Let’s not sugarcoat it: entrepreneurship is a bit of a paradox.
Nine times out of ten, you become an entrepreneur so you can have the flexibility and freedom to work and live how you want to.
And yet, entrepreneurship can be so demanding that you find your “work-life balance” all out of whack.
Partly, that’s probably because most entrepreneurs are obsessively driven A-type people who passionately love what they do. But at the same time, it’s important to extend yourself the benefit of the freedom you set out for in the first place.
And while the idea of real work-life balance is (arguably) debatable for entrepreneurs, we’ve rounded up a few realistic goals you can strive for to get the most out of both your personal and professional lives.
1. Be a Digital Nomad
In fairness, “digital nomad” is a bit of a buzzword right now. And the concept of having no homebase and simply touring the world working isn’t always realistic--or even desirable.
But the important lesson in this idea is that, if your business permits, you don’t have to ask anyone’s permission to go work virtually anywhere. You’ve earned that right. So, you might as well exercise it.
As the world opens up, don’t shy away from the idea of a working vacation somewhere. It’s an incredible perk of your entrepreneurship.
2. Don’t Prioritize Urgency Over Importance
A lot of the time when you hear people talk about urgent versus important, it’s about work deliverables.
But we mean it in terms of life. People. Friends. Family. Experiences. Opportunities.
Of course it’s vital to keep your business moving forward. But there are other things in life that you may regret missing out on later if you sacrifice them at the expense of work.
Grind like crazy, but take stock of who and what matters most to you in life and prioritize accordingly.
3. Reward Yourself for Your Wins
As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to always have your eyes set on the next big milestone. It’s in your nature to be constantly striving for more.
And as much as that mindset keeps your momentum moving in a forward trajectory, you also need to stop and reward yourself for your wins.
Major business achievement? Take a day off and celebrate. Signed a new client? Hit a patio for a cocktail.
Whatever you choose to do, celebrate work achievements with life rewards.
4. Make Space for Yourself
One of the keys to being a happy entrepreneur is to create space for yourself by drawing boundaries between work and life. This can be as big as making sure you’re finding ways to take a week’s vacation occasionally or as small as having a dedicated workspace away from the house that lets you create separation between work and home.
5. Know When You Need a Break
The magic doesn’t always come in the busy-ness. Sometimes it comes in the stillness. The calm. The rest.
When you burn out, you’re not doing yourself or anyone else any good. It causes frustration, makes you irritable, and negatively affects the quality of your work.
So, be mindful of when you need a break. And make sure to give yourself one.
And we’re not just talking a Kit Kat bar.
6. Prioritize Your Health and Wellbeing
Your body and mind will carry you through your career and your life. It only makes sense to look after them both.
So, leverage your entrepreneurial flexibility and freedom to make time to care for them.
7. Work Smart, Not Hard
One of the biggest and most harmful myths ever is that working long hours and being ultra-busy is a sign of success.
That’s a myth perpetuated by corporations who want to get more mileage out of their employees’ salaries.
If you ask us, the real sign of success is working smart, not hard. Your work should serve you, not the other way around.
So, while it always takes a ton of hard work and commitment to get a business going, doesn’t it make sense that your goal should be the most return for the lowest investment?
8. Work With People You Like Being Around
Entrepreneurship can be lonely. So, it’s smart to make sure you work with people you like being around. This could be the people you hire to be on your team, or simply just the people in the workspace where you headquarter your business.
That’s one of our favourite things about Project Spaces: everyday we get to come into work and be surrounded by the most incredible group of people.
And even if they’re not all working together, they’re working around each other--and the camaraderie is palpable.
9. Put in the Time
Not to be contrarian to our own points, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention this.
Often when people talk about “work-life balance,” the conversation skews towards life. And that’s fine, but don’t forget about the work factor in the equation.
As much as it’s great to do all of the life-focused stuff, you still need to remember that you’re an entrepreneur. A grinder. A thoroughbred hustler.
Therein lies the balance.
So, when it comes time to put in the long hours, don’t run from them. Get to work and earn those other amazing perks that come with this life you’ve created for yourself.
Being an entrepreneur is an incredible thing. And the best advice we can give you--from two entrepreneurs to another--is to make sure you’re finding a balance between working hard and enjoying the freedom and flexibility you’ve earned along the way.
If you’re interested in learning more about us and our community, get in touch today and come check out Project Spaces! We’d love for you to join us.
Founder-friendly coworking in downtown Toronto for entrepreneurs and digital nomads. EST 2011. We create original workspaces, fill them with relentless entrepreneurs, and watch the magic happen. Learn more