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'Entrepreneurs can have work-life balance too'

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'Entrepreneurs can have work-life balance too'
A stressful looking Swedish office. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT
14:40 CET+01:00
Startup and small business owners should not panic about missing out on quality of life. It is possible to run your own company without running yourself into the ground, argues Swedish career and life coach Pia Webb.
We all live busy lives and sometimes it can be difficult to find time to take a step back to reflect on the life we are living, especially for those of us who are entrepreneurs. 
 
But by reading this short article you will already have taken the first step towards this - by taking two minutes out of your day to think about what you want.
 
You might say to yourself: "Work-life balance doesn't exist in my life, I haven't got time to even think about it, never mind do something about it". 
 
However it is worth the effort even if - as an entrepreneur - you really have to discipline yourself to do this.
 
Most importantly, separating your 'home' and 'work' life will help you to focus and become more successful in everything you do. 
 
You need to be able to switch off from your job duties at some point during the day and be able to give your full attention to work without thinking about your personal or family life.
 
I often ask my clients what would really happen if they logged off at 5pm and a lot of them tell me that they don't think it would make a huge difference, as they often work inefficiently during the evenings. By contrast, I believe that people are much more efficient if they have had a chance to recharge their batteries.
 
In my book 'Improve your own Quality of Life the Swedish way' (Förbättra livet på ditt sätt), I identify that there are six quality of life sources that each and every one of us can take control of ourselves. They are: time, passion, health, environment, people and driving force. 
 
If you want to achieve work-life balance as an entrepreneur, you need to consider all of these different ways. 
 
However, this shouldn't feel overwhelming. You can start today with these three easy steps:
 
1) Invest in your own quality of life 
 
Ask yourself – how satisfied am I with my current situation? How satisfied am I with each quality of life source right now?
 
2) Prioritise time to reflect 
 
Ask yourself - how does it feel to reflect on my current situation? What would I like to be different?
 
3) Act by making a conscious decision 
 
Ask yourself - what am I motivated to act upon? What could be the first step today - or tomorrow at the latest - to improve my current situation?
 
Career and life coach Pia Webb. Photo: Patrik Kekäläinen
 
Here are some inspiring examples:
 
1) Quality of Life Source: Time
 
Unable to focus on my duties, due to constantly being interrupted. 
 
First step - I shall turn my phone off tomorrow morning between 8 and 10am. 
 
2) Quality of Life Source: Health 
 
I tend not to take any breaks from my desk and often don't give myself time to eat lunch 
 
First step - I will bring lunch with me to work tomorrow. 
 
3) Quality of Life Source: Environment
 
I hate going to work. 
 
First step - I will write down a list of alternative ways of going forward 
 
Here are my top three tips for all entrepreneurs:
 
1. Be brave: Be brave enough to consolidate any unsuccessful businesses, products or services. 
 
2. Set a vision: Have a clear vision and focus on how you are going to get there. 
 
3. Empower yourself: Having people with you is crucial. The best way to achieve increased long-term success for any organisation is to empower the people who work in it to look after themselves - both at home and at work.
 
Everything starts with a first step, your motivation is the key to all change. If you act today, you will feel an instant improvement. Entrepreneurs can achieve work-life balance too.
 
Pia Webb is a Swedish career and life coach based in Stockholm 
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