Achieving That Elusive Work/Life Balance
Every salon/spa owner wants work/life balance, but relatively few achieve it.
Employees want it, but the reality of working in a salon/spa means that services must be available at times that meet client demand and needs.
So, the big question is … if everyone wants it, why is achieving work/life balance much like the quest for the holy grail?
FACT: Achieving work/life balance means reassessing priorities and being willing to make compromises.
Here’s what you need to know and the choices you need to make to achieve your version of work/life balance:
- It’s about time management: Let’s face it, you could accomplish more great things in less time if you took control of your time. That means setting your priorities to manage what you allow on your plate. Too many owners get caught up in the day-to-day craziness of business fighting fires. Before you know it, the day is shot and your to-do list just got bigger. KEY: Time management demands personal discipline. Use your calendar to make appointments with yourself to work on tasks. Most important is to regard your calendar as your boss. Working smarter and more effectively is the key to unlocking personal time for family and stuff that makes life more fulfilling.
- It’s about being a business owner: Be realistic, if you’re starting or expanding a business, you’re committing to doing whatever it takes to ensure that the business startup is successful. That means more time must be channeled to work and less to balance. That’s part of the choice to start or expand a business. KEY: Reread the first bullet. Managing your time, even if it means long days or periods of working on your business, it still means working smarter not harder. Many service-provider owners struggle with work/life balance because doing services leaves too little time for leading the business — let alone carving out personal/family time. Yes, there will be times when the business demands everything you’ve got. But achieving work/life balance should always be worked into your plan.
- It’s about financial discipline: One of the beautiful things about money, profit, and positive cash flow is the freedom it creates. Likewise, tight cash flow, slim or no profit, creates stress and anxiety. When this scenario continues for extended periods, owners can, and will, fall out of love with their companies. The thought of work/life balance becomes a source of frustration — even resentment. KEY: We call the understanding and management of finances and cash flow, “financial literacy.” But being financially literate is pointless without financial disciplines. Spend less than your revenues. View debt as drag. Too much drag can kill a business. To achieve work/life balance, you must be financially disciplined. Profit and cash reserves buy you peace of mind and time. Got it?
- It’s about commitments and promises: Managing what’s on your plate means you must be brutally selective on the commitments and promises you make. Every commitment and promise takes a chunk of your time … and life. KEY: First, say “yes” to what’s important or essential. Second, set a date that makes sense to you based on what you’re already committed to doing. Setting a date for new commitments that compromises the delivery/completion date for stuff already on your plate is a NO-NO. Third, know when to say “no” to commitments, tasks, or requests that just don’t fit your reality, priorities, or existing commitments.
- It’s about delegating and sharing responsibilities: As Jack Stack says, “With every pair of hands you get a free brain.” Teamwork means moving farther and faster together. Too many owners use a death grip on certain tasks and responsibilities. It’s no wonder they ache for work/life balance. Command and control owners are their own worst enemy. KEY: You can’t lead if you don’t give up and share control and responsibilities. Delegating means defining and clarifying expectations. It means coaching others to achieve the right outcomes. It means paying attention. It means letting go smartly so you can have more life.
- It’s about the sacrifices you’re willing to make: Workaholics that can’t manage their time or delegate are the ones that miss their kid’s baseball games, together time, or just time to kick back and re-energize. Relationships get strained or fall apart. It’s the price owners pay for the choices they make. KEY: If you think you can have it all and do it all, forget work/life balance. If you’re a workaholic and crave some work/life balance, you must have a crucial conversation with yourself about the life you want. For most, it simply means dialing back on commitments — and more effective time management. This is where working with a Strategies Coach can help you find that balance you’re looking for.
Here’s my challenge to you: If you’re seeking work/life balance, these six bullet points deserve serious thought and personal evaluation.
The good news is that work/life balance is absolutely within your reach. All it requires is better time management, discipline, and a commitment to make the time for what matters most in your life.
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