This post by guest blogger Jody Rebak appears as part of our series Small Business 500<.
For a lot of people, the added responsibility, workload, and stress that comes hand in hand with filing an “executive” role ultimately means sacrifice in other areas of your life. This is especially true for those who run their own small businesses, as the overlap between personal and professional is particularly grey.
Here are a few ways to help keep your personal life afloat while running a sucessful business:
1. “Time-outs” aren’t just for kids
It’s OK to blow the whistle and give yourself a break. Whether you’re working on a proposal, balancing the budget or planning your next big update, make sure you’re giving it 100%. If you find yourself struggling or hitting a wall, take a break and return to work with a fresh perspective.
2. Raise your hand. Ask for help
Even with the best intentions, sometimes it just ain’t possible to get everything done. Don’t let your business or personal life fall to the wayside; bring someone in to help. Better yet, make a list of priorities and focus on the items that will make a real difference.
3. Hire experience. Manage risk and tap into your intuition
As an employee, risk-taking is a very small part of your everyday decision-making. As you become more senior, the risk element in many decisions increases. The key to minimizing risk is to hire experienced staff, then utilize that experience, the evidence at hand, and your intuition.
4. The triangle approach
There’s a reason why triangles are used in all types of building supports: Triangles have three sides, allowing them to spread their load evenly while holding their shape. Apply that rationale to your work-life balance to make sure you maintain your three sides: Your health, a functional social network of friends, and personal policies such as valuing and managing your time.
5. Focus on your strengths. Recognize your shortcomings
Most people devote a disproporionate amount of time to improving their weaknesses, instead of doing what they got into business for and playing to their strengths. Devote your energy to your strengths, value your time and recognize when you aren’t the right person for the job. If your talent tool kit doesn’t include a certain skill then don’t spend endless hours on something that may not see a solid return on investment. Involve a person or a technology that possesses the necessary skill set and put your time and effort into something you’re great at, so you know you’re being effective with your time.
Jody Rebak is the founder of Emery Lifestlye Management, a full-service management and personal assistance company dedicated to helping busy people obtain more out of their most precious resource: time.
The information and tips we’re sharing in this article are meant to be a starting point for your year-end tax prep, so you can be informed and feel confident when working with your accountant. Be sure to check with a tax expert in your country or region for any specific advice you need, as each business (and tax district) is different. As our lawyers would say: “This article is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered legal or financial advice.”