It seems like all the cool people live in Arizona! Today’s guest blogger, Anne, is one of those people. I met her online and instantly ‘liked’ her, and so should you! Anne knows a lot about a lot, but one thing she REALLY knows about is being a successful entrepreneur. This topic of “balance” between work and life is one we all struggle with. Let Anne shed some light on the subject and be sure to leave us a message in the comments!
McAuley Freelance Writing is based in Mesa, AZ and provides professional writing services to clients around the globe. Services include copywriting for websites, brochures and marketing collateral as well as blogging and Twitter account management. Contact info@mcauleyfreelancewriting for additional information.
As an entrepreneur we can make our own scheudules which is an amazing freedom.
It is also an amazing burden to know YOU are the boss of YOU. As business owners we wear many hats — marketing, sales, accounting, networking, administrative assistant, receptionist, accountant, corporate culture lead…. The list is endless especially in the beginning of owning a business. In addition to owning a business we have families, friends, homes and pets to manage. It can truly be overwhelming!
How can we balance being an entrepreneur without losing control of our personal lives? Or worse losing control of ourselves. The key is balance and it is easier said than done.
Here are eight tips for leading a balanced life as an entrepreneur:
- Clearly define business goals: You may have a monthly or weekly sales goal to meet. Break the goal into smaller pieces – You want to sell $X of products or have X number of home shows. Then stick to the plan.
- Clearly define personal goals: For me it is taking weekends off and finding time to exercise. Everything business falls around those goals. Does it work every week? No! It is a constant balancing act that keeps me on my toes. Sometimes I have to schedule meetings one or two weeks in advance to keep life balanced – and that’s okay!
- Lists are your friend: Whether on paper or electronic it is important to write down your tasks otherwise you might forget something or someone! I once left my baby brother at school after his basketball game because I was at my BFF’s house watching soap operas. Don’t let this happen to you!
- Schedule time each week for YOU: Just last night I went for a much needed massage. I just couldn’t wait any longer to treat myself to relaxation time. I was able to do this because I knew I had completed my tasks and meetings for the day. I had a clear vision of where I needed to start the next day so I was able to breathe deeply and enjoy the massage.
- Identify Income Producing Activities (IPA): If you’re spending a lot of time on tasks that are not producing income, it might be time to outsource or change your process. My friend ‘hires’ her niece to help her make hostess packets for her jewelry business. She gets to spend time with her niece and gets some work done too. Another friend hires interns to answer her calls, schedule and confirm appointments for her massage business. Figure out which Non-Income Producing Activities are taking up a lot of time and resolve to make a change.
- Consider trade: I outsource my accounting and bookkeeping in trade for professional writing services. Not all business people will or can do this depending on their industry. Maybe you can trade babysitting for product and create time on your schedule.
- Ask for referrals and ideas: You never know who might be looking for more time on their schedule or more clients or more money. Maybe you need business cards – ask where other business owners get theirs. Maybe you need a logo – ask for graphic designer referrals. Maybe you need a babysitter – ask other moms in your community. You will create a resource list that can be shared – or not!
- Social media is social: Utilize social media as a FREE marketing and networking platform. By marketing I mean creating relationships with people and sharing information about your business. I DON’T mean asking people to buy your products; remember it’s called social media!
I look forward to hearing how you’ve balanced your life!
Please share in the comments below which of Anne’s helpful tips you are going to jump on right away! OR let us know what things work best for YOU to find some sort of balance between work and life!
Anne McAuley is the Founder of McAuley Freelance Writing providing social media, blogging and professional writing services to small businesses across the country. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 480-206-6452.