Balance and entrepreneurship: Can they really live in tandem? Yes and not all the time.
The demands of entrepreneurship can all-to-easily become consuming and lead to burnout, which is why it’s so important to adopt lifestyle elements that help bring you back to center. But with your attention pulled in different directions every day, how is it remotely possible?
We caught up with three entrepreneurs to ask just that: How do you achieve balance as an entrepreneur?
Bill Capsalis: President, Boulder Granola
This is the age-old question, and for me, it is all about surrounding yourself with great people in the work place and having a real life outside of work. It also means keeping boundaries on your time, because it is so easy to let your passion for your products or service take over your whole world.
I try really hard to do things during the day that remind me I am a whole person with other interests. I have lots of friends to keep in touch with so I schedule time for them during the day, and I also plan activities in the evening like playing music which I love to do to keep myself in check. Make a mental note when you feel like you haven't seen your friends or family in a while, and make a plan to visit with them.
In addition, don't think of your work as defining who you are. Think of your avocation as your identity and the hobby that becomes a passion beyond the work.
Marissa Vicario: Certified Holistic Health Coach, Marissa’s Well-Being and Health
As an entrepreneur, it's not easy to leave my work at the office and my brain seems to work in overdrive more often than not. That said, I know that I cannot be an effective health coach to my clients when I'm running on an empty tank. To "practice what I preach" is of utmost importance to me when it comes to maintaining integrity in the work I do. A few ways I strive for balance:
Know when to rest. I have a gauge like a gas tank with which I'm always checking in. When my work stops feeling fun or it feels like I'm running on empty, I know it's time to take a break or even a day off to refill my tank. I make sure to do something I really enjoy like my favorite exercise class or spend a day at the beach and completely disconnect.
Learn to ask for help and say no. In my 10 years in business, I've learned that while there is value in knowing how to do everything by myself, there are some things that I'm not good at or that can be finished faster and better when I outsource it to someone who can do it better than I can.
Saskia Sorrosa: Founder and CEO, Fresh Bellies
It ain’t pretty; it’s a balancing act.
Running your own business is demanding and the grind never stops. I was a working mom before I started my own business, so I thought I knew all about balancing motherhood and an office job before starting my own company. Different from a corporate job where you can disconnect from the challenges of keeping a business afloat, having your own business means you are always connected.
When I need time to reconnect with myself, my home and my children, I disconnect from the business, just enough to feel whole again. There is nothing like stepping back and catching your breath to re-center and re-energize. The most important part is embracing your journey, knowing that hard work is just that—hard—and that you are teaching valuable lessons to yourself and others along the way. You are a business owner and living the example of what that looks like, and while it may not always be perfect or easy, it’s real and inspiring.