Deconstructing The Myth Of Work/Life Balance For Entrepreneurs
There is a myth in the world of entrepreneurship that you can have it all—a balanced lifestyle, time for family, strong business growth and massive impact.
The reality is that this myth is just that, a myth. The truth is there is no such thing as work/life balance for entrepreneurs.
Fortunately, this isn’t a problem for most entrepreneurs. Here’s why.
For entrepreneurs, work is life and life is work
I honestly don’t feel like I have a job in the traditional sense of the word. For me, jobs are things you do because you need money or some way to keep busy.
You clock in and out, and maybe if you’re lucky you learn a thing or two along the way. I do not have that kind of job.
As the CEO of BodeTree, I get to do what I love each and every day. Never once have I dreaded going into the office or working with my team.
The old saying, “do what you love and you’ll never work another day again” isn’t true. There is always work to be done.
What is true, however, is that if you do what you love it will never feel like a job. That’s why the idea of finding work/life balance as an entrepreneur is a joke.
Work and life sit together on a spectrum and when you try to separate the two, you’re courting disaster. For entrepreneurs, little success is found when you don’t live and breath your business.
Does that mean that you ignore your family and friends? Absolutely not. They’re simply part of the entire experience.
Exceptional results require exceptional effort
Building a business is one of the most difficult things anyone can do. You have to be all in, all the time. No one is going to build your business for you.
Exceptional results require exceptional effort from everyone involved, especially the founders. As one seasoned entrepreneurs once told me, “If you’re going to succeed, you’re going to have to work your butt off.”
It takes a special type of person to look at this unique challenge and embrace it with open arms, but that’s what separates entrepreneurs from the rest.
This is where things can get sticky, especially when you have a family. There are times when you have to sacrifice time with your loved ones for the sake of the business.
If that seems like a bitter pill to swallow, that’s because it is. Unfortunately, it’s just a trade-off that you have to make at some point in your life. Growing up, my father traveled extensively and worked incredibly long hours. This meant that he occasionally missed out on family events such as school ceremonies. He also provided incredibly well for his family and friends. The hard work that he put in resulted in the success he was able to share with others. There was no shortcut, and it’s the same for entrepreneurs today.
Entrepreneurship is a way of life, not a matter of work
While the “dream” of work/life balance is essentially unattainable for entrepreneurs—as it is for many others who love their work—there are ways to blend business and family successfully. My wife and I have a young son and will likely have another child in the coming year. I strive to be a good father, even though I work long hours.
The key is to blend the two and foster respect for hard work inside of your family. In fact, as I write this my six-year-old son is snuggled next to me, pretending to type on his iPad.
As my team can attest, my family comes into the office on a regular basis and are involved in a variety of ways. I don’t have to worry about work/life balance because it’s all the same to me.
So yeah, work/life balance is a joke, at least for entrepreneurs. There’s just life, and the business that you work so hard to create is a huge part of that. The entrepreneur’s way of life is not for everyone; there are plenty of sacrifices that have to be made along the way. However, if you recognize that exceptional results require exceptional work and foster a spirit of entrepreneurship inside of your family, you’ll find that it’s worthwhile.