Wish you had better work life balance? You're in the right place! In this video, we address work/life balance for solopreneurs: what that looks like, how to make it happen for YOU, and 5 key questions to ask yourself when you’re designing your work life balance action plan.
Quick overview of what's included in this video:
- 0:00 Intro
- 0:45 What does work life balance look like? (examples from me and my solopreneur coaching clients)
- 4:45 How can you achieve that coveted work life balance?
- 5:10 What do YOU want?
- 6:05 Blending mindset with strategy (internal bottlenecks and external obstacles)
- 8:20 Why you need to STOP copying and pasting
- 8:55 Five key questions to ask yourself when you’re designing your work life balance action plan
- 9:25 What does my ideal work life balance look like?
- 9:45 What does my current work life balance look like?
- 9:55 What would I theoretically want and need to do in order to bridge that gap?
- 10:10 Is that true?
- 10:50 What actions can I realistically take to move 5 or 10% toward that direction?
- 11:55 Why these questions are so important
- 12:40 Wrap up
Work life balance is something that a lot of solopreneurs struggle with. So today, that is what we are going to be addressing. We're going to go over work life balance for solopreneurs: what that looks like, how to make it happen for you, and a few key questions to ask yourself when you are designing your work life balance action plan.
My name is Sagan Morrow and I'm an anti hustle Productivity Strategist and internationally board-certified Success and Life Coach who specializes in working with solopreneurs. Be sure to grab my free training, Anti-Hustle Secrets to Solopreneur Success!
Let's get into today's video, work life balance for solopreneurs. To begin with, what does work life balance look like?
This can really be anything that you desire: work life balance is going to be very different from one person to the next. So for example, with myself and my solopreneur clients, here are a few different versions of what work life balance looks like…
- Taking a full week off work every three weeks or every two weeks (having two weeks of work, and then a week off, and then two weeks of work and a week off; doing that type of schedule).
- Other people do a four-day work week, so some people take three day weekends or else a day off in the middle of the week (working Monday Tuesday, taking Wednesday off and then working Thursday Friday).
- Other people prefer to sleep in and start the day a little bit later, or work early in the morning.
- Take a really long chunk of time off in the middle of the day and then maybe do a little bit of work at the end of the day or in the evening.
- Some people prefer to have flexibility built into their schedule to be able to take impromptu time off (this is where your entire business structure is built and designed so that on any given day, at any time of day, if something comes up, it's not a problem to just take time off work and to go do that thing. I used to take days off in the middle of the week where I would go to matinees with my mom, back when I was living in the same city before I moved here to BC. I used to do that all the time, and it was fantastic! It was one of my favourite things to be able to do, to be able to just take time off in the middle of the week, because she's retired and we can just go to the movies together. It was delightful).
- Other people prefer to take month long sabbaticals from work — I have done this and my clients have done this as well. This is really where your structure is set up in such a way that you can take a month off work or longer without it sort of affecting things, so that way you can work on perhaps a project that's not related to your everyday type of work. e.g. if you're writing a book or if you just want a long break along holiday, being able to take that kind of sabbatical or that time away from your work.
- This can also look like working 20 to 25 hours a week on an ongoing basis.
- This can look like putting your family or your hobbies first, really making sure that you are prioritizing them as part of your work and your life. Your everyday week encourages that opportunity to spend more time with loved ones to spend more time doing the hobbies that really light you up.
- This can also look like not taking on rush jobs or not accepting work outside of your main interests, so really planning your business around it: “These are the types of projects that I want to do. And even though I have the scope, the capacity to be able to do these other things, they're not what I want to be doing and therefore I will not take them on.”
So really looking at all these different options with your schedule and the way that your business is structured and set up and the types of work that you will and will not accept; all of these pieces can go into work life balance.
It's also really good to take into consideration what your particular needs are — your work life balance might look very different if you are trying to grow a business on the side while you're working a nine to five job, or if you historically have really struggled with a lot of burnout or perfectionism, or if you are raising kids, or if you have ADHD or anxiety or insomnia nightmares in my case, etc.
Taking into consideration all of these different things from your mental health, your lifestyle, your background, the other people in your life, all of these different pieces are really important to take into consideration, which is why work life balance will look different from one person to the next. Depending on what your ideal dreamy work life balance looks like, you're going to take different approaches for actually achieving your coveted work life balance.
But the first thing that comes into play here is really understanding getting very in tune and in touch with what you legitimately want: Not what society tells you that you should want. Not what your peers tell you what you should want, and not even what your past self used to want. What do you actually legitimately want at this point of your life?
This can be really tricky for some people, especially if you have been going on a particular path your whole life! If you haven't really checked in with what you legitimately want, if you are a people pleaser, this can bring up a lot of issues for people. So that's why, in my Productivity Powerhouse anti hustle e-course (designed especially for solopreneurs), we actually start with this, the entire first thing that you do, the first step of the program is identify your desires. And so that's where you really get in touch with what you genuinely want. That is always going to be the starting point.
Another thing that you can do to be able to, again, gain that coveted work life balance that you're after, is to ensure that you are blending mindset with strategy. Here, you are dealing with both your internal bottlenecks as well as external obstacles.
Internal bottlenecks are things like impostor syndrome, people pleasing, procrastination, perfectionism, overwhelm, all of those things that are kind of holding you back. Those are things that you can deal with right now.
External obstacles are things that exist outside of you. So if you do not have certain privileges in life, or you know if you are caring for an elderly family member or raising little kids, or if you work really if you are working a nine to five job and it's really far away, do you have to commute every day, etc… those are external obstacles that you still have to kind of work through.
So what we want to be doing is trying to navigate both your internal bottlenecks and your external obstacles. Oftentimes, people tend to focus a little bit too much on the external obstacles and view them as that's unchangeable: “I can't actually address them. I can't deal with them because they're outside of me. They're external.”
And that can be the case! You can't suddenly magically snap your fingers and remove your commute to your nine to five job. But sometimes there's little things that you can do, in terms of looking at, can you reduce your work days that you're there? Can you maybe work remotely, right? So there's, there's things that you might be able to navigate around that. But otherwise, we really want to focus on your internal bottlenecks: What is holding you back on an internal level that you can deal with?
So that's sort of the mindset piece. We again, we want to blend that with strategy. Your strategy should be very action oriented and rooted in your values, goals, wants and needs, and mindset. Your strategy is how you're going to take action on getting that life that you want, creating that business that you really deeply desire.
When you want to create this really lovely work-life balance, you're also going to ensure that you stop copying and pasting what other people are doing. Stop copying and pasting what you see happening in your industry or in your community. This is essential if you want to enjoy a really good work life balance. So again, this is about getting in touch with what you want and what's a good fit for you rather than someone else. Just because you see someone else doing a particular strategy doesn't mean that it will necessarily be right for you. So really ensuring that you're tailoring everything to your unique situation.
A few key questions to ask yourself when you are designing your work life balance action plan, include the following five questions…
Now, keep in mind that I am the creator and instructor of Productivity Powerhouse, which is my signature anti hustle e-course designed specially for solopreneurs. And in that program, we have some really powerful guided questions and assessments for doing this kind of work. So you can just kind of consider these five questions as a mini taste of that!
- Question number one, what does my ideal work life balance look like? Again, this is about what your ideal life, work life balance looks like — not what your past self’s idea of that would look like, not what your peers or society is telling you, but YOUR ideal work life balance. What does that look like?
- Question number two, what does my current work life balance look like? Be really honest here about what's going on there.
- Question number three, what would I theoretically want and need to do in order to bridge that gap? That gap between what it currently looks like to what it ideally can look like?
- Question number four, is that true? So, if you're looking at where you currently are and where you want to be, and then if you're asking yourself, okay, what do I need to do? Or what do I want to do in order to get there? It's really important to then take a step back and analyze, “is that true? Am I being honest? Are those the facts? Do I actually need to do XYZ in order to get to where I want to be? Or is there another approach that I can take that might be better fit for me?” So really getting very honest with yourself about this is very important.
- And then the fifth question that you're going to ask yourself is, what actions can I realistically take to move? Just 5% or 10% toward that direction, toward that ideal work life balance? The reason why we want to focus on five to 10% is that it can be very manageable and doable and feasible. A lot of the time when you're looking at your ideal work life balance, and then your current work life balance, it can feel like they are miles apart and just impossible to achieve. So taking that opportunity to just look at, what can I do 5% to get 5% closer to what I ideally want — That is doable. Once you make it 5% of the way or 10% then you can start looking at okay, let's do another 5% another 10% …And suddenly you're 50% of the way there, but it doesn't feel like it was this huge leap because you're making these small, these small, incremental changes that that are very powerful and that really add up.
And again, we are asking ourselves these questions because you need to know where you want to be and where you currently are in order to bridge that gap. If you do not know where you're starting from, or if you do not know where you really want to go, then you're going to be directionless, and it's going to be very challenging to take action on this.
This also gets to be realistic: What is feasible and doable for you, all things considered? Truly identifying and rooting all of your deep desires in reality; we want to ground it in reality once we know what that ideal work life balance is. Okay, now what makes that feasible? What can I realistically do at this point to work toward that?
So there you have it. Now that you have some ideas for achieving work life balance as a solopreneur, you are ready to take action on what you learned today. And I do recommend Productivity Powerhouse as the best place to do exactly that!
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