Finding a good balance between work life and personal life is an age old dilemma for entrepreneurs. I think it’s particularly difficult for women though. We have biological timetables at play whether we acknowledge it or not. We also are the ones who will invariably do the most juggling if or when a family comes.
Here are 3 tips to finding a balance that works for you and not feeling guilty about any of it:
1) Don’t fight letting one influence the other
When I first started my business, I was very specific about keeping my personal life and professional life separate. The first time a journalist asked to come to my apartment to do a profile, I was very uncomfortable with it. I thought that keeping each separate would make me a better professional and make my business stronger. As it turns out, it just doesn’t work that way all the time. Sometimes, I need to answer emails at 11:30pm. Sometimes I need my husband to rub lotion on models before a fashion show (true story). Set boundaries in terms of hours of work, etc., but if one seeps into the other involuntarily, find ways to make that work for your business and don’t stress about it.
2) Embrace new opportunities that come with new realities
I recently found out I’m pregnant. The first trimester was a blur of indoctrination into all things baby. There was an added dimension to my identity, which was imminent motherhood, that had never been there before. Due to this, I was inspired to create a line of scarves that double as nursing covers after not finding anything versatile and attractive for modesty while breast-feeding. Never before had breast-feeding and Tabii Just ended up in the same sentence. I decided to embrace this new opportunity to broaden not just my horizons but also Tabii Just, with a product that is personal to me and that I know moms can enjoy. New realities can sometimes lead to a new ideas from a different perspective. Embrace it.
3) Finding a perfect balance is a myth. Embrace the ebb and flow
It’s safe to say that every working individual struggles with finding the perfect balance. The quicker you accept that it’s just a myth is the easier you’ll be on yourself. Sometimes, you’re going to do really well at work but your personal life may suffer a bit. Accept it. Apologize to those you’ve let down and move on. Try to do better, but accept that when you put your heart and soul into an endeavor, sometimes your heart and soul lacks in other areas. My other half has accepted that every time we travel, I research stores that might fit Tabii Just’s aesthetic in the area and I visit them. This includes during vacations. Sometimes he complains and I try to make up for it, but I’m probably going to continue doing this. Sometimes your professional life will take precedent over personal affairs and sometimes it’s the other way around. It’s life and it’s okay.
The key to finding a balance is creating one that fits for you. As women, there’s added pressure on us to be masters in every area of our lives. Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we don’t. Either way, being aware of the need for balance is half the battle. Embrace the continuous ebb and flow and remember to enjoy it.