Hustle. Hard work. The grind. Goal digger. Contemporary buzz words made popular in recent times, particularly by big names in entrepreneurship like Gary Vaynerchuk.
It seems that we can’t have one quick scroll on Instagram without coming across the latest motivational quote – featuring a man in front of a sports car and flashing a Rolex watch.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of the “hustle” (and Gary!). The definition of success can of course vary among each person, and it goes without saying that success in business (and in life) usually starts with a very large amount of hard work and many late nights.
But if there is something I have learned in my – admittedly short – time so far in the world of business, it’s the need to find a work-life balance in order to be happy, healthy (mentally and physically), efficient and thriving entrepreneur.
Not work-life balance in the traditional sense of work and play, but specifically, a mix of the following five foundational “pillars”:
1. Working and productivity
Putting in the long hours and taking action on building your business (or whatever pursuit you are undertaking) is of course the way to achieve your goals and aspirations. It definitely won’t be a simple and straight road, but if you’re taking action (every single day) to get you one step closer to making these ambitions a reality, you’re already further ahead than the other 95%. This pillar will likely take up the biggest chunk on the pie.
2. Learning and upskilling
I’m a huge believer in the “never-stop-learning” mindset. To be honest, I don’t refer to myself a social media marketing “expert”, as to me, an expert is a person who already knows everything about their area of knowledge, business or their profession – and there’s always something to learn! Taking the time to up-skill, take a course, read up on new updates and the latest trends not only builds your skillset, but is a sure-fire way to raise the quality and efficiency of your business.
3. Personal development
The other half of the coin: learning more about yourself. Personal development is essential to our growth as individuals – but has significant impact on our businesses as well. Some will go so far as to say that your business success (or failures) reflect where you’re at personally and mentally. So taking time each week to read a self-help book, listen to a personal development or motivational podcast, or watch some TedTalks are great ways to help expand the mind.
4. Fun and self-care
But you know what? Life isn’t meant to be so serious! Although I appreciate the saying “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life”, I believe we still need to take some time out to do relaxing, fun activities – that aren’t to do with work and business at all. It’s totally okay to have outside (and unrelated) interests; for me, I love acting and theater! Or self-care could just be enjoying the simple things in life like having a bath, watching a movie, meditation, or even taking the dog for a walk. These aren’t to be confused with procrastination or being lazy; they’re about filling up your own cup before getting back into the groove of business and life.
5. Social life
Last but not least, us humans are naturally social beings. We thrive off human interaction. As a business owner who works from my home office only 3 days per week (currently), the going can get tough and lonely. So make the time to catch up with friends, join a social club, or even choose to work at a co-working space once a week. Collaborating with other like-minded people on a project, or even reaching out and asking for some advice. Not only can these help fill the social void that can come with being entrepreneur, but it also helps build the all-important network, too!
Finding the right ratio of each of these pillars will differ for each person. I’m working on these areas every week and still finding the balance that works for me! But I believe that when implemented each week, these 5 pillars will lead to a much happier and healthier bunch of entrepreneurs (and more successful businesses in general)