Startup Life is almost like beginning a new life while continuing to live the original one. Life has all kinds of twists and turns, ups and downs as well as plenty of confusion. A startup is not much different. It’s even similar to many of the chapters which have taken place in your story. You’ll create a sort of extended family with team members and people you do business with. It may take years to gain familiarity, trust, establish yourself as dependable or as a self-sustaining entity. As one person worded it, “There’s No balance! It is like a baby. Has needs.. you have to pay attention. Has priority. The thing here is priority management. So the formula is: if there is a crisis elsewhere, then pay attention to it. Else, pay attention to your startup.” -Hakan Totkanli[management consultant]
A lot of people tend to use scheduling as an exact science and in doing so, they run into never-ending conflicts and never quite seem to find the time to get everything finished. It is best to think of the idea as only a guideline and to allow for time between each thing that needs to be done. Don’t just fill up your schedule book! When i refer to scheduling, it’s more of a general term which equates more with outlining your priorities and setting aside time for specific duties. An example of this would be using the time before sunrise to take car of email correspondences, while the night could be for handling paperwork. For some, these times are the most peaceful and have minimal interruptions. Individuals with children could also can see the benefits of such, being that the timing allows you to get kids ready, work during school hours, attend to family obligations in the afternoon, then return to paperwork while the family winds down for the night.
The basis of outlining priorities and tasks is separation. We separate the day into various segments in order to have time for both work and family. Here is a breakdown of a few tasks that both business and personal lives share:
As you can see from the examples, a family could be similar to orchestrating a startup. One very important task is to separate finances. Business and Private bank accounts should be separate. Your business account be on its own, but it should not overly finance your personal life and vise versa. Not only will this help you during tax time, but it will also help keep your credit lines apart while you build business credit.
When it all comes down to it, every suggestion, article or even a life coach can only be put to good use with the right mentality. As humans, we become tired, angry, distracted, forgetful and many other states of mind or being. A sign a true entrepreneur is what their next move will be. There is the drive to succeed despite all odds and doubts of others and you must re-find your focus and begin to push forwards once again. The mental is what ties it all together, and a strong one is definitely needed. “The body needs a mix of lean meat and vegetables. The artificial junk clogs us up and wears us down. Realign a long walk with problem solving and family time to have a clear horizon and put the mind and body in synchrony.” -Kenneth Larson
Friends & Family
Running a business of your own, you’ll soon realize that your daily activities seem to take on a life of their own which excludes many people. It’s as if this new life can go off on a journey of going new places, making new friends and having a completely different set of experiences than your other life and the people may not share. It can be isolating and alienating. The ones that are close to you may not know or understand what it is you are involved in, but they still would like to know bits of it and about your day. You may find that you don’t have nearly as much time and even your friends are saying they haven’t seen you in days, weeks, months, etc. It’s probably just as important to keep up with friends and family as it is to actually run your company as Dave Maskin told me, “By being my own boss, I set my own work hours and make sure to make as much time for my family and friends as i do within my business pursuits.” Out each week, I personally feel the importance of setting aside a 2-3 hours a few days a week and whole day if possible. The few hours during the day where I can watch tv, go to the store or even a nice talk on the phone can make a world of a difference.
Each startup company will be a bit different in regards to what times are available to work, relax or spend time with family. Things could change by the hour depending on your industry and there will never be a perfect balance to it all. That is why i refer to it as a balancing act, because it requires some flexibility and push and pull in order to keep momentum. Just be sure to remember that even a professional juggler has to put the rings down sometime and take a break from work.
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