If you’ve just launched a new startup, and have found yourself working 7-day weeks (nearly every week), don’t make the assumption this will stop ‘once things settle down to normal.’ This all has you wondering, when does the work-life balance I wanted start?
The truth is, whether you are self-employed or launching a full-blown startup with assistants and employees, things are seldom (if ever) going to ever be ‘normal’ again. After all, you’re in the big leagues now – the weight is on your shoulders and you’re in control. Isn’t that the way you wanted it to be? Well, maybe not exactly.
Control is a big word – it gives you the power of authority, supervision, direction. But, don’t forget that it also includes restraint, limitation, calmness and self-mastery. The art of self-control, while you’re at the helm, may be the most powerful characteristic you can foster.
‘Drive’ Can Get You Started
Sure, you left that corporate job on a journey of self-discovery with your very own startup, knowing you could do it so much better (and more profitably) if left to your own devices. Maybe they didn’t appreciate you, or pay you enough. Perhaps your ideas were way too far out of the box from where they wanted to go. Whatever the reasons, you chose to start something on your own because you felt capable, and had an idea or a solution to fill a demand in the market.
Chances are you put a game plan into action, and set upon it with enthusiasm and tenacity. From calculating how your expenses would be paid, to the kind of structure with the best tax advantages; from choosing which services you can offer, to securing the ideal location that attracts your target customer.
So, what happened to your life?
Life Balance ‘Drives’ It Home
Creating your own startup company was probably sparked (at least initially) by a desire to change your lifestyle – income, creativity, personal validation. Now that you have a modicum of control over the path your business is taking, it’s vital to institute a good measure of self-control over your personal happiness.
Here are a few people you should make room for in your busy life, who will likely improve your perception and personal enlightenment – things a business owner can certainly put to good use!
Personal Trainers – These experts can create fitness goals within your reach. Health and wellness are certainly necessary to a sharp mind and mental stamina needed for your startup success.
Right Hands – Assuming that you’re the only one who can get things done is ‘trouble waiting to happen.’ If you have yet to find people to whom you can delegate (and, who reflect your vision and company image) do it now!
Advisors – Never underestimate how important financial auditing and business legal services will be your company. Let them do what they do best, so you can live more stress-free.
Mentors – Keep an open mind, and don’t be afraid to look to others for inspiration. Some of the longest running companies in the world have owners who continue to be motivated by outstanding leaders in their field.
Network Groups- Not only a great opportunity to share and trade business cards, industry meetups are an excellent place to relax and enjoy hearing others in your field tell their stories.
Coaches – A life coach can be a vital non-judgemental sounding board, allowing you put your life back into balance, in a surprisingly short amount of time.
And, if you work at home alone, be sure to take regular breaks; i.e. back away from that desk!
Your Staff’s Work-Life Balance Matters
Remember that popular term ‘company culture,’ and the role it plays in not only attracting new talent, but also retaining the people who helped get you here?
Well, now that your own well-being is back on calendar, don’t forget to pass it on, or pay it forward. This is where you separate the common employer from the dream job. And, we’re not talking ping pong tables.
Your employees probably were attracted to your startup company because of your innovative passion to stand out in the industry. That’s a good thing. But, there’s a point where your fervent convictions won’t be enough to sustain their dedication or loyalty.
Think about extending flex time (work from home) programmes, especially when your office is inconveniently located. Time spent going back and forth from a job is time never recouped – and, especially cumbersome when it involves up to a dozen hours each week. Maybe longer hours with a shorter work week will mean your staff can avoid peak traffic times, and give them an extra day with their family.
Incentives, other than pay bonuses, are rarely valued as much as time off or working from home. If you’re concerned whether employees are actually putting in enough time during those flex hours, assign specific tasks for those days. Overall, consider that a well-rested and appreciative employee is going to be a higher producer, and project a better attitude toward co-workers, and your clients.