Most people who own their own business run a busy life. I hear women agonize over “work/life balance” almost every day, but my own experience as a business owner and a coach to other biz owners is that entrepreneurs aren’t wired that way. It isn’t “work/life balance” it is “work/life blend.” What do I mean by that?
What I mean is that it doesn’t work to force your personal life and your business life into neat little containers, insisting that one should not overflow into the other. Life is messy. Business is messy. You’ll drive yourself and everyone around you crazy if you try to stick to stringent schedules for what is “personal” and what is “business.” No highly successful business owner does this. Think about it – the epitome of the old boy’s club is men who golf and drink together also doing deals together. They blended.
The opportunities for creating business are literally everywhere. Mary Kay got this and grew an empire out of it that has created work for hundreds of thousands of women. She blended social gatherings and product sales. Fashion designers create social events around the world every year by holding trunk sales along with wine and cheese.
The funniest story I have about blending personal life with work life is landing a 4-figure contract literally while I was sitting in a public bathroom. Someone I knew walked in when I did, and while we were in our respective stalls she asked me if I’d consider training her staff in marketing by telephone. By the time we’d finished our business we had, well, finished our business!
To me (and to the multi-millionaires who mentor me) all of life is one big flow. One minute you might be focused on business and the next minute walking your dog. While you walk your dog you might see a neighbor who says something that becomes a business opportunity. It’s all just flow. Containers are a barrier to flow. Insisting that “I’m not going to work weekends” or “I’m not even thinking about business while at the beach” is not only silly, it’s against how the world works. Business blends into the personal and vice versa, 24/7. You might get a 6-figure business idea while laying on the beach watching the stars and holding your honey’s hand. Are you going to jump up and say “No! I’m not supposed to be thinking about work right now!” If you honestly feel that way, go work for someone else. Being in business will never be a pleasure for you, and life is too short to be miserable.
Think “blend” not “balance.” You’ll be far more successful in both parts of your life.