You need to be willing to pour a lot of time and energy into a business - particularly in the early days. However, it’s important that your business doesn’t take over your life. Dedicate too much time and energy to your business and the rest of your life will suffer, causing you to become exhausted and depressed.
A few signs that your business is consuming too much of your life include:
No time for friends
You should still be able to enjoy a social life while running a business (and not just professional networking). If you find yourself constantly turning down social events with friends because you’re too busy working, this could be a sign that you’re focusing too much time on your business. Eventually you could end up losing these friends if you’re not careful.
No time for family
You should still be able to spend time with your family. If you feel like you’re barely ever seeing your kids or your relationship with your partner is strained because of the hours you work, it could be a sign of an unhealthy work-life balance.
No time for leisure
Running a business could be something you enjoy doing, however you should still have time for leisure activities outside of business, whether it be pursuing hobbies, hitting the gym or simply relaxing in front of the TV. If you have little or no time for such activities, it could be a sign that your business is consuming your life.
No time for sleep
This is the ultimate sign that your business is consuming too much of your life. If you rarely ever get a good amount of sleep because you’re constantly working late or getting up early (or both), it could be time to cut back urgently. Sleep deprivation could shorten your lifespan in the long run and you likely won’t be able to pour as much energy into your business as you’d like to, negatively affecting your work performance.
How to take back control of your life
It’s important to create clear boundaries between your business life and personal life. Make sure that you’re scheduling days when you don’t work, and have designated hours when you don’t answer business calls.
If you’re struggling with the workload of your business, consider ways of reducing the burden such as outsourcing tasks. This could include hiring an accountant instead of doing your own bookkeeping. If IT issues are taking up a lot of your time, consider outsourcing your IT - there are managed services out there that provide IT solutions for everyone.
You may also be able to use technology to speed up tasks and even automate tasks. You shouldn’t have to pay employees manually or send out reminder emails manually.
Finally, make sure that you don’t take on too much work. It’s okay to turn customers away if you’re already too overwhelmed. If you find that you’re having to take on lots of work to pay the bills, consider whether it’s time to up your prices or make cutbacks to your expenses - you shouldn’t have to work excessive hours just to pay the bills.
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.