Maryann Croce’s Coach’s Corner: Work-life balance solution

Maryann Croce

What is work-life balance and is it worth striving for? 

Baby Boomers grew up during difficult times (World War II) and as a result many workers stayed with their place of employment for decades seeking stability. 

Gen X grew up witnessing the effect of work stress on their parents and their families. Their desire for more balance between work and life made companies change the way they operated giving teams more flexible work options. 

Gen Y grew up believing college is the best road to success. Which resulted in a generation with harsh student loan debt. They are looking for high paying jobs to pay off their debt, housing costs, and the high cost of raising a family.

Have you ever asked yourself if work-life balance is possible in the automotive industry? I have in my early days as a shop owner. My husband and I were consumed with running all the areas of our business, while juggling our personal and family life. 

When we opened our shop in 1999, our three children were in different schools and we had a work commute that averaged an hour each way with traffic. There were times that work, and life felt off balance. Not being present in the moment was a sign for me. Concerns about letting family and friends down while putting in long hours at work and thinking about work challenges when with family and friends. We all have our own story of challenge. 

As a speaker or when working with clients many have shared “Maryann, I didn’t think it would be so difficult to juggle it all.”  In fact, most tell me; When they worked for someone, they thought being a business owner would be easier than it actually is.

That’s because you saw business ownership from your current lens at that time. Most people focus on the money  coming in and don’t understand the true business costs (the money going out) and the amount of time it takes to start, build, and grow a business. It’s not typically taught during the K-12 years.

When starting out, most small business owners don’t have the cash reserves of big business. As a result, you give up your time in the name of your dream. Spinning your wheels working long hours and calling it dedication. Over time these habits don’t serve you, your family, your team or your business. As a result, many will wonder why they aren’t as profitable as they thought they would be. Business is no longer enjoyable nor sustainable for an owner who is burning themselves out. This is the reason to strive for work-life balance. 

Business Ownership at What Cost?

Not having the time, you once did for family, friends, and self-care can leave you running on empty.  Relationships can suffer. Friends and family may not understand why you’re working so hard. Work-Life Balance can seem like a myth because just when you seem to be making progress in one area another challenge will appear and burst the work-life balance bubble. 

Reality Check

The reality is people are built for connection. You know the signs of being out of balance. 

  • Frustration and resentment 
  • Sleeping Issues
  • Drinking increases
  • Lack of communication
  • Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Unhealthy eating

A New Perspective

What if you looked at Work-Life Balance as a way track the areas in your personal and professional life. The way work-life balance looks for you will be different for me. It’s  about customizing and courage. 

  • Customizing work-life balance for you and your reality – Work-life balance will look different at different stages of your life. When you are young and have the energy. When you have increased personal and family responsibilities. When you are older, and demands may lesson or increase. This shows up regularly when business owners say they’re busy yet not achieving the results they want. 
  • Courage to do things differently. Be open to new ideas and suggestions. – We’ve all heard the phrase, (work on your business instead of in your business). It’s the courage part of work-life balance, but one of the most difficult shifts to make on your own when your day is controlling you.

Three Steps of Work-Life Balance:

  • Allowing yourself to dream – What does work-life balance look like for you?
  • Setting Expectations – For yourself and others
  • Goals- Understanding your available resources, then setting and achieving those goals. 

Work-Life balance is not about perfection or being able to juggle it all to keep up appearances. 

  • It’s being flexible and adaptable when challenges happen.
  • It’s having a support system. 
  • It’s trusting and enjoying the journey 
  • It’s having no regrets by using lessons we learn to fuel us to become the best version of ourselves. 

We all have been going through challenges, so I’ve created a downloadable. CLICK for 6 TIPS FOR WORK-LIFE BALANCE and a way to support one another. Small Business Owners: Work-Life Balance Meetup Group. It’s a group to support your version of work-life balance, provide business topics/training, and discussions to share what’s working and lessons learned. You’re welcome to join us. We meet online monthly. Learn more here. Work-Life balance is about legacy. Your legacy is your choice. Choose wisely my friends.

Maryann Croce coaches automotive shop and trade business owners who are ready for the work-life balance they dream of.  Imagine working fewer hours, earning more money, and looking forward to starting your day. You can have a profitable, sustainable, and enjoyable business that isn’t solely reliant on you.

Shift your view of your business into your competitive edge. When you’re ready to stop doing it all. Set up a call.  Maryann Croce -Small Business Coach. Business Grows as Owners and Leaders Grow.