HOW TO ACTUALLY CREATE WORK-LIFE BALANCE (HINT: IT TAKES SOME GRIT)

Work/Life Balance...is it even real? The Yellow Co. BlogWork life balance. Oh the dream.

Isn’t it what we are all striving for? That glorious middle ground between hard work and a full life. We want all the joy of owning a business, being a front runner in our industry, and the hefty paycheck that comes along with that, on a consistent basis, as well as the normal 8 or less hour workday, possibly from home, with our phones turned off at night and multiple weeks of vacation per year.

We want to travel the world and work from our laptop on our own time. We want to spend the weekends with our husbands on the river. We want to book the trip to Nashville with our tribe for CMA Fest and not have to ask permission from anybody.

Oh the dream…

Being an entrepreneur does in fact give you this freedom. Building your own business is the most freeing and joyful experience you may ever have. On the other hand, it is going to be the strongest pursuit of self discipline and sacrifice you will ever encounter. My good friend Thomas Edison spoke some very keen words a while back: Opportunity is missed by most because it is dressed in overalls and looks a lot like work.

Building your own business is the most freeing and joyful experience you may ever have. On the other hand, it is going to be the strongest pursuit of self discipline and sacrifice you will ever encounter.

Now, I’ve been known to love a good pair of overalls, and in the creative industry particularly, being dressed in overalls is more of a fashion statement than it is a telltale sign of the working class…But still. You get the gist.

The Yellow Co. Blog: does work/life balance really exist?

Some popular headlines that many see while starting or in the early years of their business read as such:

Bust the Six Figure Barrier Doing What You Love
The Four Hour Work Day
Tips for Traveling as a Freelancer
Want to Make More Money? Follow This Formula

Here’s the thing: THESE ARE ALL POSSIBLE. You can have all that you dream of.

Here’s the next thing: probably not right now.

A work life balance, as many dream of, in fact, does not exist. It is much more of an adjustment to an entrepreneurial life than it is a balance.

It takes a tribe to build a business; it is not something you can do all on your own. It will take the support of your best friends, mom, husband, dog, therapist, pastor, and heck, the entire choir at your church is going to have to be singing your praises in order for this to take flight. Because trust me, you will miss church on Sunday, and probably the next Sunday, too. And you will probably answer your emails while sitting at Thanksgiving dinner and you will definitely be writing blogs at 5:50 AM on a Sunday (uh hum) while your husband unwillingly makes the coffee.

But this tribe is your backbone –

and they will understand that you are building your dream from the bottom up and that you WANT this. They supported you taking the leap in the first place, and they will continue to support you.

Work/Life Balance...is it even real? The Yellow Co. Blog

Unfortunately, there is not magic formula to making money as an entrepreneur, especially in the creative industry. That formula is actually quite simple: More work equals more everything.

It takes a tribe to build a business; it is not something you can do all on your own. It will take the support of your best friends, mom, husband, dog, therapist, pastor, and heck, the entire choir at your church is going to have to be singing your praises in order for this to take flight. Because trust me, you will miss church on Sunday, and probably the next Sunday, too. And you will probably answer your emails while sitting at Thanksgiving dinner and you will definitely be writing blogs at 5:50 AM on a Sunday (uh hum) while your husband unwillingly makes the coffee.

Let’s consider this: you are a graphic designer (raise your proud hand!), and have landed your first freelance client (thanks to this lovely Yellow Co. blog). They are your only one…

More work equals more GOOD concepts for that client. More well designed concepts equals more options for them. More options equals more praise for your hard work from them. More praise equals more good word of mouth (and maybe a tip…). More word of mouth equals more clients. More clients equal more work to be done, which in turn equals more money. Now, you get enough clients that you can actually raise your price. Meaning, your demand has officially outweighed your supply. You have now taken the first leap into more equaling a little bit less. More money for less work.

The Yellow Co. Blog: does work/life balance really exist?

Granted, the drive in you probably won’t stop.

Which is what makes you so great at what you do and why your tribe loves you so hard. Which means you will do less work for more money, but then you’ll probably have bigger dreams and start from the beginning again.

There is no magic formula, and there is no simple way to break the six figure barrier, and working a four hour work day means you only billed out four hours and probably didn’t get any admin work done…

Though you may feel defeated when realizing that this work life balance is a myth (but, hear me: self care is not), you will soon be renewed when you realize it’s temporary, and totally up to you. Sacrifice, in any way, shape or form, is hard. And I know, sacrificing life-time for work-time is the hardest of them all. But furthering your business, implementing your dreams and finding new opportunities, is simply work hiding in fancy words.

Being an entrepreneur is so incredibly rewarding. To see your dream unfold in front of you as a result of your own doing is the most beautiful experience. And as you grow, one day you will find yourself at Thanksgiving dinner, not checking your email, but instead thanking your tribe for understanding that you had to work to get here.

Photos by Karen Marie 

NCIOLE ANDREINI

  • Latasha Green

    Love this article. I’m an entrepreneur and have been literally since 10th grade and I have finally found the work life balance.

  • Megan Waltz

    Great article. Just what I needed to read. It’s a bit discouraging knowing that my tribe is very small, yet those that sing my praise sing it loud. For that I am very grateful!

  • Wow this is such awesome advice! Love love love! I’m just starting my own business while in college and I definitely need to keep all of this in mind.