5 Tips for Maintaining Work-Life Balance, From People Who've Been There
Entrepreneur|January 2016

Work-life balance is a constant struggle for entrepreneurs with a passion for business. We’ve got five tips that can help you maintain a personal and professional middle ground.

Matt Villano

WHO COULDN’T USE a few more hours in the day or week? Entrepreneurs of all stripes report that one of the biggest challenges to starting a company is determining out how to harmoniously integrate their professional and personal lives. Work too hard, and your relationships and even your health could suffer; focus too much on private time, and you stand to lose your competitive edge. But there is a middle ground. We spoke to entrepreneurs and C-level executives for their take on the issue and how they manage it.

“The notion of ‘balance’ looks different for everyone. You have to find it where you can, when you can. We have offices all over the world, so I could work all the time if I allowed myself to. Instead, I pick and choose and weave everything into my schedule as best I can. In the mornings, I wake up and do calls between 6 and 8 a.m., then I have breakfast with my kids and take them to school before heading to the office. At the end of the day, I come home, put the kids to bed and go back to work. Every day, my balance is changing. And that’s OK.” — Patrick Llewellyn, president and CEO, 99designs

FORGET THE BALANCING ACT.

The notion of work-life balance implies that the two can and should be equivalent. Rather, consider the integration as a moving target that’s a natural extension of your lifestyle.

“Work ebbs and flows. There are times when you’re busy; there are times when you’re not as busy. It’s always changing. We all have completely different sets of work and personal realities at any one time. Naturally, how those fit together is going to be completely different for each of us. In this sense we’re like snowflakes: You’ll never see the same combination [of work and personal realities] twice. Each of us can optimize our work-life fit differently. The equation will be different for each of us.” Cali Yost, founder and CEO, Flex+Strategy Group/Work+Life Fit

“Whether you’re an entrepreneur starting a company or you’re working for someone else,work should be an extension of your life. If that’s not the case,if you don’t feel like work is an extension of who you are, you always will have a trade-off between work and life. We have a saying: ‘BYOS.’ It stands for ‘Bring Your Own Self.’ And it means that there should never be a separation between who our employees are outside these offices and who they are inside. Really, it’s all about passion. Every one of us has the opportunity to lead a passion-driven life; we just need to put the time in to understand what we expect from ourselves.” - Neil Grimmer, co-founder and CEO, Plum Organics

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