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032: Achievable Work-life Synergy for Business Owners

podcast Apr 13, 2021
 

On this episode of High Flow Lifestyle, I am going to go over a few of the ways that, although work-life balance is somewhat of a myth,  work-life synergy is achievable for business owners.  

The term work-life balance has been used for a long time, but in reality, it is an elusive concept.  Business leaders everywhere always for work-life balance. However, entrepreneurs and small-business owners have a unique relationship with trying to create a work-life balance.    

The problem with the word balance is that implies there’s an equal sign to both work and life. The issue here is that as self-employed business owners our lives are not defined by a clear line between our personal and private lives. For us business is personal and is a part of our everyday life and by default is a part of our family's lives. So in essence, what we should be striving for is a work-life synergy. 

To be clear, the definition of synergy is: 

“The interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements, contributions, etc.” 

Our combined efforts produce more than each separate activity would have, so 1 + 1 = 3.  

When you are aligning your priorities at work and home life, this should be taken into consideration.  

 

Simon Sinek says that: 

“When you talk about work-life balance, work and life are not opposing forces. Balance is the wrong analogy. I’m the same person I am at home as I am at work. It’s just different clothes and a different table that I sit at.”  

Aim to think of life as one complete thing, not compartmental and different depending on your location. Seek balance in your life altogether.  

We should also aim to have creative things a part of it. Do things that force you to see the world differently. Go to museums, art... 

In the traditional work-life balance model, being an entrepreneur or self-employed business owner conflicts with the model because it forces you to choose one or the other, or you have to wait or give up something.  

External Forces 

We have to limit the external forces that control or influence us and focus on our intrinsic motivation. Externally, people will always say there’s no way to take that vacation and still keep a handle on your business, for example. They are projecting their fears onto you, because they couldn't fathom how to take a break and still maintain control of their work situation.  

Here the external critics slowly creep into our internal critic as well. Listening to all of those opinions, when in reality they are often also coming from non-business owners, can really start to break down your courage.  

Our Work-Life Synergy

With our restaurants, for example, we were so hands on our first restaurant and it was sort of driving us into the ground, with not much money to show for it either. Totally trading time for money. I had the idea that we needed to expand so that we didn’t have all of our eggs in one basket, but our very risk-averse family, on both sides, couldn’t really understand how we weren’t just creating more work for ourselves.

Needless to say, there was very little encouragement from outsiders, even hospitality industry people didn’t have much support for the new potential location, saying it was in a borderline shady area. But we had done our research and stuck to our guns and it stayed open all through Covid-19 and is still doing great.  

It wasn’t until I pushed for an expansion that we started learning about how to delegate more and focus on quality control as opposed to micro-managing everything. That being said, in the beginning maybe we needed to have our hands in everything so we knew every detail and problem that would come up regularly. But at some point, we were actually able to get to a point of synergy in our business and personal life after expanding a few more times. 

 

Get Comfortable Saying No –  

You have to get comfortable with saying No. Obligations build every time you say yes. The more obligations you have the more people rely on you, and the more time that takes away from your plan of a synergistic life. When you keep your values and purpose in check it gets easier to simply tell people you have too much on your plate right now or the timing just doesn’t work out. No hard feelings, no time wasted, and you get to keep appreciating the little moments in your day.  

So I just wanted to let you business owners out there know that work-life synergy is achievable. Don’t get caught up in the work-life balance idea, but focus on getting clarity on your personal and professional purpose. I have a free 5-Day Ikigai Purpose and Flow Bootcamp if you’d like some free training on accessing flow and discovering that thing that gets you up out of bed in the morning. You can find that on the website at HighFlowLifestyle.com. 

 I am off to take the kids rock climbing, their latest flow activity that they’re hooked on, so I’ll talk to you again soon and If you are part of the High Flow Lifestyle membership,  I’ll see you on the inside to continue the discussion and answer any questions you might have.  

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