Entrepreneurs and business owners wear a ton of hats. It might be providing customer service; it might be hiring employees or motivating staff. Perhaps it is pitching to a new client or simply mopping the floors. It is easy for entrepreneurs to overextend themselves or spend too much time on marketing and advertising when they should be focused on maintaining customers. If life is a balancing act, then business is life to the extreme as the unpredictability of running a venture causes entrepreneurs to sometimes fall off the tightrope.
We asked entrepreneurs and business owners how they maintain balance as CEOs and here are the responses.
#1- Having systems in place
Being a big fan of using “systems” has really helped my job as CEO. We have systems for everything from receiving product to managing social media to banking and finance. Everyone has the system that they’re responsible for. Systems make it very easy to see if you’ve missed anything – often before it becomes a problem- while also creating accountability among employees.
Thanks to Melina Valdejo, Pathways New Age Books & Gifts!
#2- Having everything on my list
As a CEO spending time to my family is often an option if you're running a business and have dozens of employees working with you. So in order for me to balance everything, I make sure I have everything on my list esp. Having breakfast, going out to gym esp. on scheduled meetings. I make sure everything should be in the right place and is organized in a most possible way. I have a whiteboard(1 in the dining, 1 in my room) for visual just in case i missed out calendly alarms, priorities etc. I have my wife to do some secretarial stuff for me as well. And in the past I have someone to work on my daily schedule.
Thanks to Carl Pantaleon, OutSmart You!
#3-Weekly Fun Blocks
One tip that I've found has helped me find work-life balance is setting aside a weekly block of time to do something, for lack of a better term, ‘silly'. Yes, whether it's playing a weekly game of laser tag, to miniature golf, etc. The importance of freeing up the brain from the inevitable pressure that long work hours CEOs face can't be overstated. Burnout is real, and silliness helps diffuse those raw nerves when you need it the most.
Thanks to Shaan Patel, Prep Expert!
#4- Knowing what will really affect you
The key to balancing work and friends, family and job duties, is knowing what will really affect you a year from now. Is this client report actually due today? Will they leave your organization if they don't get it by 5 PM? Or will they be a little upset, but be over it in a month? Similarly for your family, is this your daughter's first dance recital, or just another practice? As a business owner, it's essential that you can understand what is truly important in all of the different elements of your life. Realizing that some things can wait, and some things won't happen as perfectly as they need them to be, is fine. You'll need that ability to be a little prescient to ensure that you are perfectly balancing your life and all of the very many important things that are a part of it.
Thanks to Alexa DeKalb, NYC Search & Social!
#5- Putting my mental health and sanity first
I keep my life balanced as a CEO by putting my mental health and sanity first. I make time to read, play games, get massages, exercise, and visit family and friends. Work is not my #1 priority like it used to be. I used to be a workaholic and my hobby was literally working.
Thanks to Caitlin Pyle, Proofread Anywhere!
#6- Spending quality of time on what's important
The information you are requesting is awesome and is definitely needed in our community of those who give ourselves to this world as an Entrepreneur everyday! My name is Monique Hollowell and I am the founder of Fit for Lafemme Inc in California! Here's what I have to say! The word Balance as an Entrepreneur is the big elephant in the room because as hard as we try to achieve it, it virtually feels impossible to do so! I have a family as well as a business so I equate balance to quality of time and how my time is spent! When I spend time on things that serve no purpose nor gives gratification, I feel off balance. So as long as I spend the quality of time on whats important to me and be in the moment and engaged in that time, rather it be for personal or business, I feel as though balance is achieved.
Thanks to Monique Hollowell, Lafemme (M) Mobile Gym!
I'm very thankful to my business mentor who pushed me to delegate before I thought I needed to. Bringing on employees before I was at max capacity allowed me to train them properly without completely burning out. Since hiring employees and assistants I've been able to leverage my time to expand the business.
Thanks to Marielle Chartier Henault, AquaMermaid!
#8- My calendar system
To balance all of my roles in the company, I use a strict calendaring system. Each week, I plan out my “must-do” activities and goals that I need to achieve. After these, I also schedule in “should-do” items. During these scheduled times, nothing else is allowed to have my attention. I use tools like social media blockers and timers to make sure I stay focused and productive. If I am able to use this time well, then everything balances. Some weeks, I am less effective at this balancing act and so I make notes on what worked, what didn’t and aim to improve the next week.
Thanks to Jeremy Cross, Team Building Activities!
#9- Dividing that into three main categories
As a business owner who maintains full-time employment, balance is divided into three main categories: low value, high value and non-negotiables. Your non-negotiables must be scheduled and given a priority. This can include quality time with the spouse/partner and children, as well as self-care. It’s the relationships with others that makes life worth living. This is the lowest point on the pyramid but has the greatest proportion of time. It provides the foundation or stability upon which to build everything else. The high value tasks are next which include those business investments that bring a great return. This is dependent upon your industry and expertise but provides the context for which clients not only keep coming back but make referrals. Finally, at the top of the pyramid are your low-value tasks. These can be delegated to others, if necessary, to free up time for other things since it is relegated to the smallest amount of time and energy. Balance ultimately is knowing which category each belongs and therefore keeping your predetermined priorities in order.
Thanks to Dr. De’Andrea Matthews, Claire Aldin Publications!
#10- Embracing the imbalance
This simple answer is you don't balance everything. As soon as I started a company, I felt like I went from an A player in every factor of my life to a C- wife, athlete, and friend. Even when you're putting all of your attention on your business, you still feel like you're failing in some way. The only way to survive is to embrace the imbalance. Tell everyone around you that your priorities aren't a reflection of your feelings for them, but purely about the success of your company and underlining dream.
Thanks to Samantha Smith, Vishion!