[00:00:00] Emily Thompson:
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[00:00:37] Welcome to Being Boss, a podcast for creatives, business owners and entrepreneurs who want to take control over their work and live life on their own terms. I'm your host, Emily Thompson.
[00:00:46] And in this episode, I'm riding solo to share with you my top. Five tactics for achieving work life balance as a creative business owner. You can find all the tools, books, and links I reference on the [00:01:00] show notes at www.beingboss.club. And if you'd like this episode, be sure to subscribe to this show and share us with a friend.
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[00:01:58] Okay. I have a little bit of a confession to make. [00:02:00] I don't actually believe in work life balance. That was totally an old bait and switch that I just put up in that title and intro to get you here because work life balance is a popular topic. I feel like I talk to bosses about it literal. All the time.
[00:02:15] It is a big one in the world of SEO. Not necessarily why I'm here talking about this today, but I am excited to talk about it because this is important. It is a struggle. It is real, real. And it is something that we are all working on all the time. And I'm here to tell you that I, I think that's right.
[00:02:37] I think we should be working on it all the time, but my hope is that more of us are able to achieve what I am going to describe as being a little bit different than at work life balance on a more regular basis. So let me explain myself a little bit. I will begin by saying work life balance does not exist.
[00:02:59] I do not [00:03:00] believe that there is an equal balance between work and life that you are ever really going to achieve. Sure. Maybe you have days where there's a little bit more balance. Maybe you have weeks where it feels a little bit more balance, but those are going to be rare times in your work and life.
[00:03:17] And so I pretty much just kinda, I personally put that. There is no such thing as work life balance. For me, I like to think of work life balance as being a little bit more of a blend or a flow. It is different from day to day, week to week, month to month, season to season, there are sometimes when your life is going to take precedence, there are sometimes when you work is going to take precedence.
[00:03:42] And I think that is the natural way of being in this world, doing this kind of work, if you want. Consistency go get a nine to five, doing something incredibly lame. Then you are going to have a consistent work life sort of blend or flow that doesn't [00:04:00] ever really change and is always kind of the same. I love that for you, if that is what you wanna prioritize for your life.
[00:04:06] But if you have chosen the path of a creative entrepreneur or business owner, Or even remove any of those, maybe you're just an entrepreneur. You don't see yourself as creative or a business owner, or a creative who isn't really seeing themselves as a business owner or entrepreneur. You haven't chosen a path of work life balance.
[00:04:27] You've chosen a path of getting lost in work sometimes of, of fighting for this, this ability to prioritize life. So hardcore in a way that nine to five verse cannot achieve for themselves. So work life blend or flow. I may even slip up and call it balance over the course of this entire episode is.
[00:04:55] Something that we have to all define for ourselves. I know a [00:05:00] lot of bosses who actually get incredibly triggered by this idea of work life balance, know that if I use that word by accident, I'm not talking about a 50 50 split or, maybe like a 75, 25, where, you spend half your time sleeping.
[00:05:15] Maybe that's just me. And then half of your waking hours is work and half of your waking hours are life and you just sort of have this amazing equi equilibrium. That stays the same. That feels like a fairytale to me. does not feel real what I'm here to achieve for myself. And what I'm consistently talking with bosses about achieving for themselves is some sort of work life flow that changes on a consistent.
[00:05:46] Basis. So why is a good work life flow or blend or balance or whatever you wanna call it important. So many reasons. I think the biggest one comes [00:06:00] down to mental health. I think if you get lost too much in one or the other, you are not cultivating the kind of existence that modern humans are, are driven to cultivate for themselves.
[00:06:12] Right. It's not just about like living your life so hardcore, that you are not putting out any sort. Outward effort into contributing to the world in a greater way. And in this case, I am thinking of work as being just sort of generally that, if you are just all in your work, you're not cultivating a life for yourself.
[00:06:35] You don't have friends, you are not connected to your family. You do not have hobbies. Also incredibly problematic. It. I believe that there is a path that we, as humans are on where we are achieving this, both taking care of ourselves and taking care of things outside of ourselves that contribute to, this innate need we [00:07:00] have for achieving some sort of work life balance of accomplishing both work.
[00:07:05] And life and doing it in a way that feels good to ourselves. So in a way, I feel like having a good work life balance or flow or blend or whatever keeps you human, right? It keeps you from turning into a, like, I only work droid or a, I can't get off of the couch, potato one or the other. It keeps you human to, to work towards a work life flow.
[00:07:32] That feels good for you. In the same vein. I think that a good work life flow helps you optimize fulfillment, right? When you can not only achieve some sort of, version of success or fulfillment in your work, as well as in your life, you're doubling your optimizing fulfillment for yourself. You are achieving, achieving things in both sides of your existence.
[00:07:59] That feels [00:08:00] great. And that's amazing and more so than, sort of what. A good work life flow achieves for you. I think it's really important to think about what a good work life flow will keep you from because without it, some bad things I think can happen. One is. The hot topic these days, burnout, when you are just all in your work and you are not reaping any benefits of that work in your life.
[00:08:31] You're not affording yourself time off to spend with friends or family, or just by yourself. You're not. Cultivating skills, other than those that you are monetizing, whatever it may be. It can be really easy to get to a place where you are incredibly burnt out. You've used up all of your energy, putting it into one area of your life.
[00:08:51] And any number of things can happen to start triggering this burnout. Maybe you're not getting paid. Maybe you're, [00:09:00] maybe. Your family, your friends are really important to you and you've forgotten how important those things are for you. It can start bringing up signs of burnout, which can really Jack up many areas of your work in life.
[00:09:15] I think a facet of this, but also can very much stand alone is you can actually become incredibly resentful of. Things in your life that are keeping you from achieving things in your work, or you can become really resentful of your work for keeping you from your life or keeping you from achieving the things in your life that you are most here to achieve.
[00:09:36] So in this resentfulness, once you start getting it, it's hard to put to bed. There's a lot of healing that has to happen. And unfortunately, I see a lot of bosses who are hitting these moments of resentfulness for their business, because it's keeping them from enjoying things with their family, from going on vacations, from [00:10:00] achieving big life goals.
[00:10:01] And once that resentment sets in it can be really difficult for. Find joy in the work that you are doing and to even resent all the time that you have spent building the business that you're building, because it's not helping you get what you are here to get. Another sort of smaller one that I, I think, I think a lot of people are really mindful of.
[00:10:25] And actually, I don't, it's not small. This is actually a really big one, but not one that people are really aware enough to put their finger on. A lot of times is without a good work life blend or flow, you are likely going to be finding yourself in a place that you simply do not want to. And unfortunately this lack of self-awareness around this usually just causes people to be angry, right.
[00:10:52] Or discontent or feelings of burnout or whatever it is because you're not looking around and seeing that this is the bill, [00:11:00] this is the business. Or this is a business I did not mean to build. And this is a life I did not mean to build. You have put your head down and just done the work in one area or the other for so long that you were not taking mindful steps towards your version of success.
[00:11:17] And you ended up finding yourself in a place that you simply do not want to. I think this is usually a result of you hiding in your work or your life from the other one. So maybe you're hiding in your work to keep from dealing with some, life issues. Maybe you are hiding in your life to keep from dealing from, with some work issues, whatever it may be.
[00:11:41] Hiding isn't gonna help you get where you wanna be. And the result is that you will be in a place that you do not want to be so achieving some sort of work life blend for yourself. That feels good for you is incredibly important for your just general wellbeing. And then [00:12:00] obviously there's going to be some really great ROI.
[00:12:03] In your business, right? If you are generally happier, you're gonna be able to show up better for your business. If your business is happier, it is gonna contribute more to your life. So by taking care of the relationship between your work and life, you were actually taking care of them individually as well.
[00:12:20] You were taking care of your life and you were taking care of your work. So. It's incredibly important to be working towards some version of a work life flow. That feels really good to you. So why do we struggle with this though? What is the, why are we even having this conversation? Because business owners suck at this.
[00:12:44] basically also creatives can often incredibly suck at this being a creative, especially if you are like a really creative, like. Artist type. It can be all consuming to just like dive in and do that work. And I don't think [00:13:00] that's a bad thing. I'm gonna get to that more in a minute. I am totally down for you being consumed occasionally by your creativity.
[00:13:07] Love that for you. That is that for me is sort of like this pinnacle of receiving. Creative inspiration and giving yourself to it. And I think that there are times and places where you should absolutely allow yourself to do that. Likewise business ownership is incredibly consuming. Anyone who's listening to this, I imagine most of you, who own a business know how consuming it can be.
[00:13:34] You, these are vast even, even. Small business is a vast network of systems and processes that, that make the thing run. And that can be incredibly consuming to not only start one, but just to run one, to grow one, to show up for it and just whatever iteration it is can be incredibly [00:14:00] consum. So work life flow is something we are obviously going to be struggling with because the work that we are choosing to do is going to be incredibly consuming.
[00:14:11] It's something that we have to give more thought to, I think, than most people do. Which is why we should make it a practice to, to reflect, to set goals, to define what our ideal work life flow is and to consistently work, to achieve it. Also the sort of uglier side of this is we are capitalistic creatures, a hundred percent.
[00:14:35] We are always looking for ways to optimize, to make more money, to do more, be more productive, whatever it may be. I think that's one of the things that drives us to this path. And I'm not saying that as a totally negative thing. I think the world could use an optimizing . We all live in a reality where we need to be making money and us business owner types.
[00:14:59] [00:15:00] Entrepreneur types are driven to do that. And I don't think that innate drive is a negative thing. So don't think that I'm saying that, but I do think that the capitalistic part of it has already ingrained in us this false prioritization of those things over everything else. You probably very strongly believe right now that laying at the pool is not going to make you money.
[00:15:28] I think it can I absolutely think that a day at the pool can make you more money and that's not the capitalistic way of thinking by any means, which is why most of you are like, Hmm, how does that work? But I think even me saying you can probably see cuz y'all are all smart bosses. You can probably see how that could be.
[00:15:49] And if you've listened, listened to any number of episodes from me, that there are many ways in which you've taken care of yourself, you resting, you [00:16:00] giving your brain space to just be without doing can result in, in more sort of creative downloads and more ideas, and really screw, even resting for the purpose.
[00:16:15] Giving you the ability to do more. It's also just good for your body. It's good for your body. That's gonna help you show up and do better later. So we do struggle with it. It is part of this path that we are choosing, that we are going to struggle with our work life flow a hundred percent. It's going to be something we are consistently having to give attention to.
[00:16:36] And that's what I'm here to talk about today. Because I have definitely, always felt that the work life blend, that, that, that combination of the things we do professionally, the drives that we have professionally and the lives that we are here to build. Because again, you don't choose business ownership because.
[00:16:55] You want to give everything to your career, you choose it [00:17:00] because you want to have some autonomy over that and your life as well. You want more out of your life than a nine to five can give you and playing in that work life blend plays, I think is one of the things that sets us apart here at being boss.
[00:17:13] And we're not the only people, obviously who talk about, who talk about that and who prioritize it. But we're one of. Or one of you who really give as much attention to that blend as we do, to the career side of things, we're always talking about being boss in work in life. I want you to be a whole badass person who is truly fulfilled in work and very much so in life, because when you have your ideal work life situation, whatever that is, you're happier.
[00:17:47] You. Better in general, your business is better. Your customers and clients benefit your family and friends benefit. It is just generally good. So I [00:18:00] love that we've always sort of played in that place in a way that not other, not as many other business content creators do, because we've always wanted to take a more holistic look at you, the person, the business owner, more so than.
[00:18:17] The business that you are running. And I will say this is an underlying thread of, of a new coaching program that we have put together. I mentioned in the last episode, as of this episode going live, it is currently open for enrollment. It's called boss owned. Business. It's a group coaching program where I am taking a crowd of bosses through six weeks of coaching to help you shape a healthy relationship with your business and a natural outcome of this is that you have a better work life blend.
[00:18:50] So if you do want more information about that, you can go to being boss.club. Slash coaching, the things I'm gonna be sharing here today are not even things that I talk [00:19:00] about in that, in that coaching. So these are completely separate things, but they do marry really well together. And if, as you're going through this, you find yourself needing to talk.
[00:19:10] More to hear more about what it looks like to achieve. Some of these things, the group coaching can be a really great opportunity for you or just come and join the being boss, community, being boss.club/community. It is free. There is a paid version that is the being boss clubhouse, but even in the community, there are so many conversations happening.
[00:19:32] All the time about what it looks like to show up as a business owner who has a family who has life responsibilities, who wants to cultivate an amazing life as well as a profitable business. So know that both of those places are open for you. Come join the group, coaching being boss.club/coaching. If you wanna work with me on really figuring out what your version of success.
[00:19:59] [00:20:00] Is, and then join the being boss community. If you just wanna talk to other bosses about what it's like to achieve your version of a work life blend.
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[00:21:17] So with that, I do want to jump into my five top tips and tactics for helping you navigate and otherwise achieve your version of work life blend. What's going to make you feel most fulfilled now because we jump right into number one. What is working for you now is not necessarily, what's going to be working for you in the future because tactic number one is actually a mindset for you to cultivate within yourself or you to practice.
[00:21:56] And that is for you to just generally accept the [00:22:00] phase that you are in. You need to embrace your season of work, life, blend, whatever it may be, because whenever you set this, once it is not going to stay forever, it's probably not even going to stay through next quarter. If you are a business owner, especially of a growing business, then this is going to change for you really consistently, which is why you have to consistently keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening in your work life situation.
[00:22:31] And I find that as a business owner, there's sort of, there's kind of three phases. Well, really there's two phases, there's two phases. And then there's like a transition phase, I think, between the two. And maybe this is just how I do it. If this does not resonate with you, feel free to leave this at the door.
[00:22:49] You are more than welcome to do that, but I see two sort of main phases of working at least the way at least. The [00:23:00] season of work that I am currently in, you are either hustling. And I know that that can be such a tricking word for folks, but I've done a couple of episodes as to what I think about the word hustle and even the act of hustling.
[00:23:14] We will include a link to my favorite episode that we did probably 6, 7, 8 months ago on this topic in the show. I talk about literally how I feel about hustle culture. And I don't hate it. is the spoiler, but there's two seasons or two, two sort of states of being, I find as an entrepreneur, especially of growing businesses, you're either hustling.
[00:23:40] Which you are just like working, you were doing the thing, your work life balance is leaning a little bit more towards work than it is life in this phase. And if you are in this phase own it. Unapologetically. I think I do. And it [00:24:00] serves me well, because then I'm able to like work without guilt or shame that I'm putting onto myself because I'm hustling too much or I'm working too much or whatever it may be.
[00:24:09] And I think there is a, too much for sure. I know what my too much is. I don't go overboard with my too much, but there are definitely seasons of hustle for me. If you've been around here for any, any amount of time, then you know that we recently opened a new store at Almanac. We opened it in may, May 1st.
[00:24:30] Actually the store is going amazingly. If you want any updates on that, I am doing monthly episodes about Almanac. In the being boss, clubhouse, being boss.club/community exclusive episodes go live to them with the, popular making a business podcast. Two seasons of it are available for free wherever you listen to podcast, but I've literally done like four or five more seasons.
[00:24:56] And they live in the being boss clubhouse where I'm sharing more [00:25:00] about what that hustle has looked like. What ha what it has been like for me to show up and do an insane amount of work over a very small amount of time and doing so unapologetically. My family has known that I'm gonna be a little less available.
[00:25:17] My friends know that if they wanna see me come to the store, . For a period of time in which I am putting my head down and doing what needs to be done in my business to achieve a goal that is right there that I just have to show up for to achieve. And I am doing it unapologetically. Absolutely UNAP. I am done hustling and feeling bad about it because society has told me that hu hustling is bad because my family is like, where are you?
[00:25:46] I set the expectation. Y'all I'm doing something. I am not going to feel guilty for missing a thing. If it does not fall within my list of priorities for this timeframe. There is some like [00:26:00] caveats here. Absolutely. One is still taking care of yourself and your responsibilities. I'm not hustling to my own detriment.
[00:26:08] I'm still sleeping. Great a lot. I am. Still eating well, I'm still taking time to go for my walks and do a yoga class and take a hike. And those sorts of things. I'm still taking care of myself. I'm not hustling to the detriment of myself and I'm also taking care of my other responsibilities. I still have my family.
[00:26:31] I still have a child. I am still doing the things that I need to do to take care of my other responsibilities. I'm not sort of leaving things in the lurch to achieve this thing. That for me is what hustling responsibly means is that you are still taking care of yourself and your other responsibilities while otherwise putting your head down and doing the work that you most need to do.
[00:26:52] Okay. And my last sort of caveat on being in a season of hustle in order to do it as responsibly as humanly possible is to put an [00:27:00] end date to it. I think it's so easy to habituate hustling that for me, I have to give myself an end date where I will literally open up my calendar, look at all of my responsibilities and be like, okay, to get all these things done that I am here to do to accomplish this goal that I am here to accomplish.
[00:27:17] I need to work like this, whatever this may look like until this date. And I will put it on my calendar and I like to schedule some sort of like couple of days off and whether this is a staycation where I'm just at home with my family, or if it's like a small little trip to the woods, to a cabin, or maybe even something bigger, a way for me to break the habit of showing up and doing work in that way so that I can downshift myself and my energy so that I can reenter the next season.
[00:27:49] The next season is resting. If you are in a season of resting own it unapologetically again, there is no reason to bring any guilt or [00:28:00] shame into any of these phases that you may be in any of these seasons of your work in life and resting phase is a season in which your life may be taking a little bit more president.
[00:28:11] We're just. Yourself is taking a bit more precedence where you are needing to stay in that downshifted space for an extended period of time. A caveat here is you still need to take care of your responsibilities, just like you being in a season of hustle. So I, you still probably have to show up to work.
[00:28:34] You still need to deliver on your deadlines. You still need to take care of yourself and your family and those sorts of things, but you aren't hustling. You're not working as hard. You're not pushing for growth. You're not, you're just here doing sort of the minimum of what needs to be done. And I love that for you.
[00:28:54] And if you are in this phase, soak it up. And this is sort of that like without shame or without guilt piece of [00:29:00] it is that you need seasons like this to offset a season of hustles. So soak it up for any impending change because. Things are going to change. I think often about how back in December? No.
[00:29:16] Back in January of this year, right? At the beginning of the year, I was like just sort of chilling. It was post holiday season at Almanac. We were very intentionally taken a season of rest. We had planned no projects for being boss for that month because I knew I was coming off of like a big retail month and I just wanted to rest.
[00:29:37] And I was on social media. I think I was on Twitter and everyone was like, beginning of your goals, like hustling it out and doing the thing. And I remember thinking, Ooh, like I'm not doing any of these things. So I remember tweeting cuz that's what you do on Twitter. You tweet. You tweet back to like the general weather of the internet.
[00:29:57] And I remember tweeting something along the lines [00:30:00] of like, I am winning zero productivity awards right now. Like, and like unapologetically, I am resting my heart out because I can feel big things coming. And I just want to rest in this moment and not feel like I need to be accomplishing things. And I love this.
[00:30:17] And the reason why I think about it often is because I knew. I knew something was coming. I felt it in my bones. Within three weeks of posting that tweet, we were negotiating the lease for our new store, which then started a season of hustle, unlike any I have felt in years. And boy, am I glad. That I just let myself rest to that extent that I did not let sort of the frenzy of the world starting there, here make me feel like I needed to join the frenzy.
[00:30:53] So wherever you are, accept the phase that you're in and accept it to knowing that the goal here is [00:31:00] not work life balance. It is a flow and sometimes, and like, think. Think about any ebb and flow. Think about that Hardy ocean out there, teaching us everything we need to know about ebbs and flows.
[00:31:13] Sometimes it is more work, less life. Sometimes it is less life. Nope, less, more life sometimes it's more life and less work things change. Consistently. So whatever it may be release any sort of, any sort of expectations or at least outward expectations as to what it should look like for yourself. For me, I am trying to achieve like an annual work life balance.
[00:31:43] Not daily, not weekly, not even monthly, not even quarterly, definitely not within seasons, but if I can look at an entire year and feel like I put as much work into my life, as I did into. Business then I feel like I am winning. That [00:32:00] for me is what my goal is. So tactic number one is to accept the mindset or embrace the mindset, practice the mindset that you need to accept the phase that you're in period.
[00:32:10] And there were some tips there for helping you with whether you were in a season of rest or hustle. My second tactic is when that I talk about all the time, so not sorry, and that it's time blocking plain and simple time blocking most of the best entrepreneurs that I know time. And what this looks like very practically is at the beginning of your week, you sit down and on your digital calendar, or you can do a paper calendar.
[00:32:35] There's some really cute little paper calendars in the world that allow you to do this as well. You are putting in specific time blocks, what it is that you're gonna be doing. So you have meetings, you have yoga, you have creative time, you have family time, whatever it may be. You put it on your calendar before you even get started.
[00:32:53] I like to think of this as budget. Right. You don't create a budget after the fact. No. Then what budget? Like you just, you [00:33:00] showed up, you spent the money and you're sitting there going, oh, I should have spent more money on this than on that. Or I spent way too much money or not enough money on this when I should have been focus, whatever you budget first, a budget comes before the spending.
[00:33:13] It works for money. It also works with your time. So it gives you control over your time. You're able to preemptively look and go, okay. I need to spend X number of hours this week doing these. And if you're in a season of hustle, maybe it is meetings. Maybe it is creative time. Maybe it's just like, admin stuff who knows.
[00:33:31] If you're in a season of rest, that yoga retreat, man, love that for you. right. Or just pull time, pull time is one my favorite things to put on my calendar and schedule things around, which we'll get to that in a minute too. This is what allows you to really prioritize what man matters. If you were just showing up and doing your week and sort of hitting things as they come.
[00:33:55] You're not in control of your time. Your inbox is your phone is your [00:34:00] family is your, clients are, but if you can proactively plan your time, you are the boss of your time. I have created a training around this, created it years ago. It's an evergreen thing. You can go check it out. It's still totally relevant.
[00:34:15] Every year we go through all of our trainings and look at them. And this is one that every time I'm like, no, this is still literally right. This is still literally how I do this. Every single. Every single week. So you can check out that, that firstname.lastname@example.org slash time, there's a link in the show notes, highly recommend it, go see how it is that I do it and how it is that I teach bosses to do it.
[00:34:36] And they're always mind blown by how effective this is. And that I know so many other really amazing bosses do it. It's not rocket science by any means you can make it work for. No two calendars are ever going to be the same. No two weeks are ever going to be the same. It's just a really important practice for you to take control of your time.
[00:34:56] Because then you can proactively show up for the work life, blend [00:35:00] that you most desire a sort of caveat of this or not caveat, or like, mm. The way you make this work for yourself is that you live by your calendar. If you're not living by your calendar, if you're not, you're missing meetings, it's what's happening.
[00:35:15] You're not going to that yoga class. Right. Whatever it may be. So in order for time blocking to really work for this piece of this puzzle to really work, you have to be the kind of person who lives by your calendar. And I do think that if you are trying to build something big, if you are trying to juggle a, a family end a business, if you're trying to do more than just, your average show, who's working in nine to five, this needs to be your priority for you.
[00:35:45] This is, this is how this works live by your calendar.
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[00:36:36] So tech number two is time block. Number three is to plan your business around your life. I know this one sounds super simple and obvious, but what I most often find is that once you get into business, once you get into doing it, I mean, there's like this early phase where the passion drives. You just wanna plan everything around your business.
[00:36:57] That's adorable. [00:37:00] It becomes habitual and or you just like drink the capitalist. Kool-Aid like hardcore. And you think that your only value is when you're showing up for work. So you're planning everything around your work, or, you're only gonna give the ROI if you show up for work. So you're only, you're planning everything around your work, whatever it may be, but I want you to flip it, plan your business around your life, prioritize your life because it's gonna be so easy.
[00:37:31] To fall into the trap, prioritizing your business. I'm guilty. I've been there. There are seasons where I find myself going, oh, I'm doing that thing again. Let's like, let's backtrack. Let's get back on, my life first wagon, whatever it may be. So you have to catch yourself often. It is easy to fall back into that habit because your business does demand so much from you.
[00:37:52] And so much of your life depends on the success of your business. That it's easy to do that, but you can still prioritize your [00:38:00] life. One of the ways that I do this, cuz there are small ways that aren't gonna upend everything. One of the small ways that I do this is at the beginning of every year, part of my.
[00:38:09] For CEO day of the year. And like, just that's beginning of year planning and those fives is I will open up my calendar and go ahead and block off time for life. And maybe I know what's happening. Maybe I know there's a vacation happening in these two weeks or, I wanna be off for all the full moons or something ridiculous like that.
[00:38:31] I'll block all of those things off, but sometimes I don't know, sometimes I'm just like, you know what, that two weeks in July not doing it. Make sure that I have these holidays off. I'm gonna, kind of, especially if I'm doing it with the context of my CEO day, I know some bigger picture strokes of what's happening and I can plan those like seasons of hustle and the time off.
[00:38:52] And so the first thing that I'm putting on my calendar at the beginning of the year are the days when I'm not working are the days when I'm gonna prioritize me in my [00:39:00] life. So I'm literally every year planning my business around my life by doing just that one little action. Sometimes they'll move around a little bit, but not very often.
[00:39:09] Once they're on my calendar, they're not moving. I will find a vacation to put there, even if it's a staycation, even if I just wanna spend the weekend hiking, all the trails in Chatanooga love that. so I'm planning my time off early every year. I'm literally planning my business around my life. I also another little way that I like to do this is I like to give myself buffer days around vacations.
[00:39:32] So like a day before and or a day after, or two days after if I can. So if I do have a trip coming up and it just needs to slide into business, I will, I will plan some buffer days and maybe this is work, travel. Maybe there's is life travel. But for me, I have a hard time like getting off a plane and getting right in my inbox.
[00:39:51] I need time to like wash my clothes. So hi to my dog, go grocery shopping, those sorts of things. So for me, giving myself [00:40:00] buffers, prioritizing my life before reentering back into sort of work mode, whatever it may be is one of the ways that I do this as well. You can also do this on a smaller scale daily, weekly, by making regular time for things like hobbies or self care, put them on your calendar, put that yoga class that you wanna do every Thursday evening on your calendar.
[00:40:22] I keep a massage or do on my calendar. I. Mentioned earlier pool time. One of the, my favorite ways to spend the summer, is outside because I'm that crazy person who loves the heat and y'all, I love humidity. Don't play. Don't play. So I love spending as much time as I can at the pool and during peak pool season, whenever I'm sitting down to time block at the beginning of the week, the first thing that's going on my calendar is I'm gonna spend Thursday afternoon at the pool.
[00:40:54] I wanna spend Friday evening at the pool and I'm putting those in my time block. And then I'm scheduling all of my work [00:41:00] stuff literally around pool time. Unapologetically makes me happier. I'm prioritizing my life in the context of planning my business also hikes hikes is another thing that I will put on my calendar.
[00:41:12] Again, it, because if I don't put those on my calendar, I won't do them. So I have to put them on my calendar. So Thursday morning, hiking, whatever it may be. And then I plan all of my work around my life. So plan your business, plan your work around your life. T number three. Is to embrace the gray area between your life and work, the places where they overlap.
[00:41:37] I think this is one of the, one of the biggest, what's the word opportunities we have the biggest, what? There's a word that starts with a P Hmm. Hold on. What is that privilege? Y'all can giggle at that. If you want, if you wanna roll your eyes at me, that's fine too. That's that's you, not me. But one of the privileges [00:42:00] that we have as business owners, as people who are choosing to work for ourselves is creative, where we are selling a part of ourselves in some capacity is that we have this opportunity to create whatever gray area, whatever blend between life and work that we so choose.
[00:42:19] And I encourage you to do that. I, well, I encourage you to do that if you find fulfillment in that, because not everyone does. And that's something that I do recognize for most of the bosses that I know this is the perk. This is a perk of the job of this path that we are choosing for ourselves. We can choose to travel for work.
[00:42:39] We can work fun, work things into family travel. So, for me, A retail store owner owns a rock shop. If we're traveling somewhere, guess where I'm going rock shops. And it's a little bit of work kind of in the middle of a travel thing, but I'm gonna use it for inspiration research and, just checking [00:43:00] things out, checking out the competition, whatever it may be.
[00:43:03] Another one that we talk about a lot around here is having work friends, having boss friends. I often talk, boss friends are the best friends, right? They get you on a totally different level, but I also love how, I will say in the next episode, that's coming out next week. I have a conversation with my, my boss friend, autumn, Whit Boyd.
[00:43:22] And one of the things that she talks about too is how she has found herself very intentionally cultivating relationships with people who don't own businesses, which I love. And I get that too. I totally get that too. Literally not ever wanting to accidentally slide into a conversation about work, which will often happen whenever you are talking to boss, friends.
[00:43:43] Maybe this one actually belongs in the next tactic, the last tactic in the second. But I do think that having work friends, having boss friends is a really great way for you to create that blend where you can. Double up a double up a friend coffee chat with like also, can you help me solve [00:44:00] this problem?
[00:44:00] Or what do you think about this opportunity or whatever it may be? I think it's a fun, gray area that I personally love playing in. And then you can also just find other ways that you can blend them in whatever works for you. One of the ones that I like I'm gonna start pushing for. I think everybody is less, Zoom's more walking meeting.
[00:44:21] Personally, I wanna walk and meet. You can go find inspiration for your creative work in nature or in museums. I actually have a lot of business thoughts, like business strategy, thoughts when I'm hiking. And I don't hike to think about business, but it is sort of a natural thing. That thing that happens, you can also hike to think about business
[00:44:47] You can go to a museum to get inspiration for your art. There are definitely ways that that can work. So embracing the gray areas between life and work, I think is a really fun way to, to [00:45:00] practice whatever work life blend you are most trying to, to achieve for yourself. Then my last tactic, tactic number five, tip number five, whatever is to do the exact opposite of what I just talked about.
[00:45:14] So instead of finding the gray area, finding the places where there is an overlap instead, separate them find times and places where there is complete difference between your life and your. And I feel like this looks like sort of two very different things. One is to just unplug, unplug from your business.
[00:45:35] And the other one is to hunker down in your life or your work. So I feel like actually the unplug part is like what it looks like to just do life. So when you are doing life in this way, just unplug, don't take your laptop on vacation. Don't you don't need it. And if you do need it, it's fine. You only really need it.
[00:45:58] If you do some sort of [00:46:00] life saving work and no one else can take your place. One of the things I tell the being boss team all the time is we are not saving lives here. This is not brain surgery. We are not doing that kind of work. You can absolutely go. And VA don't, you dare take your laptop on vacation.
[00:46:16] don't you dare. If we need you we'll figure it. We will figure it or it can wait or it can wait. And I feel like that acceptance. Of things of how, what your business really means of what your support to your customer or clients really means. And not this like pie in the sky, like I have to, they can't live without me.
[00:46:41] God bless. If you let your clients think that they can't live without you that's when things get real sticky, that's not real in 99.9% of the cases, I do recognize that there are times and places where that could be real, but for most of you guys, it's not. It's really, really not. So unplug for [00:47:00] real love and auto responder.
[00:47:03] Love one. But can I also tell you that I've gotten really bad at putting up my OS? I leave all the time and never put up auto responders and no one knows. No one has any idea that I'm gone because I've just created that kind of relationship with my inbox and with the people that I communicate in my inbox.
[00:47:20] So autos responders can be your best friend. You can also forget them if you want to. One of the ways that I love to really unplug is to really unplug by doing totally tech free days. I talk about this, in the context of our mandatory lazy days, I think it can be mandatory lazy days where you're also doing them tech free and I'll include some links in the show notes to things about mandatory lazy days if you're interested, but you can also just do tech-free days.
[00:47:47] I love being at the shop and just sort of, rummaging around doing things and literally not looking at my phone all day. No news, no social media, no inbox, no slack. None of those things that like, are people touching my brain. [00:48:00] None of those things. It's just me and my brain doing the things I need to do within the space of my physical body, which I know sounds weird probably to say, but I feel like some of you're going, yeah, I need that.
[00:48:14] I need to really only interact with the things that my eyeballs can see in my like physical surroundings. Sometimes I really just need that. The world is a little too big sometimes, and I find really great pleasure in that kind of unplug. Another example of this is just learning something for fun.
[00:48:34] When's the last time you put something new in your brain, just for fun, not for ROI, not for learning a new skill for your business. Not for, figuring out how to make something new you can sell, but literally just learning something for fun. That for me is a really great way of separating work in life.
[00:48:52] And the opposite side of that is actually like hunkering down in your work, which goes back to the hustling that I was talking about of really [00:49:00] getting in the zone and doing the work, turning off your phone, telling your friends and family, I can't even, and just getting in there and doing the work and embracing that level of.
[00:49:12] Working so that you can achieve the dreams that you want to achieve, but you have to go back to all those rules that I placed around hustling responsibly, take care of your responsibilities, put an end date to it. Don't let it become a habit that like ruins your life or anything like that and ruins all of your relationships.
[00:49:28] That is not the goal here. That is not a boss life by any means. There are times when you do just need to embrace it. So there you go. Those are my top five tactics for, for achieving them. Or of achieving a work life balance that works for you. But I do think you sort of have to go back to pre number. One of just knowing what your ideal work life flow looks like in any given moment today, tomorrow, next month, next season, next year, what are you [00:50:00] working towards?
[00:50:00] What are you trying to achieve? What does your current like ideal being in your life look like? Because it's different for everyone. And I don't don't think enough people really think about it enough to know what it is. Should we talk about our version of success and success being that thing that we're trying to achieve in 5, 10, 50 years.
[00:50:21] Right. But what does your ideal work life balance look like right now? Or blend or flow or whatever you wanna call it? Because it's different for everyone. Yours will also change with the season of your life and your work things happen in your life and work. Makes you need to revisit what that flow looks like, but you still need to define it.
[00:50:45] You need to define it. Now you need to define it later as well. And once you find out what it is, you have to start planning for it and actually showing up for it. This is where the time blocking comes in. This is where the accepting of the phase that you're in, comes in. This is where all of those tactics [00:51:00] come.
[00:51:01] The help you achieve building a life in business that is legitimately fulfilling, not E not just when your version of success comes to fruition in 50 years, but today and tomorrow and next week and next month. So it's incredibly important for you to define what it looks like for yourself and then the hardcore show up for it to hardcore show up for it.
[00:51:27] So. With that I leave you there. If you do want help navigating this a bit for yourself, then there are two options. One group coaching ball owned business group coaching six week program. We recently did a beta test. Did amazingly. It was a ton of fun. We have a workbook like a physical workbook. We're gonna send you six weekly, 90 minute classes, hot seats in those class or hot seats in those calls.
[00:51:53] A town of fun, a really, really great time to help you look at your relationship with your business and make it better [00:52:00] so that you can more easily achieve an ideal work life flow being ball stock club slash coaching. If you don't wanna do any coaching, I get it kind of. Kind of you can also join the bean boss community and just come chat with other bosses who are also consistently working on achieving their ideal, ideal work life situation.
[00:52:22] You can join that at bean boss.club/community. Otherwise think on this for yourself, figure out what your ideal work life situation looks like and begin taking the steps that I just shared to help you get there so that you can be ultimately fulfilled and incredibly happy day to day in these crazy ass paths that we choose for ourselves.
[00:52:45] What were we thinking? You know what we were thinking that we wanted to be completely independent and autonomous in choosing what our work life situation looks like. . Huh. So here's your chance? Go make it. [00:53:00] All right boss, because you're here. I know you want to be a better creative at business owner, which means I've got something for you each week.
[00:53:08] The team at Being Boss is scouring the news, the best entrepreneurial publications and updates and releases of the apps and tools that run our businesses and is curating it all into a weekly email that delivers the must know tips and tactics in the realms of mindset, money, and product. This email is called Brewed.
[00:53:26] We brew it up for you each week to give you the insight you need to make decisions and move forward in your creative business. Check it out now and sign up for yourself at beingboss.club/brewed. That's beingboss.club/B R E W E D. Now until next time, do the work be boss.[00:54:00]