This week I want to talk about one of the BIGGEST challenges of working for yourself: work life balance. Quite honestly, I didn’t know this challenge even existed until I left behind my “corporate” day job working as a registered nurse.
When you work for others, you are motivated each day to get your work done! You have a core amount of work to do in a set 8 or 10 hr day. There is NO questioning whether you will get your work done or not.
But then, when you make the BIG leap and start your own business, you now have a NEW set of challenges. Not only do you need to get the proper insurance, formulate the right business entity, get business cards printed and start marketing, but you also have to be OOBER responsible! And with that comes the challenge of balancing work and life when you work from home!
Balancing your home life and work life can CERTAINLY be a challenge. It is for anyone who works from home for themselves.
It’s so easy to just want to throw in a load of laundry or run to the grocery store in the middle of the day! But quickly, these small seemingly “easy” tasks can run amuck and take over your marketing time. And you already know that MARKETING is how you get clients. (No – they do NOT just show up knocking on your front door with a CC in hand.)
To make matters even MORE complicated is the fact that many of us chose to work from home so we could be more available for our family AND have more “freedom”. But with FREEDOM comes responsibility!
You will quickly learn (if you haven’t learned this already), that being aware of HOW you use your time will have a DIRECT relation to how successful your business becomes.
Today I want to help you be accountable to yourself and to goals you’ve outlined for yourself this year.
In order to balance work and life when you work from home, you’ll need to put some rules in place!
When I first started my business, my children and family automatically assumed that I would be available for everything they needed. From doing the dishes to making appointments to showing up to all the volunteer stuff at school. There is a fine line that you need to be aware of.
One of the BIG things I realized was that I needed to be sure I wasn’t squeezing “work” in around everyone else’s “expectations”.
1. Prioritize your business
If you want to build a sustainable business that will allow you to continue staying at home, you’ll need to respect your marketing activities and your business and make it a priority in your schedule! (Not the other way around.)
You’ll need to block out time to work with clients PLUS block time for the marketing activities that will GET you clients.
2. Set a schedule
I know!! Who wants to live by a schedule JUST after you left corporate? Without a schedule, your work hours will end up melting into your family hours and your family hours become nonexistent – because you ALWAYS have “business” on the brain.
Create a schedule that you can stick to that allows you to get done what is NECESSARY to have a successful business, while also carving out small buckets of time – for “personal” work.
THIS WILL change as your business changes and you expand. There were times in my business that I was creating a “new” schedule every 6 months!!
3. Hire your own SUPPORT
THIS one is SOOOO difficult for concierges! We think because these are tasks we do for clients all day long that we should be doing them for ourselves as well.
There will be days and sometimes months where you’re pulling late nights or rising at 5am to get a “head start”. But this is NOT sustainable long term. Consider hiring HELP for YOU! Yes …you!! Bring someone in PT a few hours a week to help go to the post office, get mailings out for you, keep your files current or book your networking activities for you.
If you’re burning the candle at both ends with “client work” (wooohoooo, good for you!!), you may want to consider hiring a PT contractor to help manage the overflow.
Also, JUST because you “work from home”, it doesn’t mean YOU need to be responsible for all the cooking, meals, and laundry! Teach everyone in the house how to pitch in! You can even create “responsibility charts” no matter what their age is.
4. Set boundaries and expectations
Be sure your family understands when you are working and when you are not. If you need to post your business hours on your office door, do it. Give them the information they need to help you stick to your own rules.
It is also important to ensure that your clients know your availability. If they aren’t sure when you are on the clock, they might cross boundaries without realizing it. And if you respond to them outside of your business hours, confusion can set in.
5. Book your “play” time
Balancing your business with your life (family or just your own personal time!) is extremely important. Without proper downtime and “playtime”, you risk burnout. The same thing you hated at your corporate job ends up being created in your “business” life and you’ll quickly be asking yourself “is this all worth it”?
I have a recurring appointment on my calendar. Every Saturday! 2 x a month is “date night” and 2x a month is “fun with friends”. When I don’t stick to that schedule, Kelly becomes OOBER cranky which in turn makes me unattractive to potential clients and even my own team!!
BOOK your play time!
How can these 5 things HELP you be a BETTER business owner and achieve better work and life balance?? Let me know in the comments below!
Welcome readers! If this is your first time reading my blog, thank you for stopping by! As a concierge who has built a successful business, I have decided to help other budding entrepreneurs do the same! As the Founder of The Concierge Academy, I write about specific topics and marketing strategies that Work for our industry!
It’s not always easy to build a service-based business. Many see it as an intangible, but you can build a profitable and flourishing concierge business!
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