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Entrepreneurial Work-Life Balance: 4 Tips to Build a Business that Serves Your Life

To live a more rewarding life, business leaders should reassess their personal goals and management style rather than focus on work-life balance

This article originally appeared in BOSS Magazine.

Much has been written about entrepreneurs, work-life balance and the answer to the question, “Do you have a business or a job?” Here’s what you really need to ask yourself: “Do I have a business that serves my life or one that steals from it?”

It’s the difference between having a sense of purpose, personal fulfillment, and satisfaction or feeling stressed, over-obligated, and without a work-life balance. A Gallup Wellbeing Index study found that 45 percent of entrepreneurs reported being stressed about their job and company and another 34 percent said they “worried a lot.”

If your company is sucking the energy out of you and killing your passion, then you need to change right now. Here are four tips to growing your business so it’s adding to your life rather than taking away:

1. Focus On Your Purpose, Not Work-Life Balance

There’s a well-known saying that goes, “If you love what you do you’ll never work another day in your life.” So spend some time thinking about what happiness and success mean to you rather than attempting to solve the work-life balance equation.

At Petra Coach, we have the people in our member companies rate their current satisfaction (using something we call the “Wheel of Life”) in six important areas of family, friends, finance, fitness, faith, and fun. It’s a great tool – and, even better, a reality check – to understand where you are now in terms of satisfaction with your life and where you want to be in the future.

2. Get A SMART Plan

To get more out of life, you need to have a plan and stay focused on executing that plan. You most likely have a business plan for your company, but do you have one for your life? If not, then do it now. Identify goals and priorities and then write them down. Then put those goals and priorities in a place where you will view them regularly. That gives you a constant reminder of what you want to accomplish.

One more important point: Make sure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound). You can’t evaluate progress if you can’t track it.

3. Empower Your Team

If you can’t take a month-long vacation without the company running independently of you, then you still have a “job.” You’ve hired smart, proactive, and results-driven people – now’s the time to let them shine. So commit this to memory: “I will not micromanage my team.”

The goal is to identify people and establish processes that allow your business to run without you. It’s what separates great leaders from good managers. You cannot be the only “knowledge keeper” or decision-maker in your company. Empower your team to find solutions to challenges and opportunities without always needing your approval or input. You’ll set them – and your company – up for success.

4. Review Your Plan Frequently

Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs have created a detailed business plan but haven’t reviewed it in years. You should re-examine your plan weekly or monthly at the least. Changes and shifts to your market and the economy affect your business, so you need to be ready to adapt and respond before the competition.

To get more out of your life and your business, you have to change. The person you are now – and the way you are managing your life and business – will not get you to where you ultimately want to be. But if you put these steps in place you’ll have a more fulfilling life and more successful company.