Work life balance should be banned! That’s our conclusion after conducting an international survey on life work balance for women business owners.
This insight is one of the important findings discussed in the new White Paper Life Work Balance Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs and Business Owners.
We identified 11 strategies adopted by women who were successful both in business and with their life work balance. This followed the surveys with women business owners around the world then carrying out in-depth interviews with what we call successful balancers.
Our not-for-profit research project found that while there was no one magic bullet for success, there were key strategies that worked.
The #1 Strategy
The main strategy employed by successful work life balancers was having the right mindset-and this includes using the ‘right’ words.
In the study, the women who self-identified as successful both in business and with life work balance-almost to a woman-rejected use of the word ‘balance’ because it conjured up a set of scales where each side of life had to be perfectly even.
So the more we use the term ‘work life balance’ the more we reinforce this ‘even parts’ myth.
Once again, the words we use can adversely affect our lives. For generations women have been advocating use of gender-neutral words and in this case we want a portion-neutral word!
How to Replace the Term Work-Life Balance?
Many women in the survey used the word ‘flow’ and while we think life work flow is a far superior approach and term, would anyone know what we were talking about?
A lot of what keeps you ‘balanced’ comes down to your mindset. Do you feel you have flexibility in your day where you have some choices of what you do when? The ability to have flexibility alone improves our mindset.
Mindset tops the list of the 11 most popular strategies of successful and ‘balanced’ women entrepreneurs as identified from the study.
Here is the full list:
1. Have the right mindset or attitude
2. Plan for the important things first
3. Be gentle with yourself-put yourself first
4. Match your life work balance life-cycle with your business life cycle
5. Work hard-just do it!
6. Get help-outsource or swap!
7. Communicate with all important folk in your life about the why you’re doing it
8. Always keep life work balance in mind-even if it can’t happen straight away
9. Keep yourself fit and healthy
10. Stop feeling guilty!
11. The slow road is just as valid if it works for you
These strategies are not ranked in any special order-except for the first. Full details are outlined in the complete report, which is available at no charge.
Women already account for more than one-third of small business operators in many countries around the world. Our aim is to help ensure that not only do their businesses thrive but that the women themselves have the skills and tools to enjoy their lives.
Incidentally, we undertook the study because we saw a gap in the research with lots of help now being available for employees, which is great, but very little for employers or sole operators who have a whole raft of different issues.
Valerie McDougall & Jayne Jennings founded Guilt Free Business Mothers.com to help women business owners enjoy their lives. They are enthusiastic entrepreneurs and understand the competing needs of family, work and life. Their not-for-profit NewNorma project surveyed women business owners around the world and so many reported their battle with guilt. It was something they hadn’t expected–but both related to! So Jayne & Valerie did something about it and created Guilt Free Business Mothers.com where international experts share ways business women can save time and money–and deal with guilt! Their aim is to help women have more fun in their lives–and be successful mothers, daughters, partners, lovers, businesswomen or whoever th