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Let’s be honest: none of us have this figured out. So, before any of you think myself or Britt have come up with a magic balance formula allow me to save you the trouble: we haven’t. Learning how to negotiate our full-time jobs and the demands of “real life” is just as much a struggle for us as it is for you. Maintaining focus, excitement, drive, and achieving a certain level of “success” (whatever that looks like from your POV) is even more challenging when you’re building your own business from the ground up. How do you make sure you’re staying true to your vision AND stacking your coins? How do you separate professional time from personal time when the lines blur so easily? And is there really any down time for people who are running growing businesses?
We ask ourselves this constantly - it’s on a continuous loop in our minds. But, for the longest time, both of us lived in the land of worry. And, whenever we’d make the trip, you can bet one of two things happened: either we’d work ourselves to the bone and, often, get sick as a result OR we’d mess around and allow ourselves to slack off heavy all while calling it self-care. Basically, balance was not a strong suit. But, with growth comes different perspectives and both of us have adopted a few things that help make our attempts at achieving balance a bit more realistic.
See 5 ways we’re striving for balance below.
1. "No" Is a Complete Sentence.
When you're ambitious, especially when you're building your own business, there is a certain expectation that "no" shouldn't be in your vocabulary. There is also, for some of us, an irrational expectation that every opportunity could be THE opportunity. But, saying yes to everything and everyone is a sure way to hurt yourself and, if you aren't careful, your business. Being pulled in multiple directions isn't balance, nor is it a good business strategy. One of the best lessons we've learned: be selective with your time and your energy. If you know that "business" lunch with someone who wants to "pick your brain" isn't going anywhere, say no. If you know that saying yes to a meeting will cut into a much-needed workout or therapy session - say no. "No" can become your best defense against yourself, and help establish your boundaries, if you'll let it.
2. Accountability Is Actually a Major Key
One thing we absolutely stand by is accountability. It's hard to keep yourself on track sometimes and having another person, who understands what you're going through, there to hold you accountable is sometimes the reason we push through our self-imposed laziness and get to work. Britt is my accountability partner. She tells me when I'm screwing up, she cheers me on when we've reached a goal, and she also encourages me to take a minute to just be still. It's important to have someone around you who understands the importance of recharging yourself and finding the balance in intention.
3. Letting Go of The Things We Can’t Change
I'm a stresser. I actually joke that I have a 2 bedroom condo in my head and I often live there. Overthinking can be good, but it's also a huge contributor to stress. As a believer, I also know that there are some things that aren't (and should not be) in my control. When I get stressed and tempted to break out the keys to the real estate in my head, I have to ask myself a few questions. First, have I done everything I can to make things better? Second, am I leaning on my own understanding or am I trusting God? Often, the former is true in the second question and I've found that a key component in finding peace and a sense of balance is in knowing when it's time for me to stop fighting and give God the reins.
Like I said before, we still haven’t figured out an exact formula, but we know what has been working for us, individually, on a consistent basis. And, truthfully, as we evolve those needs will shift. How do you strive to attain balance? Anything you recommend? Let us know in the comments below.