This blog post is a part of The Live More, Work Less Blog Series where we're featuring real entrepreneurs at all stages of business that are actively pursuing the creation of a business that aligns with, and supports their ideal lifestyle, rather than working against it! REAL Entrepreneurs. REAL Stories. REAL Life.
Our hope is that this series inspires you, motivates you, and encourages you to re-examine your own definition of business + life success! You can explore the full index of featured entrepreneurs in this series HERE.
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QUESTION: What are some steps you've taken in your business to intentionally make it more aligned with the way you desire to live your life?
15 female entrepreneurs in all walks of life and in multiple different business niches are sharing with us their answer to this question!
Pursuing a business truly aligned with your ideal lifestyle isn't a "paint by numbers" step-by-step process. There will be set -backs, and there will be days when you feel like giving up ..
It takes work.
It takes guts.
And it takes intentionally making decisions every single day about what is the right choice for YOU.
(even when it's not popular or easy)
We're not on a journey to some idyllic work-life balance (that I've yet to see actually happen!), and we're certainly not sugar coating the journey!
What we are doing is actively saying YES to ourselves, YES to a business that lights us up, and YES to having the ability to HAVE IT ALL.
We hope that these 15 entrepreneurial women's answers to this question and the 10 strategies they are pursuing are an inspiration to you as well!
Strategy #1: Setting specific (yet flexible if needed) “work hours” and actually sticking to them.
Beth Benoit, child + family photographer @ www.bethbenoit.com: When I first started my business my hours were all over the place. I was working way too much and not getting paid for it. It was nuts! I'm not going to say it's perfect now, but it it's pretty close. Now I have set work hours and days in place that work for me. And of course I can schedule myself extra time off or on and whenever I like.
Brittany Ratelle, "naptime attorney" @ brittanyratelle.com: I don't work between the hours of 4-8. Those are my prime family hours. I carefully consider the pros and cons of events, conferences, and opportunities that bite into my family time. If I don't prioritize my family -- someone else will. I will get up earlier and save my health and sanity -- rather than burning past 11 pm. And most importantly , I'm reflective about why I am in business and what my goals are -- do those things align with my personal and family values?
Strategy #2: Keeping to your own zone of genius + outsourcing the rest.
Heather Schreiber, owner of The Rustic Coop, farmhouse style Tees @ www.therusticcoop.com: I have begun to hire out some aspects of the business. For example I still generate tee ideas however I am not an expert graphic designer. What would take me several hours to design I can hire someone to do in minutes. Know where your strengths are and hire out the rest.
Strategy #3: Strategically repurposing the work you’ve already done
Jen Kline Wooster, children's ministry blogger @ www.thebestvbs.com: Each time I put a new freebie out or a new product into place, I try to think of ways that I can reach more people without making more work. I find myself reusing content in different mediums. I'm excited to turn some of my old blog posts into a FB live or a video to help new (and old) subscribers.
Strategy #4: Setting boundaries on client communication.
Amanda Sue, lifestyle blogger for makers + artists @ www.magicinthemess.com: I started putting boundaries in place... as a VA I've always tried to be pretty available... so I'd answer emails at all hours of the day, respond to messages sent through Facebook, answer voice messages at midnight. I don't anymore... once I hit my designated hour, I don't open my email (or anyone else's for that matter), and I don't respond to voice messages.
Mariah, web designer + strategist @ www.mariahmagazine.com: Boundaries with clients has helped a lot. I no longer allow clients to text me about work, and I've made it known that emails could take up to 48 hours for a response. I used to sit and reload my email inbox on the regular because I didn't want clients to think I was ignoring them, but it was taking away ME time. This small change has made a HUGE impact on how I think about things.
Strategy #5: Automating + Creating Systems for as much as possible!
Luci Burgess-Farwell, creative virtual assistance + design @ www.bylucinda.co.uk: I try and automate everything and anything that I can, I work on a retainer basis with my clients to ensure I always have a steady stream of income each month that I can rely on, focus task requests in Asana ONLY so there's only one space I need to check each day, using Dubsado & Calendly to streamline my onboarding process and dedicating one day a week to my own business development and creativity.
Brittany Berger, content marketing strategist + writer @ www.brittanyberger.com: I rely a lottttt on workflow automation. If a robot can do it, Imma let the robot do it and keep my own focus on the more complex creative work I want to do. I don't want to spent time filtering my inbox - I want to be able to log in, see just the important stuff, reply, and log out. I don't want to send invoices. I don't want to spend an hour every week scheduling social media. Automation can do all of this. I don't have a lot of time for my business, so I want to save that time for what matters.
Strategy #6: PIcking a business model that aligns with your lifestyle goals + values
Maya Lalosh, Amazon FBA book seller RVer + blogger @ www.bike-cook-explore.com: We chose a business model that allows us to put in some of the work and outsource the rest. We don't have to carry product around with us, handle customer service or shipping. This is all done at Amazon. Meanwhile, I love used paper books and selling them is in alignment with my personal values. I think they're eco-friendly because we buy books second-hand. They're better for your eyes than reading digital books, and I feel like reading is becoming a lost art for the younger generations. We rescue these books, make them available to the world to read instead of them possibly ending up in a landfill because nobody local wanted to buy them.
Strategy #7: Diversifying your revenue streams
Yuwanda Black, freelance writing + entrepreneur @ inkwelleditorial.com: I’m currently moving away from writing for clients to writing for myself. While freelance writing is a wonderful career, I would like the option of retirement -- not have to constantly be on the grind for the next project to pay my bills. Creating income streams that are fully within my control, eg, self-publishing books, developing ecourses, and doing affiliate marketing, allow me to have complete control over what my financial future looks like. This gives me that all important peace of mind.
Strategy #8: Making a conscious decision of what comes 1st in your life
Rachael Gallows, high school tutor + education coach @www.theexperiencedgraduate.com: from the very beginning, I have decided that my business will work around my life (and, of course, my life revolves around my kids) :D. Before this, I worked a 9 to 5, and all I wanted was to be home with my daughter. I quit a high paying job so that I could be a stay at home mom. My kids will always come first, and I plan on creating a business that works around my schedule, and around my life.
Strategy #9: getting comfortable with saying "no"
Amy Paine, portrait photographer @ www.amycatherinephoto.com: I say "no" to projects that I just don't want to do. If I lose out on money, at least I'm not going through the frustration of not being paid enough for something I do not enjoy. I'd rather enjoy my day with my husband and cats.
Valerie Del Grosso, "world's friendliest lawyer" for business owners @ www.valeriedelgrosso.net: I had to get really clear on my motivations. It turns out that I was worried about pleasing the wrong people. Then I had to get "ok" with the concept that I don't have to work around the clock to be deserving of a rewarding life. Still working on that! Then, I finally committed to saying no to projects that are not 100% aligned with my end game.
Strategy #10: Prioritizing self-care and what *really* matters
Shelly Jackson Buffington + Callie Cullum, co-founders of "The Look & The Feel" story-centered branding @ www.lookandfeelbranding.com: We both, surprisingly enough, suffered spinal injuries when we were young. We both have lived through chronic pain, and we've learned to prioritize caring for ourselves, and spending time and energy on what matters. We've defined that for ourselves, as opposed to listening to what someone else thinks matters for us. It's been a big learning shift for us; we've realized that we can work for ourselves and that the work is hard, but we have the freedom to choose how we work and in what way. That's the best gift we've gained from being entrepreneurs.
So What's YOUR Strategy to Pursuing a Business aligned with YOUR life?
These 15 entrepreneurs were brave enough share with us what they are doing to intentionally purpuse a Live More, Work Less lifestyle. Now will you share your's? We'd love to hear your TOP STRATEGY to aligning your business + life in the comments below!
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