The Importance of Work-Life Balance For Startup Founders
Founder work-life balance is key to having happy leadership in your startup, and that means happier teams. How do you make the time to keep both going?
You need balance in all things if you're going to make it as a founder.
Otherwise, you'll burn out and crash.
But managing your time gets harder and harder the more your startup grows.
So how do you manage?
Being a founder is more than an all-encompassing role.
You'll need to wear the hats of management, development, finance, sales, marketing...
It can feel like there aren't enough hours in the day.
It's part of the reason why there is such a big culture of working on your startup every hour of every day.
There's only one problem with that:
We're all human.
Things will go wrong. You'll have to focus on things happening on a professional and personal front.
Sometimes you'll do it better than other times and that's ok.
Here's something that no one tells you: the higher you get to the top, the more stake you need to put onto balance.
The best and most successful founders are.
They go to sleep before midnight.
They limit technology time.
They look after their health.
Because when you're running on nothing but the fumes of your business idea, your performance is going to falter.
You'll make mistakes or bad decisions, and people will notice.
Make enough of them and you'll start to get a reputation for it.
Giving yourself permission to take that time can be difficult, especially if you're bootstrapping.
But the more you do it, the easier it will get.
I make time for my family as much as I do for my team.
I make time for myself as much as I make time for others.
It's not always easy, but it's better than the alternative.
I should note that there are some things that help you get there.
If you have a good team in place, you can trust them enough to delegate.
If you have a schedule that allows you to, try to block out time slots where you can go for walks or do something beneficial for your mental health.
Try to block your days out into themes. Mondays for management, Tuesdays for development, Wednesdays for sales calls...
Even structuring your days loosely like this will help you get more organized in terms of understanding where your time and efforts are most needed.
Remember, you don't need to be grinding yourself into the ground in order to succeed.
You're allowed breaks, even holidays.
Don't get caught up in this mindset - it's prominent but toxic nonetheless.
Better founders make for better cultures, which attract better hires.
Every time you choose to look after yourself, you are actively improving your business and how you approach it.
You just need the courage to say: "No, I'm not going to deal with this right now. I'm going to have a walk, play with the kids and get back to it tomorrow."
But the more you give yourself that permission, the better you will be for it.
TL:DR Keep those scales in balance in life and work, don't tip too much to one side or the other. Your family, health, and your business will both thank you for it.
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