Been thinking a lot of about work life balance lately. Since I started my business 7 years ago I've worked lots of nights & weekends, and when I wasn't working I was thinking about working.
Transparently, I want to share that running a product based business (which generally has lower profit margins) has been a roller coaster ride, especially the last few years.
Small businesses like mine saw an influx of support and orders in 2020 in response to the concerns around businesses continuing to thrive during the pandemic and it was such a blessing. However, in the years following that support is waning a bit. We see people spending their money on travel and experiences again in a way they couldn't in 2020.
Of course, that's how it absolutely should be - I know Kev and I have had more experiences in the last 6 months than the 2 years before. And I know that this year's inflation has not helped anyone.
All of this has made it that much harder to plan for our businesses - how much product to produce, how often to launch, how many options to offer, etc.
I think I've compensated for that instability by working more, brainstorming more, and probably, just worrying more. A few months ago I hit a wall. I was dealing with regular bouts of situational depression, felt tired all the time, and wondered what was the point.
Was the point of working to just work more? What monthly dollar amount would help me feel I could start to enjoy life? What was the point of running a business that was meant to create freedom in my life if I spent all of my "free" time working?
I knew that I didn't want to keep feeling that way so here are the things I did to help:
1. I instituted a no working on the weekends policy. I found I would work weekends to "catch up" but then need to take time off during the week because I was tired from working on the weekends...vicious cycle. I still occasionally work on the weekends when it's crunch time before a launch but that's only 3-5 times a year, not weekly.
2. I set up a loose structure schedule for my week. That structure gave me some direction each week without boxing me into a schedule that didn't leave room for flexibility or creativity.
3. I started to live my dream life right now! I realized that part of me really wanted to create some sort of "dream" life with my business. But truthfully, even if you set a goal post - you'll likely keep moving it. It's a fallacy to believe "I'll be happy when *insert thing here*." When I make this much money. When I hit these goals. When I reach this big milestone.
My dream life is happening right now. I get to live in LA which was a dream for YEARS, I wake up every morning next to my favorite person (Kev) and favorite pet (MoMo), I make and drink tons of matcha lattes every day, and I get to make music and create products. On the weekends we explore our new city, watch movies, eat amazing food.
The dream is already alive. I just had to choose to see it.
I feel like work life balance is a term we read about a lot. There is no one way to find balance. In fact, it's an ongoing adjustment.
Some weeks I work more and some weeks I work less. There are some weekends full of adventures and others I stay in my pajamas, make a big pot of soup, and binge watch Gilmore Girls. The "balance" is found by following what I need.
I'd love to know if you've found a good "balance" or what parts of life you struggle to make space for?
Thanks for always supporting and loving me. And thank you for supporting small businesses all over the world. Your love, orders, and social media shares mean more than we could ever say.
I love you and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it,