Can entrepreneurs have a work/life balance?

Most entrepreneurs love what they do (one study shows they’re the happiest people in the planet).

However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that running your own business is hard work.
You need to:

  • reply to emails at any hour
  • manage payroll and tax
  • chase up leads
  • search for new staff

All that extra work can ruin your work/life balance.

One recent survey of small business owners found that almost 50% cancel social plans at least once per week because of their work. And half of entrepreneurs say they work more than 50 hours on average per week.

Of course, if you love what you do, doing some extra hours might not feel like work. But, managing your work-life balance is important if you are an entrepreneur. Let’s look at why, then see how you can manage your time better.

There’s nothing cool about being a workaholic!

Entrepreneurs tend to be very driven people. You’ve got an idea you’re passionate about and you want to share it with the world.
But, just because you can work long hours, doesn’t mean you should. The risks of not managing your work-life balance include:

• Losing the passion: if you work yourself to the bone, your business could become the thing you hate

• Damaging personal relationships: whether it’s with your partner, friends or family, working too hard means you spend less time with the people who matter

• Missed opportunities: sometimes you’re so focused on small tasks, that you fail to see bigger opportunities which could bring you a lot more value

• Burning out: if you don’t get enough sleep and spend too long under stress, your mental and physical health could take a hit

How You Can Get Back Your Work-Life Balance

So, how can you avoid these risks and get back your work/life balance as an entrepreneur?

1. Delegate tasks
The ability to delegate tasks is essential as an entrepreneur. If your company already has employees, you need to learn to hand over tasks to them, allowing you to focus more time and energy on strategy. If you work alone, there are countless online platforms where you can search for accountants, data-entry staff or web developers. Delegating these tasks allows you to give yourself a little time to breathe and focus.

2. Exercise!
Setting aside some time to exercise during the working week is wise. If you’re getting up at 5am every day and living off a diet of coffee and cookies, you will end up sick! It’s super important to dedicate a little time to your health at least once or twice a week. Whether that’s going for a run, visiting your gym or taking your bike for a ride, a good exercise session stops you from doing work at the same time, and your mind is focused on something other than work.

3. Mini-breaks
Entrepreneurs tend to take way less vacation than employees. That’s no surprise – if you’re uncontactable for two weeks, a lot of your clients may go elsewhere for business. Mini-breaks are a great solution therefore. Even if it’s just once per month, take a Friday off work and go away for the weekend. Get a change of scenery and turn off your work phone.

4. Re-evaluate your customer list
You know that client who calls you late at night with extra requests? The one who manages to get you to give them free advice or provide work for less than its real value? The one who sucks up all your attention? It’s time to evaluate if that customer is actually worth the money they’re spending.

Many entrepreneurs have at least one customer like this, and they can be truly exhausting. If the relationship just isn’t worth it for you, it might be time to ask if you’d be less stressed letting them go and working with a less demanding client.

5. Having clear boundaries
Last but not least, you should set clear boundaries around your work hours and your private time. Sure, there’s got to be some flexibility, but you should set yourself rules that you stick to. Turn off your work phone after a certain time in the evening. Focus on your family (and food!) during your evening meal. Give yourself at least one day each week where you do no serious work.

Balance Your Work And Life Like A Boss
Working yourself so hard you get exhausted and disillusioned isn’t clever. As an entrepreneur, you need to manage your time in a way that allows you to get some of those rewards of being a small business owner – using some of the money you’re earning, treating yourself, and spending more time with your loved ones.

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Len is a tech and business writer who covers small business and startup advice and has appeared in many print and digital publications. He lives in London, UK, where he's also a sub editor on a national newspaper. He loves to travel and has lived in France, Spain, Senegal and Rwanda.

5 simple exercises for home-based entrepreneurs

Running your business from home is a great way to save on expenses when you’re starting out. You avoid paying for office rent, eating out at lunch and money spent commuting. But, one area where you could end up paying is your health. If your home-office routine means you walk no more than a few meters from your bed to your desk each day, and then sit in front of a computer for 8 (or more) hours, you could be doing real damage to your health.
Fortunately, research suggests that you can get a lot of health benefits from doing as little as 15 minutes of exercise per day. So, let’s look at 5 simple exercises you can do in your own home which will get your heart racing, without interrupting the flow of your work too much.

Here are 5 simple exercises for home-based freelancers and entrepreneurs:

1. Burpees

Burpees offer a full-body workout which will burn calories fast and get you sweating. Aim for three sets of 10 burpees, with a 30 second break between each set.

  • Begin stood up straight before crouching down and placing your hands on the floor in front of your
  • ‘Hop’ your feet backwards so you’re in plank position
  • Then, jump your feet forward to crouch position again, before leaping into the air with arms extended
  • When you land, move immediately back to crouch and repeat

Burpee

2. Mountain climber

Another high-intensity quick home workout, mountain climbers are a powerful exercise for getting almost every muscle in your body firing.

  • Once again, begin in plank position
  • Next, rapidly bring one knee up to your chest before returning it to plank before switching to the other leg. Do this as fast as possible
  • Do three sets of mountain climbers lasting 45 seconds each, with a 30 second break between each set

Mountain climber exercise

3. Squats

Squats are a powerful exercise for your leg muscles. After a few rounds, you’ll really start to feel the burn.

  • Stand with your feet in line with your shoulders and your arms in front of you
  • • Gradually bend your knees while keeping your torso straight until it almost feels like you’re in sitting position

    • Then, drive up through your legs so you’re standing up straight

    • Do 3 sets of 10 squats with a 15 second break between sets

Squat exercise at home

4. Raised push-ups

By placing your feet at shoulder height – on your couch or a coffee table, for instance, you increase the benefits of standard push-ups.

  • Get into plank position, before placing your feet on a stable surface which is parallel in height to your shoulders
  • Then, with your hands placed in line with your shoulders, bend your elbows so your chin is almost touching the ground before pushing back up
  • Do 3 sets of 10 push-ups with a 30 second break between sets

Raised pushed up

5. Jumping jacks

A great way to get your heart rate up, jumping jacks also help tone your legs and arms in this quick home workout.

  • Stand up straight with your arms by your side
  • Next, jump up, and simultaneously swing your arms up into the air (watch out for lights!) and your legs out to the side into a star shape
  • When you land, return your arms to your sides before repeating in quick succession
  • Do three 30 second sets of jumping jacks with 15 second breaks

Jumping jack exercise at home

5 Online Service Businesses you can start on $1,000 or less

Starting an online service business doesn’t need to cost the earth. With some dedication and a little bit of luck, you can start an online services business for as little as $1,000. Let’s look at five popular kinds of online service businesses you can launch with limited capital.

1. Event Planning

To become an event planner, you need little more than a website where people can book your time and a knowledge of your niche. It’s a wise idea to choose a specific kind of event that you help plan for, as this will allow you to differentiate yourself in the market. Whether it’s kids’ parties, weddings or business networking events, you need to make a name for yourself in one specific sector.

You’ll need to be able to source entertainment, refreshments and space for your events, but once this is organized, you’ll be able to include these in your prices and start turning a profit fast.

2. Online Tutoring

Got a college degree in Physics? Know a language that people the other side of the world want to learn? Have years of experience in a sector and can provide guidance and mentoring? Online tutoring is a great, low cost way of selling your expertise in a specific area. You need little more than a laptop and some lesson plans to get started and making money!

3. Copy Editing and Proof Reading

Whether it’s reports, brochures, whitepapers or guide books, there’s ever more companies producing ever more content. To make sure that content is well written and free of grammatical mistakes, many companies turn to copy editors and proof readers. If you can spot a spelling mistake a mile off – and proof copy fast and efficiently, your services will be in high demand. And, because you need nothing more than a computer (and maybe a printer) to get started, this is one of the cheapest businesses to start around.

4. IT Consulting

As businesses use technology more and more, the demand for friendly, efficient and knowledgeable IT consultants keeps on growing. Whether you’ve got experience installing hardware or are more comfortable migrating databases or coding applications, there’s an almost limitless number of companies who will need your help.

5. Virtual Assistant

Many companies have a range of jobs and pieces of work that their own employees don’t have the time or skills to do. Whether it’s chasing customers about invoices, managing their social media or data entry, if you have versatile office skills you can offer your customers a huge help – all you need is a website to get started.

Whatever your business idea, you need to make it easy for customers to book your services. Learn how you can do that in just seven minutes here!