The Pressures of Entrepreneurship
The modern economy as we know it wouldn’t exist without entrepreneurs. Small one-person shops and global corporations all have one thing in common: they exist solely because someone had the ambition, focus and talent to do what it takes to succeed.
Of course, there’s a down side. The same qualities that bring success can wreak havoc in your personal life. For many of us, it begins when we switch from a 40 hour a week job to getting our own business off the ground.
There aren’t enough hours in the day. Cold coffee is a meal and you always head home in the dark. There isn’t time for dinner with the family or kicking a ball around with your kid. The business sucks up all your time and energy. It will continue to do so as long as you let it.
We would bet that divorce rates are higher for entrepreneurs. After all, what are some of the most common reasons for divorce? Financial pressures, lack of communication, different goals and neglect.
Success Has a Price
At some point, you realize the price demanded by the business has become too high. The people you care the most about are being hurt by broken promises and your absence. We say we’re “doing it for them,” but they’d rather have more time with us. How long has it been since a family vacation? Could you actually go cold turkey and shut off your phone for the day?
This overwhelming stress and not enough sleep can eventually take their toll, and it only gets more difficult as we get older.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
There’s a big difference between being a workaholic and being a hard worker. A workaholic confuses being busy with being productive, and is focused on the work to the exclusion of everything else. Workaholics worry incessantly about what’s happening at the office when they’re not there, and would rather take on more work themselves than rely on coworkers or outside resources.
Hard workers, on the other hand, try to find balance in their lives. They put in the extra hours, yet establish clear priorities and make time for other interests. It takes a clear commitment to make it happen, but they are more successful, productive, and happy at the end of the day.
Bill Gates’ success is legendary. He’s attributed the success of Microsoft to co-workers and employees, saying that all of the brilliant ideas that made Microsoft didn’t come from the top. Gates didn’t believe in micromanaging and being a control freak. Instead, he focused on enlisting a talented team, listening to their ideas and putting them to work.
Gates has said repeatedly that combining the right information and the right people greatly improves the ability of a company to succeed with strategic business opportunities. While achieving phenomenal success, he relied on and appreciated the talents of others and didn’t allow his career to destroy his personal life.
Tips on Balancing Work and Family Life
There’s nothing magic about achieving work-life balance, but it’s hard. In truth, it’s really a matter of applying many of the same principles that are necessary in achieving business success to your personal life. Establish what your true priorities are, then make those things the core focus of your day. That last email can wait until the morning.
- Prioritize and Establish Daily Goals
We know there’s always more work to do…there will always be more work to do. That keeps you burning the midnight oil, living on cold coffee and the sandwich you didn’t get to eat for lunch. Instead, set your priorities, have goals for the day, get them completed and then go home.
- Communicate Effectively
Telepathy only exists in science fiction. As an agency or business-owner, one of your most important tasks is to communicate clearly to employees, clients and your family and ensure everyone is on the same page. They can’t read your mind. When your employees understand what is expected of them, it takes a lot of stress off you and there’s a far greater chance the work will be done correctly and on schedule.We can testify to the importance of good communication. At BXP Creative, we need to satisfy both you and your client. That’s only possible when the project requirements are crystal clear, so we’ve worked very hard to develop a process that accomplishes that goal.
- Be Prepared for the Unexpected
For example, what would you do if you or a key team member became sick before an important presentation? Who could fill in or who could be trained as a backup? Think about situations that could arise and ways they could be managed. Be flexible! When you know you’re prepared for emergencies, it relieves a lot of stress.
- Don’t Procrastinate
When problems are put off, they almost always get worse. This goes back to setting daily goals. It helps you do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.Resolving conflicts before they fester and escalate is equally important, whether with co-workers, clients or family members. Keep an open mind on where the other person is coming from and put your entrepreneurial problem-solving skills to work.
- Delegate Some Tasks
When you feel completely overwhelmed by everything you have to do, take a step back. No matter how hard you work, there are only 24 hours in a day. You can’t do it all. As your business grows, the demands on your time increase. Instead of staying at the office until midnight on a Friday, delegate or outsource some of your work and go home to sit down for dinner with the family.BXP Creative is committed to providing you with less stress and more control of your agency or business. As experienced marketers, we’ve refined the agency experience by offering customized creative solutions that will wow your clients and ease your workload. Save time and money by letting us augment your existing creative resources or work as your entire creative department.