The term “work/life balance” gets used a lot. But when we hear it, we usually have an opinion very quickly as to whether or not our own lives have that seemingly elusive balance or not. Some people say, “work/life balance, what’s that?” Others are more zen about it and feel like they have embraced that path. Those of us in the middle are just trying to find a better balance overall. So is it real or is it some fantasy location at the intersection of “unicorns are real” and “carbs won’t make me fat”? (I’m trying to eat fewer processed carbs, so carbs are on my mind right now…..try to go with it. Thank you for humoring me :-)) Bottom line – Is it possible or is it just not realistic? Will being a business owner always mean we’ll be stressed out, have too much to do, and not enjoy our life the way we should be able to? Are we chasing unicorns and trying to eat our bread too?
If you’re like me and you run your own business AND take care of your family, a work/life balance becomes more than fantasy; It’s straight up necessary. I don’t like stress. I DO like my sanity. So, I’ve had to find a way, over time, to take care of both.
The “D” Word
As a business owner, what happens when you start thinking about getting some help with your business? You’ve gotten too busy, and it’s starting to drag you down (and maybe your business isn’t even enjoyable anymore?) If someone suggests you delegate some of your work (the “D” word), how does that make you feel?
- Do you feel dread?
- Do you think, “by the time I show someone how to do it, I could have done it myself.”
- Do you wonder how much is it going to cost?
This is a big subject that can’t be conquered in one blog post, but I can offer this – If you feel dread, ask yourself why and write it down so you can get some clarity. Often we dread something, but we’re not even sure why. Writing it down may force your mind to help you instead of it just dumping worries on you.
If training someone seems overwhelming, consider delegating only one task at a time. This will let you build your relationship with someone, allow training to be less overwhelming for you, and it will keep your investment with someone from rising too quickly compared to your revenue, which brings me to my next point.
As business owners, we’re often looking for answers that are “wrong” or “right.” Something concrete, clear, and done. That way, we feel we’ve made the right choice, and we can move on from there. We want to feel confident that we’ve made a good choice. But, most of the time, making decisions is more about measuring the tradeoffs than making a black or white choice.
If hiring help at a price that works for you will, in return, get you more time for you (the sanity part) and more time for running your business (the revenue part), then it’s up to you if the tradeoff of expense to result is worth it to you. If you see the value in it, then it’s worth it. If you don’t see the value, don’t spend the money. Decisions, more often than not, really are just about measuring the value of both sides of your choice.
I’m not going to “sell” you
I’m not going to try and “sell” you one of my packages. I’m not going to try and convince you to spend money at a time when maybe you’re feeling like everyone is getting paid from your business except you. That’s just not my thing. What I will do is give you some advice for when that work/life balance tradeoff starts to make sense to you and your revenue model:
- Check around and see, who is a Virtual Assistant you might want to work with.
- Follow them on Facebook or other social media.
- Download their free offers so you can get a feel for who they are, what they do, and how they work.
- Just keep an eye on them for a while.
When you’re ready, start the process of off-loading some of your daily burdens. Choose strategic delegation over trying to do too much at the start. Your sanity, your stress levels, and your revenue will thank you. If you’re burned out and exhausted, you won’t be able to help your clients, your family, or yourself so what would be the point? Take care of you. It’s necessary.
Is a work/life balance really possible? Yes, I believe it is because I’m living it myself. It took some time, but I found my way. In the triangle of my logo is where we all are, just trying to do good work, help a lot of people, earn a reasonable living, and have a good life too! We’re all working toward achieving our own work/life balance a little at a time. And that’s okay.