Becoming an entrepreneur and choosing to make your own “bread” is risky yet extremely rewarding (in most cases). Risky because the reality is you could fall flat on your face and fail, and a lot of entrepreneurs do so on a regular basis—even the successful ones. However, the reward for achieving success as an entrepreneur is living a life that most others can only dream about while sitting at their cubicle punching their keyboard day in and day out.
Early in the entrepreneurial journey sacrifices must be made and the reality is you will have to put in the work. Not one single entrepreneur ever achieved success without work. There may be times where you have to put in a 12-hour plus workday. You’re often a solopreneur when you first start, so long days may be necessary.
However, balance is a necessity. Achieving it can be difficult, especially if you’re passionate about what you do and you’re fully committed to the mission your company is trying to complete. There aren’t many who can sustain the 80-hour work week, especially if you have a family, and burning-out is very common amongst entrepreneurs. The issue is the how and when we take on the work that we do. So, how can you “have it all” in both business and life?
Answer: It’s completely in your control! Ultimately the choice is yours. And It starts with setting healthy boundaries in what I believe to be three key areas.
We have 9 aspects of personhood that require us to have healthy boundaries in order to be physically, emotionally, and mentally (maybe even spiritually) healthy. Our body, our feelings, our attitudes, our behaviors, our thoughts, our abilities, our choices, our desires, and our limits. The three that I believe are crucial to the entrepreneurial journey and the success it provides you outside of business are your attitude, your choices, and your limits.
Your attitude will drive your choices, and your choices are rooted in what limits you set for yourself and others. This can occur subconsciously and you may not even be aware of it. So, attitude is a big part in how we view, or place value on, the way in which we will do our work, when we will do our work, and how we will complete the work. Assessing your current attitude toward the work you do and how you will go about doing it is the first step. Assess, correct, repeat. Always be assessing your attitude.
You must take responsibility and ownership for the choices you make. If you’re unhappy, for whatever reason, and you continue to blame others you will only be perpetuating your own cycle of unhappiness. To change this, it’s up to you to own your choices and then make the necessary adjustments to those choices. Then, and only then, will you be able to see that it has been your choices that put you in the situation you are in. Where you are in life is a direct reflection of the choices you’ve made. Own them. Move forward.
What do you need to say NO to? There is an overwhelming amount of entrepreneurs that fear telling their prospects no because they think it means they won’t earn the prospect’s business. Usually this occurs early in the entrepreneurial journey when you’re strapped for cash and need to generate revenue. You take on clients/customers according to the client’s/customer’s dictation based on when and how they want to be a customer. For example, in the service industry you may agree to service the client on an ongoing basis at hours early in the morning or late in the evening because the client/customer says that is the only time they are available for said service. This leads to undesirable schedules that you ultimately agreed to.
Take some time to determine the following:
- Exactly what you are willing to do and what you are NOT willing to do.
- Exactly when you are willing to work and when you are NOT willing to work.
- Exactly who you are willing to work with and who you are NOT willing to work with.
The entrepreneurial lifestyle can be hard enough. Don’t make it harder for yourself because you failed to set boundaries in your life that will allow you to have a life outside of your business.
Boundaries as they relate to your attitude, choices and limits are what lead to having it all in both business and life. The life you want. The business you want. All attainable by the choices you make and the limits you set. You’ll still have to work hard, but at least you’ll be working inside a framework that you yourself have determined will work best for you.
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