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How To Balance Your Personal And Professional Lives As A Small Business Owner

Running your own small business is one of the most exciting and exhilarating things you can do.  Allowing you to escape the rat race by essentially giving you full control over your working life, it’s not surprising that so many people decide to setup in business each and every year.

But while running your own small business can be fantastic, you can become somewhat obsessed with it.  Wanting to ensure it’s as successful as it can possibly be, you seem to devote every waking hour to it in some way, shape or form.

And as great as this may be seem in one sense, it can actually have a negative impact not only on your business, but your life in general.

We’ve all heard about having the right work-life balance and when you’re first starting up your small business, you’re likely to also have been told that it’s going to be hard work and require a substantial amount of your time.

With sacrifices needing to be made, what’s still important to understand is that you have to have some balance between your professional and personal lives.

But how do you do it when all it seems like you want to do is dedicate every single minute to your small business?

Well, the question shouldn’t actually be ‘how?’, but ‘why?’.

The reason behind this is if we sit down and think about it for a few moments, we all know how to live a life that is at least relatively well-balanced between work and home.

But what most people – or most small business owners – don’t understand is the impact of not living such a well-balanced life.

To have the most successful small business possible and one that is continually developing and expanding, you need to be able to give it your all.  You need to know exactly what’s required at what time to deliver the best results both instantly and on a continual basis.

By giving it your all, this may be interpreted by some as meaning you need to be working 24/7.  However, the old adage of quality over quantity comes into play here, as the time you give to your small business doesn’t necessarily have to be considerable, but it needs to be beneficial.

You need to feel alert and awake.  You need to be motivated, enthused and ready to achieve something every single day.  You have to be happy and focused, driven to ensure your business is a success.

For most people, this all comes back to their family.  They’re the ones who make them laugh, who keep them wanting to succeed and are the people who they are ultimately in business for – yet with the hectic schedule that many small business owners lead, this can be forgotten.

And unfortunately, when this is forgotten, mistakes start to be made, most notably in the style of not devoting enough of your time to them, effectively having a diabolically poor work-life balance.

You end up going to work before they wake up in the morning and getting in after they’ve gone to bed on an evening.  You spend your weekends checking e-mails, making phone calls and preparing for the week ahead.

At first this may seem necessary, but if you fail to get a good grasp of what are effectively your two lives, working all the hours under the sun will become commonplace and your personal life will suffer tremendously, resulting in your professional life being negatively impacted upon, too.

To run a successful small business, you obviously need to make sacrifices and chances are you’re going to end up working longer hours than you ever thought you’d have to (or even thought was possible).

However, you must never forget the importance of getting the balance right between your personal life and your professional life, as although most people like to keep the two very separate, they both impact on each other more so than you’re ever likely to truly understand.

You need to make time for your friends and family just as much as you need to make time for your small business.  A family dinner or weekly beer with your friends may not seem possible or even overly important, but the truth is it will be hugely so when it comes to the quality of the time you dedicate to your small business.

This post was originally published on January 29, 2013.

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