by Joann Javons
You may have heard that living a balanced life is a goal worth striving for, a healthy and wise way to live. If you're a small business owner or web site owner, is living a balanced life even possible?
Yes, but not when you're starting a new business. Yes, but not when you're taking your business to a new level. Yes, but not when you're starting anything that will require a significant investment in your energy and time.
Just what does this notion of balance in your life mean, anyway? Does it mean you devote an equal amount of time to work and equal time to your personal life? I don't think so. When I'm living a balanced life, I feel centered, grounded, focused. Whatever I'm involved in just seems to flow. I may be spending a much higher percentage of time on my business and still feel like my life is balanced for a specific period of time. I have commitments to family, friends, personal interests, community. But my web business may take 80% of my time in some cycles with my personal life getting only 20%, again for a specific period of time. Being totally present, focused, centered in whatever I'm doing is a priority. That gives me balance.
At the same time, I don't believe you can become a 'workaholic' without paying a price over time: in effectiveness, energy, relationships, health. That's where the sense of renewal comes in, from those things that nurture, renew and sustain you.
Research on highly successful people shows that life may be out of balance for specific periods of time. When a new baby enters your family, is your life in balance? When you make a career change, is your life in balance? These are significant life events that REQUIRE our lives to be out of balance. In the same way, starting a new business or taking your business to a new level means your life will be out of balance.
Successful people DO focus their energy on specific goals they want to accomplish. The issue is how long are you going to invest in this new goal? How long will it take you to reach a certain level of progress and then set up a system to keep your success going? The answer to living a balanced life when you are making a significant change is to Plan For It. Here are some steps you can take:
1. Let Those You Are Close To Know that your time will be devoted to your business for the next x period of time. Let them know the specifics of your business plan and why you are doing each step of it.
Part of your plan must include building in personal time with family and friends. Let them know in advance when you will be available...100% available for them. No laptop, no cell phone, no work, just you!
2. Enlist The Help Of Those You Care About. Too many web owners ignore this step and pay a high price for it. Those you care about want you to succeed! Invite family and friends to be part of your process so they are in it from the beginning. Share your goals, discuss steps it will take to get there, discuss roles they could play in the effort.
3. Remember Those Emergency Instructions when you're on an airplane? "Put your oxygen mask on first, then put the mask on your child." Why? You can't help others unless you take care of yourself.
Never, ever give up self-renewal time every day. It's your private time to renew, re-charge, de-stress. It may be 15 minutes in the morning or any time that works for you. But keep your commitment to inspire you, feed your soul, and de-stress your body.
Successful people use a variety of techniques every day to re-charge, replenish and de-stress. Your goal is to be successful in BOTH your business and your personal life. Daily renewal and de-stressing will enable you to remain loving and productive!