The idea of work-life balance can seem like a joke when you’re juggling full-time work and family responsibilities.
Female Entrepreneurs Worldwide Seek Work-Life Balance…
That’s why entrepreneurship has become an appealing option for increasing numbers of women.
In fact, 55 percent of American women entrepreneurs said they started or want to start their own business to achieve work-life balance, according to this article from Business News Daily, which cites a new survey by PayPal.
The study polled current and aspiring female entrepreneurs in the United States, China, France and Mexico and found that women in different countries have different motivators. Nearly half of the respondents in China, for example, said they wanted to control their own futures. Women in France (61 percent) and Mexico (66 percent) wanted to have pride in themselves.
In the United States, there are more than 7 million women-owned businesses, with an economic impact of $3 trillion, according to the study.
But is It Possible?
While some potential entrepreneurs may envision themselves finally making time for the gym, or a full night of sleep, Paul R. Brown offers words of caution in this article in Inc.:
“…after interviewing probably 4,000 entrepreneurs in my lifetime, I have come to this conclusion: If you are going to build a successful company, there is no such thing as work-life balance. I have never met a successful entrepreneur who spends as much time on his/her personal life as he/she does on his/her professional life.”
But there may be hope.
Craig Cincotta, vice president of brand communications at home improvement network Porch.com, acknowledges in this article in Entrepreneur that maintaining work-life balance is a challenge.
“There were times when I was the poster child for bad-balance behavior. I once had a sign in my office that read “never leave for tomorrow what you can get done today.” I was king of the 3 a.m. emails and I wore my 20-hour days, seven days a week work ethic as a badge of honor.
Then a funny thing happened. I realized that I could be a much better leader, employee, manager, husband and friend when I took the time to focus on achieving balance. I found that I was living a happier, healthier and more productive Life. And my output wasn’t comprised.”
Cincotta advises entrepreneurs to be open and communicative about their needs, respect the boundaries they put in place, focus on what matters, pace themselves and “embrace the off button.”
“Pretty much every piece of technology has an off button, so use it. It is not easy, and for many people this is the hardest thing to do. To get started, do it in phases. Don’t bring your cellphone to the dinner table. When you are on vacation, be on vacation. Don’t bring your tablet to the beach. Once you have done it a few times, it is easier to push the boundaries. When you unplug and step back you will start to experience one of life’s greatest treasures – perspective. You will think about problems you are wrestling with greater clarity. You allow yourself the freedom to be more analytical and less emotional when you step away and think vs. just diving in and responding in the moment.”
You may even achieve some work-life balance in the process.