We hear and read a lot about work-life balance, and while it’s an extremely positive concept, it misses a key point. Running a business is hard as hell. Taking personal time is critical, but it’s also important to think about ways to bring more of your life into your work. Think of it as work-life integration.
People in tech businesses talk all the time about fundraising, product-market fit, design thinking, the latest technologies, management techniques, consumer trends – everything except the need to stay in shape. Building and running a startup is exhausting. All founders need to come up with strategies to stay in shape – mentally, emotionally and physically. You don’t want your business to implode simply because you never make time to exercise or sleep.
The commitments of creating a startup are certainly difficult at first. Unfortunately, they are also difficult in the middle and even after the company starts to mature. In this post, we share some advice on how to take care of yourself. The most important thing is to be aware of what you need.
- Find other founders at the same stage as you or a little ahead. Develop relationships with other entrepreneurs who will understand what you’re going through and the issues you need help with. Your friends and family can offer general moral support, but none of them will really connect with your issues like someone going through a similar time.
- Follow the “oxygen mask” rule. You know the old flight safety warning: “Put the mask over your own mouth and nose before helping others.” You can’t help your business if you can’t do your best. Create routines to stay physically, emotionally and mentally in shape.
- Take a vacation. You will feel like you can’t. But (just as you might need to take a break to update a system or process), sometimes you’ll need an update on yourself, even if it means taking time away from the company (which shouldn’t hurt, because you’ve built an operation that works fine without you, right?) so you can recharge your batteries and stay energized for the next step.