Just about anyone who works has struggled to find the right work-life balance at some point. But for independent business owners and entrepreneurs, the problem is not as simple as what time you leave at the end of the day, or whether your BlackBerry stays on during dinner. If your business has been a lifelong goal and a personal passion, how do you determine where work stops and life starts? Especially when your home is your workplace.
A great place to start looking for answers is For Better Or For Work: A Survival Guide for Entrepreneurs and Their Families, based on author Meg Cadoux Hirshberg’s own experiences as the wife of the co-founder of an organic yogurt company. For Hirshberg, finding balance meant decisions about what supporting her husband’s efforts meant personally and financially. In terms of personal space, it meant dealing with the fact that the business was run out of the farm where they lived and sharing space with employees (kitchen and bathroom use was tolerated, but a line was drawn at the bedroom). In financial terms, it meant making a watershed decision in 1987 regarding whether to invest her $30,000 inheritance in order to keep her husband’s business operational.
More than just a personal memories, For Better Or For Work also draws on interviews with families who have grappled with similar issues. The book was inspired by her popular column Balancing Acts, which has appeared in Inc. Magazine since 2009, and, true to its “survival guide” subtitle, includes questions and points for family discussion at the end of each chapter.
You can read a review of Meg Cadoux Hirshberg’s For Better Or For Work here.
What unique experiences have you had trying to find that elusive work/life balance? Share your story in the comments.
Having a backup plan can help give entrepreneurs and independent business owners some peace of mind. Read our article on Contingency Planning for some suggestions.