We have a guest blogger this week! Thanks to Lou from The Balanced Biz for sharing her thoughts on the role balance plays in a thriving business.
Lou is the creator of The Balanced Biz, a space where female solopreneurs can come together to reconnect with themselves in order to nourish themselves and nourish their businesses so that both thrive.
Having burnt out in her legal career and again in her first business, Lou knew that there had to be another way to thrive in business, so she figured out how. Now she’s sharing her work-life balance secrets with soul-centered entrepreneurs who want to build their businesses on their terms.
Join The Balanced Biz Faceboook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/thebalancedbizretreat
Follow on Instagram:@balancedbizuk
If you want your business to thrive.
And, let’s be honest, we all do!
Then you need to take care of its most important asset in order to make that happen. You need to nourish that asset, take care of its needs, and ensure that it is in the best possible condition to enable your business to reach its potential.
I’m not talking about your premises, your stock, or your intellectual property here.
No, I am talking about something far more fundamental than that. Something that was there at the beginning of your solopreneur’s journey and will be there until the very, very end. It’s the nuts and bolts of your business. The very reason that your business exists. And, without it, your business simply cannot thrive.
Have you figured out what I’m talking about yet?
It breathes life into your business. It’s the genesis of its most potent and valuable ideas. And, sometimes, it’s the thing that stands in the way of progress.
This asset is, quite literally, the everything in your business, yet we very often forget that it has needs altogether. It very oftens languishes right at the bottom of the pile – and it shouldn’t.
Think about it, as a solopreneur, you are quite literally the everything behind your business.
Without you, your business cannot function. Yet, we so often get so tied up in doing all the things, that we neglect our needs in the context of our businesses. We think that we have to choose – my needs or those of the business. We’ll compound that by shrouding ourselves in guilt if we even think about taking an afternoon, much less a day, away from our desks. We value our own needs so little that we tell ourselves that we can’t even take a 10-minute lunch break.
There is no work-life balance and we tell ourselves that this is the way that it has to be in order for us to succeed. Even though, if we break, our business goes down with us.
But…the thing is, you didn’t start a business expecting it to be this way, did you?
If someone had told you that you’d become one of those people who was always complaining about never having enough time for anything, you might have had second thoughts about starting out in the first place. Right?
We’ve heard things like “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week [for someone else]” (Lori Greiner) and taken it to heart. We’ve watched corporate businesses work their employees to the bone and come to the conclusion that business has to be done this way.
But it doesn’t.
Let’s get the big guns out of the way from the off. We live in a culture in which, for the majority of our history, business was done by men. In a way that worked for them. Our corporate structures are built on their needs.
So, we think that the way that business should be done is how these hugely successful corporate entities do it. Most of these businesses are built in patriarchal structures that historically catered for the needs of the men that ran them and, predominantly, still do. In short, they weren’t built to cater for you or me. Yet, we are so taken with the idea that this is how it has to be that we don’t stop to ask ourselves two very important questions:
1. Why do I think I have to run my business this way? and
2. Does this work for me?
Just to be clear, I love men – I live with a big one and two little ones and think they are pretty great! I’m not for one moment suggesting that the problem for us, is with today’s men. It’s that we women are different. We’re cyclical beings and we simply aren’t men – we have different needs. We run on an additional cycle to men – the infradian rhythm (you know the one – it lasts roughly 28 days) which causes our hormones to fluctuate and, thus, for us to show up in the world differently and to have different needs as our cycles progress.
Our ‘all work, no play’ and ‘work hard play hard’ cultures weren’t built for us
This is why we find ourselves struggling so greatly with work-life balance today. We’re doing what we think we should be, falling in line with a way of being that wasn’t made for us and doesn’t work for us and it’s breaking us. Never stopping to ask what we actually want to be doing or what works for us.
A really great place to start when it comes to redressing your work-life balance and to finding more harmony and flow in your business is to develop a practice of connecting with yourself, with your needs, what works for you, and what you actually want. If you’re tired of constantly feeling panic over all of the things on your to-do list that won’t do themselves, it’s time to reconnect.
We all have an inner voice or intuition, an inner knowing.
When we’re disconnected from it, all we tend to hear is its negative, grumpy side. The one that’s trying to keep us safe. But, when we properly start listening, we’ll notice another voice right alongside the critical one who is quietly telling you she’s on your side. I think of her as my inner cheerleader.
The more you connect with your intuition, you’ll start to notice that it’s a pretty great measuring stick for what actually works for you and what doesn’t.
You know that feeling that you sometimes get in the pit of your stomach when you really don’t want to do something? That’s your intuition. It’s also pretty good at telling you what you do need and what’s right for you. You just need to listen.
It’s your business and it has to work for you in order for both you and your business to thrive.
A great place to start in connecting with you (and creating more balance) in the context of your business is to go back to your business ‘why’.
Why are you doing this particular thing?
Why did you start in your business?
What is your purpose?
When you’ve finished reading, grab a pen and paper and answer those questions. This is the process of starting to reconnect with YOU in the context of YOUR business. Then, next time you feel the ‘businessy panic’ setting in, you can anchor yourself in your answers to those questions.
If you’re new to journaling or listening to your inner voice, it might feel a bit odd, to begin with, but that voice is like a muscle. The more you use it and the more you investigate yourself in this way, the better it gets.
You’ve started listening rather than overruling your inner voice. You’re starting to understand your needs in the context of your business and to nourish those needs. Suddenly you feel overwhelm setting in.
Now, you have the tool to manage this, simply reconnect with your why. Once you’re reconnected, begin the gentle process of investigating yourself and your feelings. Is there something you can do in that moment to take the sting out of the overwhelm’s tail?
Or, do you need to make some more significant changes to redress your work-life balance? If you can identify those things, you will have empowered yourself to make a positive change for you and your business in the future.
Look after yourself in the context of your business as if you are your business’s most valuable asset – because you are.
And if you still think you’re too busy to take care of you…
Studies have shown that the average office worker who works 9am-5pm is productive for little more than 2 hours and 50 minutes a day.
You really do have time every day to get up and walk away from your desk and return a little later feeling refreshed, in balance and ready to thrive.
Hi there, my name’s Kathryn and I’m your Anxiety Release Coach.
My mission is to connect with, help and support as many open-minded, women as possible who want to transform their relationship with anxiety, fall back in love with their work and life, and willing to believe recovery is at least possible.
Over the last few years, I have honed and tweaked the tools and techniques which worked for me, into my ‘Beyond Anxiety Blueprint’ which focuses on identifying your personal path to recovery, and delivering three key outcomes:
Why not join us in our Facebook Group – our community for open-minded women from all walks of life learning to live anxiety-free, reconnect with their inner-selves, and shine in their lives, careers and businesses with conscious, calm, confidence?
Or you can download my guide: ‘Journal your way to CONSCIOUS, CALM, CONFIDENT‘ to give you a little ‘Consciousness Jumpstart’!