When it comes to work-life balance, everyone seems to have a different strategy and opinion. While working as an entrepreneur is undoubtedly stressful, not everyone should follow the same model for success. That’s why we asked 11 entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following question:
“What work-life balance myth should entrepreneurs finally put to rest?”
Work-Life Balance Myths You Can Disregard
Here’s what YEC community members had to say:
1. That It’s About Balance in the First Place
“I’ve come to learn that it’s not actually about achieving balance because your life doesn’t exist in silos. Rather, it’s about achieving optimal integration of the different elements of your life. Need to run an errand and also spend time with a friend? Ask them to do it with you. Can’t fit in time to work out and spend with your significant other? Do a fun workout together.” ~ Darrah Brustein, Network Under 40
2. That It’s Always an Important Issue for Your Employees
“That could be true with some of them, but many are generally happy with the way things are. Find out from your team if they need help with this. Otherwise, don’t try to fix what isn’t broken.” ~ Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
3. That Rest and Personal Time Are Optional
“There’s a big myth that successful entrepreneurs got to where they are by working 100+ hours a week and forgoing personal time. While that might work on a rare occasion, the truth is that productivity and work quality are proven to rapidly decline without rest and relaxation. You can’t be in it for the long haul if you’re constantly on the verge of burnout.” ~ Elle Kaplan, LexION Capital
4. That Everyone Supports It
“You will still find that people do not support the idea or have their own impression of what your work-life balance should be in their minds (and it usually isn’t balanced at all). Try to consider this as you negotiate time for yourself and don’t always give into their impression of it.” ~ Drew Hendricks, Buttercup
5. That Your Life Must Begin at 5 a.m.
“People have convinced themselves that putting half of the things they care about on the back-burner until they’re too exhausted to deal with them reflects a healthy work-life balance. Whether personal or professional, I handle my top and most challenging priorities first. Sometimes that means enjoying a long lunch with a friend and doing insignificant admin work at midnight.” ~ Manpreet Singh, TalkLocal
6. That Hours Worked Is Indicative of Value Created
“Bragging about the hours spent working is all the rage. Humans are great about convincing themselves that just because they were at work for a long period they were being productive workers. There are opportunities that will require ridiculous hours but there are also people who can accomplish more in a few hours than most do in a week. Become one of those people.” ~ Douglas Hutchings, Picasolar
7. That Work and Life Are Separate Concepts
“We all have one life, and as technology continues to permeate it, it will continue to be more complicated to try to separate your personal and business lives. Instead of trying to do that, embrace the flexibility these new technologies allow for us and treat work-life balance as a continuum that shifts based on the day.” ~ Jay Johnson, Small Lot Wine
8. That There’s a Magical Finish Line
“There’s no magic finish line that brings success and fulfillment. Instead, build a habit of living each day successful and fulfilled. If you stress and overwork yourself every day, you’re just cementing a bad habit of overwork and stress. No exit or amount of money or will end that bad habit. Build the life you want to live today and don’t put it off.” ~ Brian Smith, S Brian Smith Group
9. That Work Has to Be Done During Business Hours
“There’s a myth that work has to be done during business hours and you can only have a personal life at night. With proper planning, that doesn’t have to be the case. If my daughter has an important school event, I make sure to arrange my schedule for the day around that, which may mean working on low-priority tasks or emails that night while my kids are in bed.” ~ Leila Lewis, Be Inspired PR
10. That the 4-Hour Workweek Exists
“Even Tim Ferris has said it: The goal of this book is not to make you believe you can start a business and work only for hours a week. Yet time and time again, young entrepreneurs believe it can be possible. Nothing is further from the truth. The goal is to build a company being as efficient with your time as possible, employing good delegating practices. A true, great business will require overtime.” ~ Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors, LLC
11. That You Should Wait to Start a Family
“We decided to start a family early on in my entrepreneurial career. When you are young, you have enough energy to be a parent and an entrepreneur. Running a startup, you are barely sleeping. What does it matter if the baby is awake? The hope is that your entrepreneurial spirit will have achieved you financial freedom by the time your kids leave the house — and you are still young enough to enjoy it.” ~ Paul Hager, Information Technology Professionals
Balance Photo via Shutterstock
Couldn’t agree with #3 more. You’ve got to sharpen the saw.
Also, the idea of balance suggests you achieve it and it remains. Life is constantly changing and so should your balance. It’s dynamic and fluid.
When I reflect I see that in each decade there were many different stresses and triggers of negative stress. Too many people want a magic solution … well its there … and it means look at you in the mirror and decide what works and does not work for you. Everything is possible, nothing is agreeable, WHAT DO YOU want and then make it happen, however you manifest it to be. Great article and thanks for summarizing some great ideas / points to share.
Oh #6 how sweet the sound. If I had a dollar for every call/email/inquiry that never flourished into a sale, I’d be rich 🙂