Recently, I've had the opportunity to travel to multiple women's conferences and speak to scores of women entrepreneurs about their Big Ideas, Dreams and Goals. Questions come up on a range of topics including how to start a business to taking an existing business to the next level of success. One question that seems to have a recurring theme right now is "How do I create a successful business while maintaining work/life balance?" Great question! And one that deserves an answer with some solid tips and solutions.
Let me begin by sharing with you that I don't actually believe there is "work/life" balance. My belief is that women reflect on and declare their values that are personal to them and create a life to support those values. I place a high value on 3 areas in my life; self-care, family and supporting women to live the life they want - and deserve. Does it work perfectly? Of course not. Kids get sick, dishwasher breaks and laptops blow up! I will share that it does work 80% of the time because I've made a decision to be proactive using daily rituals to take care of myself, my family and my business.
Do you have rituals for success in your life and business? Here are 7 rituals I use to help me stay on course and honor what I value most:
1. Solitude - Learning how to just "be" is one of the greatest gifts you will ever give to yourself. If you have a busy lifestyle (like me) you'll need to plan for solitude. I go for walks by myself, spend a few hours in my home alone and sometimes take a personal weekend retreat.
2. Meditation - Meditation has become an important part of my life. It is a tool I use regularly to help me get clear, focused and centered. Sitting quietly for 5 minutes can make a dramatic impact on your day. Depending on my schedule, I meditate for a minimum of 5 minutes and a maximum of 20 minutes.
3. Negative Environments - Make a conscious effort to avoid negative environments. Surround yourself with positive, "nutritious" people who are success-oriented and think in abundance. Having a supportive environment creates possibility thinking and new ideas.
4. Quality Not Quantity - It's my belief that quality time is more important than quantity time with family and friends. With a busy family and growing business, I realize I cannot do everything, however I make sure that I'm focused and present for my family daily when it really counts.
5. Focus Time - Success comes to those who plan for it. It's essential that you create focus time for your business and your personal life. Plan to spend at least 1 hour a week reviewing where you are now and where you want to go in the future. Make sure the action steps you are taking will help you get the results you want.
6. Coaching And Mentoring - It's essential to have a "thinking" partner along the way in your journey. Here's what I know for sure: You cannot do this by yourself. Having someone there to support you and also challenge your thinking can help shorten your journey to success.
7. Ask - Period - Stop attempting to be "superwoman." It affects your health and well-being. I know it's a challenge to ask for what you want or need, however if you dream of celebrating a successful business while maintaining a loving, healthy, family - it's the only way. Here's what I've learned: people love supporting you. Family members will develop stronger bonds with your children because they have more time with them and there are people out there right now who would love to help you accomplish your vision.
Being proactive rather than reactive in your life and business can make a big difference in the way your day unfolds. It's not perfect but it is pleasurable to be living in the 80/20 window of life. 80% of the time it all works beautifully and of course there's always that 20% that just about puts you over the edge! I invite you to consider adding one or two of these rituals to your life and business. A mentor once shared with me that "the slightest shift can create the most dramatic impact." That's certainly true here.