Maintaining Work-Life Balance
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How do you maintain a work-life balance? Well, that’s a tricky question.
I mean, it looks nice that I’m filming this from Mexico where it’s luxurious and pretty and the weather is warm, where at home I’m in, like, two feet of snow. So there are some perks to having an online business where I can do it from the luxury of my laptop.
But work-life balance, what does that mean? I think everyone has their own definition for what is a work-life balance. And there’s also the opinion that there is no such thing as work-life balance when you have a drive and passion and purpose.
What does balance mean to you is the most important thing. Because I know what it’s been like to be drained, overwhelmed, overworked, burnt out. That is definitely not balance.
But my definition of balance is when I’m happy. When I’m well-fed, when I’ve moved my body, when I have spent time with my family. But that also might mean that I’ve spent a lot of time working, and, for me, that’s okay with me.
For others, that might not be a good definition for them. For them, working eight hours a day might be enough and then having the evenings and weekends. That’s totally fine.
But if you are living for the weekends you’re wasting more than 70% of your life if Monday to Friday is not happy for you. So my best advice, in that case, is to find something that makes you happy. To do work that fulfills you even if it’s not what society says that you should do.
I’ve been in situations where I followed what society tells you to do. You know, make a good living, a good salary in a 9-to-5. Get your two weeks of vacation. Put money into your retirement fund. But I wasn’t happy with that, and I don’t think I ever would be. Me personally. If that’s good for you, then that’s great.
When I was in that 9-to-5, I was always looking for a way out. Now, let me tell you ahead of time that when I found a way out, then came another challenge. Sometimes we get this idea of once I get to this level, everything will be perfect. Well, once you get to that level, you just get a new set of challenges.
I was in my 9-to-5 and I wanted out. I wanted freedom more than anything. What really bothered me was when I’d have to ask for time off. If I wanted to go on vacation, if I wanted to go to a doctor appointment, I had to ask for that time off. I didn’t care if I wasn’t getting paid for not being there. I just wanted to be off. But, you know, the staff needs you, the company needs employees on the floor and it just wasn’t possible.
I wanted to have the freedom to make my own choices, so I slowly started reducing my hours as I slowly started building my social media and video marketing business. And then eventually I was able to leave it. Which was amazing. It was the dream. To have my own business, to make my own hours, to be able to work from anywhere. But then I found myself with the same problem. I was still looking for freedom.
I was giving so much of myself to my clients that I had nothing left for me, nothing left for my husband. I didn’t have the work-life balance that I defined for my free time. My health. My exercise. My time with my family. So I found myself in a position again where I was like, well, now what’s the challenge?
I always thought when I was in a 9-to-5 that making six figures a year would have been amazing. Well, once you get to that level, do you have time? Like, do you have freedom or is it just the money? Well, you can’t buy time, but you can buy other people’s time. You can hire employees.
Well, then the next challenge is managing a team. And then the bigger your team grows, then there’s payroll. Then there’s taxes. It’s new challenges. So I got to this point where I was so busy and at this point, I was just so eager to find enough clients so that I could let go of my 9-to-5. That I could sustain myself and my husband in this business that I was taking on clients that I actually didn’t even really align with, and I was doing jobs that weren’t really fun for me. I was just saying yes to any opportunity. And there’s this quote from Warren Buffett where he says “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”
And that’s kind of a weird mindset to adapt to because we think that we just want to say yes to every opportunity because it’s an opportunity. And it gets us from where we are to where we want to be. But when I started saying yes to things that didn’t serve me, it meant that I had to say no to my free time, my family, my husband. So that, for me, was work-life balance right in the toilet.
That was where I had to make another really hard decision and it was probably one of the toughest decisions ever where I let go of a lot of my clients.
I stopped, reset and I pivoted. And I changed the entire business. I got really clear on what I wanted, got really clear on what I wanted my day to look like.
There’s another exercise that I’d recommend looking at from Frank Kern called The Perfect Day. And it was an entire shift for me. From that experience, I’ve also created a handbook that you can also take a look at for free which will help you to really ask yourself the questions and understand who you are, who you want to be, what message you want to share with the world and how to effectively do that.
When I got clear on who I wanted to be and what I wanted my life to look like, that’s when I could say yes to the right opportunities and say no to what didn’t work. And to be honest, I’ve really adapted that new mindset of saying no to the things that don’t serve me.
Sometimes there are people that want to pick my brain and I love the ability to share with others. That’s why we’re doing these videos. But if I said yes to every individual person, how would I be able to make the impact I make on the masses? How could I put out the products and services that help other people to change the world?
So it’s something to consider when you’re creating your work-life balance, and when you’re figuring out what you want to say yes and what you want to say no to. That mindset shift was such an important factor for me to really understand what I need.
What are the ingredients that I need to make me my best self? So if I look at making a cake, you’ve got to put in all the ingredients. You don’t skip out on the butter and sugar. So what’s the butter and sugar that you need? For me, in the mornings, I got to wake up early so I have my me time before I jump right into my day. I got to move my body. I got to go to the gym. I got to read. I have to spend time journaling. I got to put the right foods into my body. Those are the ingredients that I need to make me my best self because I get to show up as my best self to the world.
It’s not a privilege. It’s not something that just was handed to me. It’s something that I have to work towards and put those ingredients into me so that I can do those things.
That’s my definition of work-life balance, is when I can put the right ingredients into me when I can say yes to the things that serve me and say no to the things that don’t without feeling guilty about it. And with knowing, and going forward knowing I’m making the impact that I’m here to make.
If that’s something that supported you and helped you, I would love for you to take it a step further. Download my free Thought Leader handbook because that’s going to really help you to figure out what are the best ingredients for you. What are you here to do? What impact are you here to make? And again, you can get that totally for free.