Is Work Life Balance Achievable for Small Business Owners?
One of the reasons many business owners start their own business is to have greater time flexibility. But something happens between that motivation and the day to day of running your own small business, time begins to escape. I use the word escape because it seems that the time intended to live a better life, a slower life, completely skips through our very motivated and well-intentioned fingers.
Even for those that started a business with passion for the problem they were solving in the world, at some point realize that there is not enough time in the day, week, month, or year for all the things that need to get done both personally and professionally.
One of the most effective skills we will ever acquire as business owners is to learn how to prioritize. When faced with an endless list of to do’s, how do you determine which is the most important?
Here are a few critical questions to ask when assigning priority:
- What is it that only I can do?
This question is completely loaded. But it is so important for business owners to ask themselves this regularly because most of us are doers, we get things done! You can do most things you hire others to do but should you? The answer most often is “NO”. Your business won’t grow unless you assign tasks and empower others to do them. If you aren’t aware of your core skills, make an inventory and start prioritizing based on what “only you can do” and give the rest to the team you empower.
- Who can I empower to do the work I need to get done?
After you’ve prioritized your to do list and better understand the list that only you can do, there is still a long list of items that need to get done. This is where your options get a little broader. Who should I assign things to? Do I hire someone? Do I partner with an organization? Make a list of jobs and options and evaluate. If you are looking to hire someone call Nexus, we can help find the right person and save you from all your HR to dos (shameless plug now over)
- What needs to happen first?
This seems pretty logical but often times, we are in complete reaction mode and we don’t stop to think, “do I need to do this now?” Reading this article is a great example. You are gaining great insight into how to move forward, but at what expense? Is there something more time sensitive that you should be doing? Can reading this article happen second or third? What is it that only you can do that needs to happen first? (If you are about to walk away from this article and answer these questions – good for you! But consider coming back because the next point ties it all up pretty nicely.
Small business owners are clearly able to commit. You dedicate yourself to your business, your mission and the people you work with. So why can’t you commit to your priorities?
Commitment is the key to making the work that only you can do happen. You have to be more committed to finding the time than completing your to do list, otherwise it won’t happen.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself to ensure you are committed:
- What will it take for you to commit to your life balance?
- When will you make this happen?
- Where will you make this happen?
- What are some of the hurdles you will need to remove to make this happen?
- Is there anyone you can ask to encourage and support your commitment?
By answering these questions you will have created a plan for yourself to step into action and begin achieving your work/life balance. Congratulations!