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Central to the mindset of most entrepreneurs is converting an idea, invention, passion or hobby into a business that fills consumer needs and makes a profit along the way, which seems like an ideal way to earn a living. While entrepreneurship is often associated with the familiar mantra, “find something you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life,” many in the entrepreneurial trenches would argue that is not the case due to grueling hours, funding concerns and finding people equipped to handle areas outside of their expertise.
On the road to success, entrepreneurs have to quickly rise to the occasion and become exceptional business leaders as they shepherd their companies to reach new levels. This requires a strategic approach to focusing on core competencies, handling daily operations and managing people to grow a business. Although entrepreneurs are adept at juggling numerous plates and wearing many hats, savvy ones recognize the value of ensuring balance in and outside of work to achieve the best version of themselves from a professional and personal perspective.
Entrepreneurs and business leaders who develop balance are improving their work success equation and making great strides to create a well-balanced lifestyle that leads to long-term satisfaction and happiness. Here are four things to consider.
Balance is typically defined as a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportion to help someone or something remain upright and steady. While most agree that work and life cannot be equally balanced at the same point in time due to varying circumstances, they can be averaged so that their benefits complement each other over time.
Well-balanced leaders realize when they are being spread too thin and take the necessary steps to seek support and regroup before reaching burnout. Conversely, when operations slow down, they demonstrate the awareness to take much-needed time away from the office to refresh and rejuvenate.
Related: How To Regain Work/Life Balance
Embracing a brave new world
There is no doubt that society has entered a brave new world in which companies are working at break-neck speed to adapt and keep pace in areas such as increasing societal concerns, rapid technological advancements, evolving workforce demographics and changing employee priorities. A common thread that drives and unites these areas is a desire for an improved work experience that equates to a better life. As companies continue to embrace the values of this brave new world, their actions should help business leaders better realize a critical need to adopt habits that support proper work-life balance, not only for themselves but also as an example for others.
Identifying ways to create balance
Now is the time for business leaders to identify ways to create balance and implement best practices to achieve positive results.
View positions as a calling — When leaders regard their work as a calling, they develop a fresh perspective on how they handle their responsibilities, which reflects a higher purpose to make a difference in the lives of others, including employees, clients, communities and personal relationships. A calling mindset provides a solid foundation for emphasizing balance in work and life.
Take care of people — Savvy leaders recognize the importance of taking care of their employees, which leads to stronger relationships, dedicated workers, well-developed and knowledgeable teams and increased employee engagement. When leaders have teams they can count on, it not only makes it easier for them to focus on other things in or outside the office, but it also enables co-workers to have more flexibility and balance.
Build strong networks – To achieve a balanced lifestyle, business leaders should build strong networks for support in their professional lives and in their personal circles. When leaders have mentors and colleagues who serve as trusted advisors and hold them accountable for properly managing their health and well-being, it helps reinforce better work-life balance. Conversely, building networks for external support that encourage family activities, promote interests and boost fitness initiatives are important ways to connect outside work and form habits that create balance.
Control schedules – When business leaders take more control over their schedules, it can significantly impact balance. Leaders should be selective about the number of meetings they attend and the time they travel for business, which can sometimes be delegated to team members. It is critical to designate time for themselves each day for mental breaks that help clear the mind and provide a fresh perspective. Most importantly, leaders should use allotted PTO, participate in community involvement events, and prioritize physical and mental health. Leaders who take care of themselves by controlling their schedules are better positioned to find balance and take care of others.
Looking in the mirror
When leaders take steps to lead a more balanced life, they can look in the mirror and see a more relaxed individual who can better focus and make strategic decisions necessary to a company’s success. Their reflection also reminds them that they are setting an excellent example for their teams by encouraging workers to practice work-life balance by viewing their jobs as a calling, increasing fitness efforts, participating in volunteer events and taking time off.
In addition, well-balanced leaders who develop stronger bonds with family, friends and others in the community see themselves as committed individuals who are making a difference in the lives of others, which in turn improves their lives exponentially. Business leaders who walk the talk about working and living in a balanced manner are developing teams and future leaders to have similar priorities and setting an exceptional example for relatives and acquaintances entering the workforce.
As work and life appear to be moving at a more rapid pace, it behooves business leaders to evaluate both sides of the equation to help develop professional and personal habits that lead to balanced leadership and a balanced lifestyle that complement one another. When leaders achieve an optimal mix, they should experience greater happiness and success as they pursue their goals.