There is a post rolling around right now that says as an entrepreneur balance in all things is an impossibility.
“Work, sleep, family, fitness, or friends–pick three. It’s true. In order to kick ass and do big things, I think you have to be imbalanced. I’m sure there are exceptions, but every person I’ve seen riding on a rocket ship was imbalanced while that rocket ship was being built. You have to decide if you want it,” quoted by John Crawford.
I get it, I do. Running a “startup” that even though it has matured into a business, is a challenging thing. There is ALWAYS something to do, and taking time away from nurturing your business baby to watch a movie or hit the gym seems like a sacrifice of potential.
But, is there a way?
First off, as a mother, I think it is a requirement of my personal longevity to balance my health, my family, my business and my personal life. To risk any one of those will have a negative affect on everything I touch. Reduce my sleep, and my work and family will suffer (and some days it will suffer painfully) Stop my exercise and my life span will shorten, and my ability to maintain endurance for work and family will decrease. Take away my netflix (aka friends for this introvert) and I will be an anxious mess. And if I don’t give my family what it needs, my children will not be the people I want to inherit my world.
To think that giving ALL of ourself to only parts of what make us who we are does a disservice to everything we do. We ARE those 5 pillars, and our stability relies upon it.
So what are the solutions?
Work less. You have to. No good work comes out of a mind after a certain point of time. Find your sweet spot and do your best work then. Get help for the things you can’t/don’t want to do, and spend your work hours doing what you are a genius at.
Sleep every night. Find your rhythm for sleep and value it as you value nutrition and laughter. Know that is what allows you to work and be at your best the next day, and for the love of all things, please turn off the tech at night! IT CAN WAIT.
Sweat. Every day if you can. And if you can’t, then MOVE. Justify your moving and multitask. For me, my best thinking through problems comes when I my body is otherwise engaged. So kill two birds with one stone and value this activity period as problem solving.
Spend time with your kids. Do it for them, not you. Effort put in now to build a relationship will save both of you years of hardship. Talk, laugh, play, and (again) multi task! Get outside and exercise TOGETHER. Just spend the time while you can.
Relationships are valuable, and even as an introvert, it is important to me that I have quality time with my husband. Social interactions aren’t AS important to me, but I still get my fill when I am at the gym with my trainer, picking up the kids from school, or chatting at the shops. Figure out what YOU need, and make sure you get it, in the right doses.
I believe that there is ALWAYS a way to balance and make it work, now granted, there is also ALWAYS a sacrifice, but usually those sacrifices are small when you look at the big picture.
Of course, this all works amazingly well until the kids are off on a pro-d-day right 🙂