Working full time while building your business means you juggle SO many things in a day – it can often feel like you never stop the balancing act.
Can I let you in on a little secret tho!? (and this is JUST my own humble opinion) Balance is a total myth made up by someone who OBVIOUSLY wasn’t trying to build a brand while soaring in her career and raising a family (eye roll). Check out this definition:
Balance: “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.”
If your entrepreneur journey has been anything like mine, that means your life is far from “evenly distributed”. Early on our businesses, careers and families are COMPETING priorities. They're each important to us, require our time, attention, and dedication to thrive and be successful to the degree we can help them be so. The uncomfortable truth is, while my family will ALWAYS be the most important thing in my life, depending on the time of day it can’t always be my priority.
As you work more IN your business and not just ON your business you need systems and strategies to make managing the competing priorities of your family, your home, your career and your business easier. Systems and strategies add up to to help make sure you're not only taking care of business, but taking care of yourself.
Building your business at home can feel like there's no total disconnection between your work self, creative self, and home self.
As I coach my clients who are killing it in their careers and mommin’ their families while makin’ their dreams come true, I tell them to take these 3 actions to make sure they take care of themselves, as they care for everything else.
1. Reach out - hire help
At some point we heard the word “entrepreneur” and it got morphed into “solopreneur”, and with it came the idea that you have to do it all yourself. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There is likely a period in business for all of us when the ideas have to incubate and get going, but even this doesn’t have to be done in isolation.
And as your business grows and morphs, there is even more to do. Having help with everything from thought partnering, to accountability and strategic planning, to graphic design, to back-end processes can make all of the difference in where your business is and where you want your business to be.
OBMs and VAs can take majorly tedious tasks off of your plate.
Automated systems like Planoly and Flodesk can help you auto schedule and post your content and newsletters.
Hiring a business coach can drastically cut down on the time you're spending figuring out how to be a business owner and generate cash-flow
Help in your business isn’t the only help to consider – I blogged about the different types of help to hire so maximize your precious resources of time and money in your home and in your business. Check out that post here!
You've been able to soar in your career and get this far with your creative passions by yourself, but you don't have to continue to figure this out on your own. If you got this far just imagine how much higher you can soar with support, accountability, and a blueprint!
2. Protect your time (like you protect your money)
As I said above, time is such a precious resource and a corporate creative has zero time to waste. Many entrepreneurs start by building their business as a side-biz-preneur while they work full or part time, while others are solely dedicated to their businesses at this point. Either way, the vision of being a business owner includes freedom of ti
me – getting to come and go as you please, and not being chained to a desk from 8-5.
A reality we quickly face as entrepreneurs is that rather than 8-5, we are working our business around the clock, sometimes even on weekends because until you have the right systems and strategies in place, that’s often the only time you have free to do so.
One of the ways you can begin to care for yourself is putting parameters on your time.
This is a way of protecting your peace and productivity. Just like you budget your money – initially balling on a budget can feel limiting and restricting, but many master budgeters who have achieved debt-freedom will tell you that budgets aren’t constraints, they’re actually a form of freedom.
You should know where all of your time is going, just like you would budget every dollar to make sure everything that's yours is accounted for.
In the way you budget and steward your money to ensure you have enough for everything you need and don’t overspend on the wrong things, you need to budget your time to make sure you yourself aren’t spent, and that there’s enough of you to pour into the places you need to.
Check out my tips for finding time for your passion project, and see if one of them might work for you!
Decide on your work hours for each day once you assess where you’re needed at home and at work if you have another employer: Maybe you decide Monday is your late start/late night day because Mondays are reserved for family time, or maybe you reserve time on Sunday morning before church to record a podcast or publish your weekly podcast. Having a clear handle on the tasks you have to accomplish for your home and your business, and the time each will take, will allow you to develop a realistic to-do list that doesn’t overwhelm you and ensures you’re using your time wisely.
3. Own your Strengths and live in them daily
As a strengths-based coach, I know first-hand the benefits my clients experience when they let go of their obsession with fixing their weaknesses, and focus instead on knowing and understanding the very best of what they do naturally well so that they can deliver in it over and over again.
By living in your strengths, you’re not choosing to ignore your weaknesses, you’re choosing to acknowledge them, but not be defined by them nor allow them to hold you back as you build your business.
Your strengths are like your very own super-powers!
Gallup defines a strength as “the ability to consistently provide near-perfect performance in a specific activity. Talents are naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling, or behavior that can be productively applied. Talents, knowledge, and skills -- along with the time spent (i.e., investment) practicing, developing your skills, and building your knowledge base -- combine to create your strengths.”
In my work with clients, I help entrepreneurs use their strengths to develop the strategies to be successful as they build out and scale their businesses. I've done this in my own life and business for over 10 years and now I get to coach my clients to do the same!
The first order of business is understanding your strengths and how to deliver on them positively each day. When my clients stop obsessing over the areas where they naturally struggle and embrace their strengths instead they increase productivity, drive performance, and improve areas where they may have felt they were under performing not just in business, but at work and in their personal lives as well.
Living in your strengths daily is based on a model of Positive Psychology, which is a framework, or paradigm, that includes an approach to psychology from the perspective of healthy, successful life functioning. This includes optimism, positive emotions, spirituality, happiness, satisfaction, personal development, and well-being. THESE root back to the reasons you decided to turn your passion into a business in the first place!!
I’ve been a strengths-based educator and trainer for over 14 years and couldn’t be more grateful for the benefits of knowing what I do best, and doing everything I can to help those I coach and train do the same!
Let’s chat about your personal strengths and how they can help you in you as you strategize in life and in business.
Little Changes = Big Results
I’ve said this before because it’s so true. The only way to “eat an elephant” is one bite at a time – meaning, no matter how massive the issue seems, you will only get through it one piece at a time.
Start by implementing one change at a time, and eventually putting these pieces of self-care into practice can combine to help manage your competing priorities, while making sure you’re prioritizing yourself and your well-being. I personally benefit from these as my business continues to grow, and they were absolutely critical while navigating a year of being employed, homeschooling, maintaining a marriage, and continuing to grow my business.
Struggling in this area as you build your business? Sign up to attend my next free workshop designed to teach you how to live in your natural talents as an entrepreneur and use them as your cash-flow generating business strategy!
In which of the above areas are you struggling and needing to better care for yourself?