The other day I decided to stand on just one leg. In my mind I thought of this as an easy task. At first I was successful but as I continued to try and balance myself I began to lose my ability to be stable. Eventually, gravity took over and I began to sway. Instinctively, the other foot went down in an attempt to gain my balance and I saved myself from what could have been a very embarrassing face plant.
We all have to live by the law of physics and even though we think we can defy the law, we find that, in the end, reality takes over and we obey the rule.
As a business owner having two feet planted firmly on the ground is vital in maintaining the balance within your business as well as your personal life. It is not an easy thing to keep the balance. It takes careful planning and awareness. Do not be mislead because you can still run a successful business and be unbalanced.
An example would be someone who works 24/7 and has a family. For a certain period of time that business owner can probably do it all, but as time goes by they become burnt out, discouraged and stressed. Unfortunately, when a person works 24/7, something has to give. In most cases it is the time spent with family. Next the lines of communication begin to break down. It is at this point where the law of gravity takes over and the balance between your business and personal life begins to sway.
A few tips to help keep balance:
Setting realistic goals – Have you heard of SMART? It stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. It is a system to use to help you attain your goals and keep both feet on the ground.
Personal Balance – First of all you need to ask:
Do you really know yourself?
Do you know why you are in business?
Does the business help to fulfill some of your personal goals?
Do you love going into work?
Having a personal balance helps to put things into perspective. You find out what true value is and why it is important in all aspects of your life.
Family and Friends – Your family and friends are there to support you. If you don’t make time for them then eventually they will not have time for you! They care about you. One thing you need to remember is that when you spend time with them, make them your focus.
Customer Service – You want happy customers, but realistically it is impossible to please everyone, all the time. Treat others how you want to be treated. Set a realistic structure and follow it. Just remember that habits can be formed and expectations can be set very high. Once you start it is very hard to change. You are the one that creates the demand and timeline. Be realistic with yourself and others will be as well.
Office Space – If you work from your home make sure you have a separate area that is dedicated to your business. Your office should be organized and neat. You will be surprised how good a clean office can make you feel. It is also important to put an operational plan in place so that you know when to go to work and when to walk through the door and leave. It is convenient to have a home office but sometimes convenience can become inconvenient when the balanced is overlooked.
Life will run a lot smoother when there is balance. It creates a healthy outlook for the future and helps you to maintain your sanity. Remember to celebrate your achievements before you move on. Having a balanced view point of both business and personal matters will help you to build a solid two footed foundation.
At Halton Region’s Small Business Centre, we are here to help you keep your feet firmly planted on the ground. We can help you with all your business questions. One of the goals of the Centre is to empower small and medium-sized enterprises and give you the tools to achieve success. For more information about any of Halton Region’s other Small Business Centre resources and services, and how we can help direct you to the right resources, contact us at 1-866-4HALTON (42-5866), www.haltonsmallbusiness.ca, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville.