A study by Gallup found that a quarter of Americans dream of becoming entrepreneurs but are holding themselves back. The study attributed this trend to many reasons like fear and financial limitations. Among these reasons, the fear of losing their work-life balance caused 47% of these people to give up their entrepreneurial dream.
Another research from NodeSource augments the urgency of this fact, saying that work-life balance is the biggest challenge entrepreneurs face, ranking it even higher than cybersecurity vulnerabilities and a tight job market.
Work-life balance is important, oh yes. And that should not become a reason for potential entrepreneurs to give up on their dreams. While it’s no child’s play, there is a way for entrepreneurs to try and strike a better work-life balance even in their crazy busy 80-hour workweeks, which really shouldn’t be that long in the first place. Prioritizing your health, sticking to healthy routines and learning to say no, are a few good starting points.
So let’s talk about what it takes to be a game changing entrepreneur with enough time to decompress and live a healthy, enjoyable life.
You don’t have to do it all by yourself. Even the most celebrated entrepreneurs and visionaries of our times have had someone else in the background who’s helping them run the show. They might not be as famous as the Number 1s, but few successful companies thrive without a good Number 2. Steve Jobs is the visionary who made Apple a global tech giant, but he had Steve Wozniak who supplied the critical technical skills that formed the basis of Job’s business acumen. Sergey Brin might be less talked about than Larry Page, but he is half the brain behind Google. Having someone to share the workload with you and bringing a different kind of business expertise to the table can not only give your business the well rounded development it needs but can help you share the load and catch a breath from time to time.
The NodeSource survey also found that 76% of entrepreneurs believe their biggest attribute is creativity. To augment this fact, an exciting research involving brain scans of successful entrepreneurs, MIT researchers found that entrepreneurs have higher brain dexterity, which means that they are able to easily switch between their right and left brains, allowing them to solve problems more creatively.
Why am I saying all this? Because creativity is a wonderful thing, but this also means that creativity-driven entrepreneurs have a hard time delegating tasks to others, thinking that only they can accomplish their tasks the way they want them done. But to protect your sanity and maintain a work-life balance, you need to start thinking of yourself as an idea-man and trust the competent people you hired to execute those ideas. If you set out to do it all by yourself, you will end up struggling to find a sliver of time for yourself.
When experts warn about the perils of overworking, they aren’t exaggerating. The perils of not prioritizing health are clear down to the numbers. The State of American Vacation 2016, a study by GfK found that in 2015 alone, Americans left an astounding 658 Million vacation days unused, out of which 222 million days are simply lost, meaning that they cannot be cashed, rolled over or used in any other way. And any number of studies could prove a link between overworking and health problems like depression and addiction.
Once again, this article was to encourage entrepreneurs and not scare them away. The idea is to tell you that you must start off on the right foot and prioritize your health right from the business plan stage. Do not undermine your fitness, don’t skip breakfast and sleep a good night’s sleep. All of this is possible if you consciously make it a part of your daily routine. Fitness can be spread out throughout the day with activities like taking the stairs or cycling to work. You can use fitness gadgets like FitBit to track your daily activity and work in more foot hours if you’re falling short. Use a sleep analysis platform like Somn to identify any sleep issues you may have, work out your best sleep routine and try to get more peaceful rejuvenation with every hour of shut-eye.
No matter what you create and how you reshape the world, nothing and no-one will ever replace what your family, friends and loved ones mean to you. No amount of press coverage, social media fame and business success will ever bring the joy that a hug from your child and a smile from your partner brings. So make time for the people that really matter, even on the days that are the hardest.
And if something you planned doesn’t work out, remember that all you need is another plan, not a bout of self-loathing and remorse. Plans fail, entrepreneurs don’t. They just restock, relearn and restart.
First things first, the world needs entrepreneurs. Nothing should be stopping talented people from becoming entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs, with their tactile creativity and disruptive innovations have transformed the economy in the past decade. They’ve improved our quality of life, made chores easier and pronouncedly changed the world. So every entrepreneur is significant and must be provided with the support and resources required to make the entrepreneur economy a success.
When it comes to work-life balance, it can be achieved if you make it a priority. Having the right mindset from the start does the trick. If you value your quality of life as much as you value the quality of your product, you will design your goals in a way to accommodate the simple joys of life.
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