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Finding Harmony in Entrepreneurship: Balancing Business and Personal Life

A successful women entrepreneur working on her business while in a park

Do you ever feel like your days are spent juggling a million things and not making a whole lot of progress anywhere? No? Maybe just me! 🙂 Between normal grown-up responsibilities of having clean clothes, semi-regular medical check-ups, and eating somewhat nutritious food, it can feel like a lot. When we add the 'bonus' roles of partner, parent, friend, or daughter (to name a few), it can feel like...a lot.

Now, sprinkle in the role of entrepreneur into that mix. It's not just an added task - it's like throwing a fireball into this already demanding juggling act!

Don't get me wrong - I wouldn't change it! I love being an entrepreneur and building a business. It provides me with great fulfillment and satisfaction. I appreciate the autonomy and financial freedom that it provides. But, figuring out how to do it all well has taken time, intention, and a bit of humble pie.

The Entrepreneurial Equation

Becoming an entrepreneur on top of these existing commitments and roles in our lives adds a unique layer of complexity. This role often demands creativity, resilience, and an unwavering commitment, often blurring the boundaries between personal and professional ambitions.

The Signs of Overwhelm

In my own entrepreneurial journey, I've learned to recognize the signs of overwhelm and isolation that can sometimes shadow the best of intentions or well-laid plans:

Feeling like I'm always busy but not productive: A common theme in the early days where the hustle felt more like spinning wheels than moving forward.

The guilt of missing out: Whether it was family time or networking events, the guilt of what I was not doing often weighed on me.

The echo chamber of my own thoughts: There were days when the inner critic in me spewed its toxic rage, sowing seeds of doubt.

Acknowledging these signs was really the first step in my journey toward a more balanced life, both personally and professionally. Sometimes, a fresh pair of eyes or an outside perspective was most helpful in pointing out when I was slipping into a place of overwhelm.

A woman feeling overwhelmed while working in her business.

Shifting from Balance to Harmony

Now, before we go further, I think it's important to pause and clearly state that I've come to understand, without a doubt, that 'balance' is an unattainable goal that more often than not leaves us feeling like we're failing in all areas of our life. So, instead, I would like to propose to you the idea of 'harmony' - a state where nothing lives in perfect 50-50 balance but rather ebbs and flows to create harmony in life (doesn't that feel better?!)

What Is Entrepreneurial Harmony?

The idea of striving for balance in life, especially as a female entrepreneur is a game you're probably never going to win no matter how committed you are and how hard you try (sorry). The approach is flawed! It just doesn't take into the dynamic nature of life, where priorities are ever-shifting, demands change, and unexpected challenges arise on the norm.

Somedays the entrepreneurial aspects of life will inevitably take the lead, dominating your time and energy. On other days, personal life requires the spotlight, taking most of your attention and focus. Harmony is not about achieving the perfect equilibrium between work and life, but rather finding a sense of peace and contentment within ourselves. It is about understanding that life is not always going to be in perfect balance, and that's okay.

Why Balance Is Misleading

In our journey towards integrating the demands of entrepreneurship with our personal lives, aiming for 'balance' can often feel more like chasing a mirage. The concept of balance is lovely but it feels like we never actually achieve it and spend precious time and energy always looking to get closer and closer to no avail. This pursuit can lead us into a cycle of constantly adjusting and, inevitably, lead to burnout and feeling like a failure.

Transitioning from the pursuit of balance to embracing harmony is more than just a shift in mindset; it's a truly transformative approach to living. Often, it's the subtle nudges or insights from those who've journeyed before us that can shift our own perspectives in profound ways.

Practical Steps to Achieving Entrepreneurial Harmony

Through trial and error, I can say that creating harmony as a woman entrepreneur involves a few key practices:

  • Intentionality: I find it most effective to approach each day with a healthy dose of intentionality - understanding that how you allocate your time and energy directly impacts the harmony in your life. (Remember: how you spend your days is how you spend your life - plan well!)

  • Flexibility: Be willing to adjust your focus as needed. This might mean setting out time at the beginning of the week to look at how the different pieces of life are coming together for you in the week ahead.

  • Self-Compassion: Recognize that you're doing the best you can with the resources available to you. Practice self-compassion by not being overly critical of yourself (cause, that really doesn't help anyone) or expecting perfection.

  • Mindful Delegation: Please, please, please! Understand that you don't have to do it all. Delegate appropriate tasks, both in your professional AND personal life to make room for what truly matters.

By adopting these four practices, we pave the way for a life where flexibility, self-compassion, and thoughtful planning allow us to ride the waves of both our professional and personal lives with grace. Embracing this approach not only enhances our resilience to life's inevitable ups and downs but also enriches our journey, making each step along the way more aligned with what truly matters to us.

Setting Yourself Up for Harmonious Entrepreneurial Success:

Moving into a more harmonious rhythm requires not only personal strategies but also the wisdom to seek external support where needed. Here are a few areas to consider:

Adopt a Growth Mindset: Entrepreneurs who thrive are almost always those who view challenges as opportunities for growth rather than insurmountable obstacles in their way. Fostering a growth mindset will help you to see the unforeseen (yet inevitable) ebbs and flows in your business and life from a new perspective.

Time Management Techniques: Effective time management isn't just about squeezing the most out of every hour; it's about prioritizing tasks that align with your biggest goals and values, both in business and in life. Explore techniques such as time blocking, the Eisenhower Matrix, or the Pomodoro Technique to see which one works for you best (I'm a big fan of both the Eisenhower Matrix and Pomodoro technique myself :-). Whichever one you choose, be sure to approach your time from a holistic point of view - bringing both your business and personal tasks under one umbrella. Oh, and don't forget to leave time for rest and recreation as well!

Build a Support Network: No entrepreneur is an island, and attempting to do it all on your own is a surefire way to create burnout and complete imbalance in your life. Consider how to create a network of support in all areas of your life.

Do you put off creating social media for your business because you don't enjoy it? Outsource it!

Would you rather spend your early evening networking instead of cooking? Consider a meal or food box subscription.

My point is - support is available to you! Spend time doing the things that bring most value to you, best utilize your skillset and that you enjoy doing!

Embrace Technology and Tools: Leverage technology to streamline your work and personal life. Whether it's project management or automation tools like Asana or Honeybook, lifestyle apps that support your health and well-being, or simply going into your phone settings and placing limits on your daily screen time so you can foster richer personal connections, technology, when used wisely, can be a great tool in creating more harmony in your life.

Setting Boundaries: Perhaps one of the most crucial but challenging practices for entrepreneurs is setting and maintaining boundaries. This could mean specified work hours to avoid burnout, defining a workspace in your home to separate work from personal life, turning on your 'out of office' responder, or learning to say no to requests that don't serve your highest priorities.

Harmony Over Balance: Some Final Notes

Living a harmonious entrepreneurial life every day isn't a breeze; there will always be storms to weather. However, it's about having the flexibility and resilience to adjust your sails as the winds change. For entrepreneurs, this might look like pivoting your business model in response to market changes, taking a mental health day to recharge, or prioritizing family time despite a looming deadline.

As an entrepreneur, you're in a unique position to design your life and your business in ways that resonate with you and that work What this looks like is completely unique to you and your current life stage. Remember, harmony isn't a destination but, rather a journey - one that invites us to be creative, resilient, and above all, compassionate with ourselves.


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