Being an entrepreneur means working with exciting ideas, uncovering new ground, navigating uncharted territory, and taking on multiple roles. It can also mean not enough hours in the day. How can you do this and not be isolated? How do you keep your feet on the ground, and fly at the same time? How can you work in the business, on the business AND have a life all at the same time?
1. Support your family
Stop looking at your family for support and start providing support to your family. It’s too easy to expect your partner to be ‘there for you’ as you burn the midnight oil and charge off into exciting new territory. Take on some of the home chores, be there to read bed time stories and do this to show others you care. Family members knowing they are important— results in reciprocity. Don’t go through life thinking that work is more important. If you don’t attend to family, you’ll end up lonely.
2. There is a way out from isolation
The life of the entrepreneur of home business owner can be isolating. You might find yourself isolated, but there is a way out. Establish a network of trusted advisors. Don’t expect your partner to be your sounding board, listener, co-problem solver, backer as well as child minder, food magician, home manager and social secretary, even if you are in business together. When the going gets tough, choose an independent sounding board. An independent perspective can be tough to listen to, yet another perspective is essential for tapping into practical solutions. They are not emotionally or financially involved and can immediately share a range of perspectives. Jen set up her home business after being made redundant. The loss of hundreds of peers and long-time colleagues stunned her. They had been there day-to-day and suddenly, they were gone. Jen chose 3 colleagues she wanted to keep in touch with, and set up monthly lunch meetings. She took charge of regenerating her new social network and her trusted advisor network, two things she had not had to think about before.
3. Manage priorities, not time
Entrepreneurs can be time poor. There is so much to do in setting up and running a business, and only you to do it. Stop and think again. Stop thinking of time as a resource, and start thinking of your priorities. What really is important, and do that. Your 3 – 5 priorities provide you with your source of direction, and capacity. It’s just not necessary to have your standards at Mercedes level when an electric bike will do the job. Enduring you deliver to your priorities as ‘fit for purpose will help you manage your time and your resources.
- Contract out the time consuming detailed work, e.g. web design, social media,
- Focus on what gets your product to market and
- Make it easy for others to do business with you.
4. Expect yourself to generate new responses to old familiar situations
Changing your behavior is possible even when you are stressed, overwhelmed, or feel helpless. These are signals its time to learn something new. Are there fears and anxieties holding you back? Have you spotted your unhelpful behaviors? The good news is it is possible to change your behavior and develop fresh responses in the face of difficulties and set-backs. How do you do this? The first step is to have a vision for yourself of behaving differently AND staying in relationship with key people around you. Buy imagining fresh possibilities, you have already entered new territory. Astonishingly, minor shifts in behavior can have major positive impacts.
Taking on too many functions within the business is a recipe for burnout. Avoid burnout by sticking to your priorities, and ensuring both your social network and your network of trusted advisors create mutual vitality.
5. Define what success is for you
It’s all too easy to define success by money. What else is important to you? What else makes you feel successful? How important are specific relationships to you? How important is having time for fun and refreshment to you? Here are my criteria for success; finances, fun, family, good health and friends. What are yours?
Action to increase vitality in your life
Ensuring you can keep your feet on the ground and fly at the same time, while you take on the myriad of roles required of any entrepreneur takes vision, grit, stamina and good relationships. What might one shift be for you to be at ease with the multiple roles?
- Being appreciative
- Being of service in each of your interactions,
- Looking people in the eye as you speak to them
- Not speaking when you are frustrated or upset with someone important to you?
- Giving up looking for perfection
- Settle on fit for purpose results
- Asking for what you want?
What one shift will give you greater vitality in the life you have chosen?