Maintaining a work-life balance as an entrepreneur or business owner can be very challenging, especially when it feels like you are “always on” the job. Advances in technology make it even harder to ignore emails, phone calls and leave work at the office.
Many people have a pre-established belief of what the “price of success” is, whether it’s earning a college degree or working more hours than the average employee. While these things certainly provide an advantage, the truth is that many successful entrepreneurs create a unique path to success, bypassing the social standards through discipline and extreme dedication to their business. Some have Master’s degrees, others have minimal schooling – but they all became extremely knowledgeable about their business through passion and experience.
“Don’t confuse schooling with education,” Elon Musk, founder, and CEO of SpaceX and co-founder and CEO of Tesla recently said. “I didn’t go to Harvard, but the people that work for me did.”
My path to success began when I dropped OUT of school in the 10th grade. I went on to build multiple successful businesses from scratch, including an industry-leading, 20-year automotive marketing firm in Traffic Jam Events. I did not develop these companies with a 9-5, 40-hour work week. Putting in extra hours to hone your craft is just one of the many sacrifices a successful entrepreneur often makes to get ahead of the thousands of competitors in their industry.
To be successful you will have to put in hard work and dedicate many hours, however if you follow these three tips, you will be able to somewhat maintain a work-life balance while also achieving your goals.
If you feel like work always surrounds you, it’s because it is. Technology has made it so easy to be continually connected to work. However, it is critical to step away from emails and calls before they consume both your professional and personal life. Luckily, almost every piece of technology can either be turned off or set on do not disturb. When you are continually connected to work, you can’t devote yourself entirely to either your personal life or your work. If you do not set aside time for yourself, you will never be able to unplug.
It is essential to prioritize your tasks so you can get critical tasks done first. Making a list of everything that has to be completed today, this week and this month will help you prioritize. Lists help you understand what needs to get done during the day and getting it done first, thus preventing scrambling after hours to finish up. Don’t forget to prioritize yourself, your needs and your hobbies!
Be sure to set boundaries for yourself when it comes to personal and work time. There will always be more things to do. However, small things can be put off or even allocated to other people. If you do not set aside personal time, you will never be able to step away from the office.
A work-life balance can seem impossible to maintain because today’s technology makes business owners, entrepreneurs, and employees accessible around the clock. Unfortunately, we work extended hours, on the weekends, at home and on the move. Are there wealthy business owners who work 9-5 or less every day? Yes, and most of them enjoy those hours now because they powered through 80-100 hours a week when their business was merely an idea. Whether it takes one year or 20, the grind and discipline are significant factors in an entrepreneur’s success.
Ok, now that I wrote this and I truly mean it, if anyone knows how to help me actually do it please contact me ASAP. Until then I will thank and love my family for putting up with me…. and my phone!
David Jeansonne is the founder of Traffic Jam Events™, a nationally renowned automotive-marketing firm. He is also an award winning entrepreneur and business strategist. Read more of his entrepreneurship advice or check out his Twitter!