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Work-Life Balance for Women Entrepreneurs

Work-Life Balance for Women Entrepreneurs

Work-Life Balance for Women EntrepreneursDuring Women’s History Month, there are many topics that relate to women business owners. One of the big challenges for many women owners is achieving a good work-life balance. A study by Mastercard found that 3 in 10 (29%) female entrepreneurs say they are struggling to maintain a work-life balance, compared to 17% of men. Of course, women business owners face the same challenges in running a business as their male counterparts. But many women face additional challenges in childcare, spousal care, or parental care. This adds another layer of responsibility and demands on time. What are women entrepreneurs to do? Is it realistic to expect a good work-life balance?

Here are some ideas for endeavoring to achieve a good work-life balance:

Just say no

The “just say no” slogan was part of a campaign launched by First Lady Nancy Reagan to encourage children to avoid drugs and alcohol. But it’s a great slogan for women business owners to keep in mind and use throughout the day. There are continual demands on time and attention, and it’s impossible to say yes to every request. Prioritize the things you agree to do and don’t be shy about saying no.

Be on and off the clock

Business owners are usually consumed with their business activities 24/7. While they may not be actively at it, it’s difficult to stop thinking about a problem that arose, an upcoming meeting, or an idea for a new product or venture. Still, it’s helpful to limit business activities to set hours and devote the rest of the day to personal and family matters. This means not answering business email or writing a new report after hours. It also means taking time off, perhaps to take a vacation, and leaving work behind.

Decide what works for you

Each business owner has a different situation—the business is different, the personality is different, the personal life is different. How you manage integrating all aspects of your life is unique to your situation. Just because another women business owner seems to have managed her work-life balance doesn’t mean you need to follow her routine or have the same outcome. Examine your situation and your expectations of a satisfying work-life balance. Then work to create the boundaries in work and at home to make it happen for you.

Take care of yourself first

Remember what the flight attendant always tell us during the initial safety briefing? It’s something like “when the oxygen masks come down, put yours on first before putting one on your child.” Women business owners need to take care of their own physical and mental health first. If not, they are in no condition to take care of family and/or business. With limited hours in the day, it’s difficult to incorporate exercise, good nutrition, and sleep—the keys to good health—into a daily routine. Nonetheless, this should be a goal.

Final thought

Katie Thurmes, co-founder of the ecommerce brand Artifact Uprising, says “You can’t do a good job if your job is all you do.”

You don’t automatically get work-life balance; you have to strive for it.