 1992, I’ve learned a lot about the balancing act that comes with running a business. Entrepreneurs have to make choices as to what is practical and what takes precedence. We have to prioritize and when we choose something, we have to let something else go. It doesn’t take long before new entrepreneurs discover that some activities are very time sensitive and so the pressure is on and it feels as if there’s no choice. We feel emotional pain and stress when we have to let something go in order to accomplish what has to be done.
We are constantly balancing the business with what we want to accomplish in life-events and home-chores. We also have to train people so they understand that they cannot drop by just because they know you are home. We might have to make signs and post office hours in order to drive the point home.
I’ve learned that just because there are options and opportunities that others have had success with, doesn’t mean that they are the right choice for you at this time. Location, abilities, talents, budget, timing and circle of influence - these all play a major role as to what works for the individual.
I had to learn how to see opportunities differently. Instead of being stressed about all these things I have to do, I now look at them as future opportunities and write them down in a file. When I return to that file, I celebrate the fact that I have all these great options to follow up on when my schedule opens up. A lot of business owners pay others big bucks to find those opportunities. So instead of feeling regret that you have a list of “to do’s” look at it as a compilation of opportunities waiting for you.
Because we work from home, there is a need to make time for the house duties, the meal making, the yard care, the shopping, and all the other life and family activities. Working from home can often mean we are loading and running various machines while we are working on the blog. We might be prepping meals part of the day, doing housework, tackling that honey-do list and also returning calls and emails pertaining to business. We have bread baking while answering questions to an interview, or watering the lawn while we write an article. Those of us who are self-employed learn to multitask, that’s for sure.
At the same time, we need to learn to say “No” when it comes to all the things your family or friends figure you should have time for. With family this often means that we need to learn how to delegate what needs to be done.
Home-based business owners also need to have a “shut-off” button. We have to be willing to schedule time to recharge those energy batteries and refill that happiness bucket so that when we come back to that lists of to do’s, we do it efficiently, with energy, enthusiasm and fewer mistakes.