This blog post was written as part of a sponsored program for State Farm™. All views expressed are entirely my own.
For several years I dreamed of owning a business. I even had a side hustle or two running behind the scenes, hoping that one day something would come out of these ventures. Once I became an entrepreneur, I had to face a new reality. Being your own boss can be very rewarding, but the line between home and work life are often blurred. I find that it’s even harder when your business is run exclusively from your home.
It wasn’t until I got burned out from work that I realized I had to find balance and create boundaries for myself. When successful entrepreneurs share advice, we often hear about the benefits a business can offer. But I wish more would touch on the fact that entrepreneurship can also be hard and overwhelming.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love being a business owner and wouldn’t change a thing. I just wish someone had enlightened me on the realities of owning a business. In honor of National Small Business Week, I want to share how I finally found balance between my home life and business. I’ve learned these strategies over the years through a lot of trial and error. I hope they encourage you to put yourself first as you crush your goals and continue on your entrepreneurial journey.
Finding Balance Between Your Home Life and Business
Manage your time
For several years I worked between 10-12 hours daily with little to no breaks. Although I knew that owning a business would require some personal sacrifice, I didn’t know when to step away from work. Now I follow a schedule that is driven by my business needs. I have specific hours blocked out for different business tasks. This simple method has saved my sanity and health. I get more done in less time, and I don’t allow my personal schedule to intermingle with work. When I’m done working for the day, I step away from the laptop and focus on my family.
Build a support network
For many years I attempted to do it all. I took care of my own website, bookkeeping, social media platforms, and administrative tasks. I was running a one-woman operation that left me burned out and exhausted. It didn’t take long before I decided to outsource several tasks to free up my time. This enabled me to focus on other aspects of my business that I enjoyed and that I was efficient in.
Did you know that small business owners with mentors have a higher success rate? In fact, my husband and I were both mentored by a SCORE volunteer at the beginning of our entrepreneurial journey. A strong support network also includes having the right financial products. Choosing a retirement plan or business owner policy can be overwhelming. State Farm agents are small business owners too and they understand the importance of financial security and can help you determine the needs of your business. Having the right people in your corner is the best thing you can do for yourself and your business.
Figure out your why
My reasons for becoming an entrepreneur will not be the same as yours. By the same token, your home life and business needs will likely be different. The key is for you to figure out why you’re in business for yourself and what you want to achieve. I wanted to have control over my schedule and finances. I was also tired of working long hours and missing out on my children’s lives. When I get overwhelmed, I remind myself why I started a business in the first place. I have no problem stepping away from work when necessary or indulging myself with a midday treat.
There’s no perfect method to balancing it all, but if you can integrate the two without sacrificing one or the other, you’ll be one step closer to your sweet spot.
I also want to encourage you to check out the Small Business Administration website to access their free resources and guides. Some topics they cover are:
- How to write a business plan.
- How to run and grow your business.
- How to find business financing.
- How to become a government contractor.
- How to find local support and much more!
The Small Business Administration will also be offering several free webinars this week on a variety of business topics. In fact, I registered for a couple of them myself and look forward to learning from the experts. You can also follow the #SmallBusinessWeek hashtag on Twitter to join the conversation and find resources from other business owners. It’s our time shine, so let’s celebrate our hard work and accomplishments!