Running multiple businesses, maintaining some sort of social life, staying physically and mentally fit and finding some time to take care of yourself is not an easy feat by any means. As part owner of two businesses, I have learnt through experience how important it is to lead a balanced life.
Many would think that managing one business is already hard enough, but it’s rare that anything is perfectly timed and sometimes opportunities just fall in our lap. Becoming the Managing Director and a part-owner of Wink Models was an opportunity that presented itself at the same time as founding Golden Grind with my sister and brother-in-law. I welcomed both opportunities with open arms and although I hadn’t yet figured out how I would balance both concurrently, it would definitely be a learning curve I was willing to climb.
Being involved in two businesses that are worlds apart presented an assortment of hurdles, from switching tasks, thinking about two things at once and of course, working long hours. Knowing that these issues go hand in hand with running two businesses doesn’t make them easier to overcome, but having a work-life balance is paramount to not only keeping your sanity, but ensuring your businesses thrives.
Having a work-life balance doesn’t come naturally; it’s something you have to actively work on day in day out, but here’s some tips to help get the ball rolling.
Make a routine
If you’re wanting to lead a balanced life, try to keep as much routine as possible. When running your own business, no two days are ever the same, so it’s important to place structure in other ways. Whether that’s going for a walk every morning before your working day starts, leaving work strictly at the same time each day or reading a chapter of a book before heading to bed. Everyone’s routine will be different, so it’s important to work out what works for you.
Write your tasks down
Become best friends with your to-do-list (and I mean a physical one!) My daily to-do-list helps me remember what needs to get done before I head home for the day, while keeping me focused and accountable. I follow Brian Tracy’s ‘Eat that Frog’ theory, which encourages you to start your day with the biggest, most important and potentially most dreaded task. After completing the biggest task, I start on the pile of emails that have built up over night. There’s some great online platforms that can help, like Todoist, although I am more a of a vintage pen and paper kind of girl. Each to their own!
Remember why you started
Starting your own venture typically means you have fire in your belly, but with that passion comes the inability to switch off. To combat this issue, try focussing on why you are so passionate about your business and the reasons you love what you are doing. This is especially important during difficult times when you need your original passion to become your driving force.
Surround yourself with the right people
Surrounding yourself with an amazing team can be instrumental in mitigating work stress. Being able to share the decision making and having independent and capable staff is something that should never be underestimated, particularly within a small team. Ensure you remind yourself that feeling the need to do it all on your own isn’t always the best idea, and there’s no shame in asking for help.
Schedule time for yourself
Lastly, it is so important to take the time to look after yourself and practice self care. It sounds silly, but I will schedule “meetings” in my diary with myself for exercise, social events, time with my amazing support network and time on my own, and I treat those meetings as I would any other.
Everyone’s work-life balance looks different and what works for one person, won’t necessarily work another, so it’s important not to compare or feel down that you haven’t yet mustered it. It’s a constant work in progress, so try different things to see what sticks for you.