1. Playtime is just as important as work
When I was just starting my business I had a friend that had started his own concrete business and had been doing well for years so I would often go to him for advice. I noticed that he had a lot of toys and he went out with his family and friends nearly every weekend and often during the week as well. I wondered how he managed to run a business and be successful with all that playtime.
I asked him about that and he said, “Larry, playtime is just as important as work! If all you do is work then that’s all you’ll ever have…no memories, not time with your family and loved ones, and when you die that is all you will leave behind. Prioritize money for things that will bring your family and friends together and get out on a regular basis and when you do that you will be more productive at work because you come back rejuvenated. Otherwise, you will get burned out, You’ve got to make time for playtime!”
I truly believe this is the most productive advice I have been offered. My friend would later pass away from cancer in his early thirties. He lived a full life and made many good memories to leave with his family and friends.
Larry Babbitt, Owner of Handyman Larry
2. Be Intentional in all things
In today’s society, balancing health, wellness, time, resources and production is a challenge at best. Doing what you love and loving what you do often does not just happen, it takes intentional planning.
Never self betray by settling for something that doesn’t fit your goals, dreams, passions and life path just to do “something” that is easy or everyone says is what you should do.
Don’t let life and others control you, YOU control your life and disregard anything that others feel you should do. Having said that, ALWAYS, be teachable and willing to do anything that has been a success for others as long as it FITS, compliments and makes what you got going on more valuable.
Be PRODUCTIVE, not BUSY! Busy causes an imbalance in work/life balance while production creates a healthy work/life balance and freedom to enjoy life!
Kimberly Hendricks Topolski, Owner of Chemless Cleaning
3. Honor Your Time Off
I try to really honor my time off. If I don’t have a gig on Thursday, I don’t check my email or anything that day so it can be fully my time. I’ve also had to learn to not overbook myself; it can be tempting to take a night call after I’ll be done for the day, but I know it will make my work worse and I’ll waste all my free time catching up on sleep.
Katherine Brown, Lighting Supervisor at Katherine Brown Designs
4. Prioritize Rest
Prioritize rest. I spend 24 hours each week away from my business and from all technology completely. I make sure to take the time to recharge so I can give my clients 100% during the week.
Also in the nature of my business I live a have very minimal belongings so keeping up with home maintenance (cleaning, etc.) is very simple and doesn’t take up much of my time.
Sarah Valeri, Owner of Hello Clutter
5. Eat Healthy
I feel you need to prioritize your time. I feel it is important to take care of yourself. I get up at 5:30 am to exercise, for my health physically as well as mentally. It puts me in a great mood all day. I do not have to worry about late appointments and not being able to exercise.
I also believe in eating healthy. I cooked a few meals at a time. I never have to stress over what we will eat, and it saves time. I take my home cooked meals with me, and I am never hungry, and can balance late appointments hunger free.
I cherish family time, and that’s what Sundays are for. I work long hard hours all week, but look forward to my favorite day of the week….Sundays! You have to balance your schedule in order to be happy.
Sherri Schwartz, Owner at Carpet Maven
6. Know When To Shut Down Work
Honestly, the best advice is to learn when it’s ok to shut work down. When I first entered into owning my own business and working from home I used to answer every phone call, text, and email as soon as they came in.
I would also answer my employees if they needed any little question answered after business hours. I learned VERY quickly that wasn’t going to work.
It’s hard to separate work and home while working at home. I have learned to set limits. I have established set working hours and I only respond during those hours.
I have set my work cell to shut down come a certain time of the evening so I don’t even hear it.
This allows me to be completely present during my evenings and weekends with my family.
Veronica Baker, Owner at Diamond Shine Cleaning
7. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Work/life balance can be tricky, especially when starting a new business. I quickly noticed as a business owner of a busy up and coming flatwork concrete company it’s extremely important to figure how to separate work from everything thing else, particularly family.
Working side by side with my son daily and having my wife help keep me organized has made me realize that setting aside specific time for business versus non business conversation is key.
Another piece of advice I can give is not being too hard on yourself. Mistakes will be made, lessons will be learned, there’s enough external pressures, such as deadlines, bookkeeping, and payroll to cause stress don’t add to it by overthinking everything little thing.
And lastly, try focusing on things on a smaller scale, small steps every day will lead to big successes in time.
Hector Crow, Owner at FourCrows Concrete