Entrepreneurs and business owners know that owning and running a business is usually a full-time job. Many times, it flows over into your off hours, weekends, holidays and everything in between. However, I am a hardcore believer in creating boundaries, especially with your business.
If your boundaries are not managed appropriately, your business will very soon take over your entire world. It will take over your private life. It will consume and affect your relationships if left unchecked. And although it may be good for your business, ultimately you can be left devastated by the effects personally.
I had a client who attributed the lack of boundaries in her business to the separation of her marriage. She had allowed her business to consume her life. She shared with me that she no longer focused or spent time with her husband, because she was too consumed with everything at work. She was very honest in sharing that it was the single cause in the downfall of her relationship. But I’m happy to share that after a year of being separated, they came back together and are now so much happier, because she made the necessary changes in her work life to support a healthy personal life and marriage.
One way to counter such potential devastation is to create specific, useful boundaries that you stick to in your business. Separate work time from private time. Schedule your days – specify specific days and hours for working, meetings, dinners and events. But you must stick to it. Make sure you are designating free time for yourself, your family and your intimate relationship if you have one.
Before the real estate market collapsed, a decade ago, I use to be one of those entrepreneurs who was overtaken with work. My businesses totally consumed me. Almost all of my work was quite enjoyable for me, so I didn’t initially see the harm. I also didn’t have any real boundaries designated around my work. It was just work, work, work all of the time.
I come from a family of entrepreneurs. Both of my parents are entrepreneurs and they come from the school of working all the time and talking about business anytime, anywhere for anything. For me, after the market collapse and having to deal with all of the fallout and cleanup from it, I knew that when I rebuilt my business life, I had to do it very differently. No more late nights regularly, working on the weekend and non-existing vacations. I had to start creating new business structures for my businesses and create some serious, significant boundaries.
Check out Part 2 of this article on Friday.
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