“Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice.”
— Ayn Rand
What is the most important factor in determining your life’s outcome?
Is it your family background or parental influence that shapes your life, moulds your behaviour, and ultimately determines who you become? Or is it your educational and academic experiences that have influenced this outcome? Is it your “street smarts” that define your success in life? Could it be your inherited genes or your physical characteristics? Maybe it’s just a matter of luck that shapes the person you’re becoming and what you’re doing with your life.
Many of these factors have undoubtedly had an impact on your life. Without a doubt, they can be significant in terms of your life’s ultimate destination.
Consider yourself to be a typical employee at a 9 to 5 job. Getting up early to prepare, driving to and from work despite traffic, a toxic work environment, mean coworkers, an obnoxious boss, and so on.
Then, on your way home, you ran into an older friend. You decided to meet for a cup of coffee and catch up on what had transpired in your lives. It’s only Monday, but your appearance and exhaustion give the impression that it’s already Friday, whereas your friend looks amazing and makes you feel like it’s already the weekend for her.
You questioned about your respective occupations. You blabbered about your dissatisfaction with your current job, while she praised hers. You don’t feel recognized at work and are struggling financially, whereas your friend receives a monthly incentive for doing a fantastic job and has achieved financial stability.
It’s been an hour, and it’s time for you to go home. You rushed home because you still needed to prepare dinner for your family, help your kids with their homework, and do some housework. Your friend is going to the mall to watch a movie and treat herself.
As an employee, you represent the standard W2 contract that is being offered to you. Fixed pay, shifting schedules, and mandatory overtime to cover for a coworker’s absence or leave. You must follow your company’s terms and conditions. You have a lot of side hustles and travel time to support your family. Putting your life in danger during a global crisis just to put food on the table.
Your friend works as a freelancer and accepts 1099 contracts, commissions, and project-based work. She always works at her own pace and in her own place. She is free to select her own clients and set her own terms and conditions. Similarly, she has control over her working hours and rest days. She only had a few clients, but she had already met her financial goal at such a young age. Completely safe from the global crisis and the lingering crimes in the neighbourhood.
You appear and feel stressed, whereas she appears younger and more beautiful.
Can you tell the difference?
Choice has an adverse effect on us, whether it is positive or negative.
We often complain, but we never have the willpower to change our lives for the better.
There isn’t a single day that goes by when we don’t have to make a decision. Some decisions are completely instinctive and require no thought at all. People do not dwell on decisions such as what to wear to work, what to eat for lunch, or which route to take to work. While most people find these decisions to be a “no-brainer,” those who tend to over-think every detail of their lives may find it difficult to make such decisions. The decision-making process tends to overwhelm these people.
Each person has a unique perspective on what is important and what makes them feel the best. Making your own decisions about what you do is critical because it gives your life meaning. Making decisions about what is important to you allows you to be more self-sufficient and in control of your life.
The choice is yours. And remember to choose the best choice for you. At all cost.
Work-life balance for female entrepreneurs
Many women have turned to entrepreneurship in order to escape the pressures and stress associated with a traditional career, but coupled with domestic responsibilities it can still be a lot to handle.
There has been some progress, but despite all the discussion about equality, women still do far more work than men at home. A sobering truth that hits home when you consider that there’s been a 30% increase in female entrepreneurs in Canada (and a 114% increase in the United Sates) over the last two decades. What that boils down to is a lot of pressure on women entrepreneurs trying to create harmony between work and the rest of their lives.
It may seem impossible, but with the right attitude and some flexibility, you can attain it. To help you with this goal, I’ve put together a few tips to help you design the life you deserve.
Realistic & Flexible Expectations
It’s easy to compare your life to others and feel like you’re falling short. Especially if it seems like everyone, but you, has their life together. Remember, things are seldom what they seem on the surface, and the women entrepreneurs you look up to face many of the same challenges as you. If they do happen to have it all together it’s only because they created a plan for their life that works, and you can bet they started by creating realistic expectations for themselves.
There will always be times when your business requires all of your focus, and times when your family needs your undivided attention. Don’t assume you have to be able to do it all, because you don’t. No one can manage everything all at once, all of the time, and trying to do so will likely send you over the edge. There are the times when your expectations for yourself must be flexible and realistic. Since you can’t do it all, you’ll need to prioritize in the moment what is most important. It won’t be easy at first, but with practice you’ll learn how to shift your focus to where it’s needed.
In a world that considers hustling 24/7 a badge of honour, you may assume that you have to be “on” at all times. Despite many so-called gurus who advise others of the need to work around the clock in order to grow their business, the reality is that it can lead to exhaustion and poor health. Both of which will cause your business to suffer. Determine where you need to place your focus, and stick to it without apology. As a woman and an entrepreneur, there may be several people and situations all competing for your attention. Boundaries help you stay on task, prevent overwhelm, and protect your health and sanity.
Set Aside Time For Yourself
Everyone needs time to recharge and refresh. If you don’t allow time for yourself it will hinder your creativity and drive, negatively affecting your business as a result. Be intentional about this. Schedule a spa day, a hike in the park, or an outing with your family. Pick a specific day of the week and block it off in your schedule. Do it every week and it will have a positive impact on your lifestyle, business, and health.
Grow Your Support Network
You can make plans, create boundaries, and even schedule time for yourself – but you’re still going to need help from time to time. The truth of the matter is that there’s just too much work to be done all by yourself. Depending on how your business is growing, you may need to add employees. If it’s not time for that yet, you may benefit from hiring a personal assistant. Be strategic and hire for what you need most. It might be someone to help with your scheduling, or an accountant to help manage your finances. Delegating certain responsibilities to others will go a long way to relieving the stress of trying to do it all by yourself. You could also join a support group of other female entrepreneurs, and if you can’t find one you could start one yourself.
The pressure to succeed can be overwhelming. This is especially true for female entrepreneurs who often feel as though they must prove themselves. The good news is that you have nothing to prove to anyone but yourself. You chose the entrepreneurial path because you have what it takes to succeed. Follow the tips described here to help create more harmony between life and work, and continue living life on your own terms.
Learn more at investorsmarts.ca and sign up for your free strategy call.
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