As a business owner, it can be easy for work to become all-consuming.
Building a company from the ground up requires constant graft at first, but even when your business becomes successful, it can be hard to step away from “survival mode”.
Indeed, 2019 research published by Business Matters Magazine reveals small business owners work a shocking 17 days of overtime every year, showing just how much time you might be committing to the company you have built.
One side-effect of this constant hustle can be losing touch with your personality. When your “work self” becomes who you are, and your “normal self” becomes somewhat buried, it can be difficult to get in touch with your wants and needs outside of work.
Fortunately, there are ways you can look inward and get in touch with your non-work identity, even as a business owner who has dedicated years to leading a company into success.
Read on to find out how to look inward as a business owner, without compromising the leadership persona that has led your enterprise to its achievements so far.
Look back at who you were before your business became your life
Starting a business is like driving a fast car on an unfamiliar track. Take your eyes off the road for a second, and you could find yourself in a precarious situation.
You might have been employed by another business before, and while this will have had its challenges, the structured work-life balance you enjoyed is suddenly replaced with a new level of intensity when you are in the driving seat.
So, if you are struggling to connect with yourself outside of work, cast your mind back to the time before you had your hands on the wheel.
Did you take more holidays abroad? If so, what did you enjoy about them? Perhaps the new languages, the heat, the culture, or the activities helped you fully relax.
Or maybe you read more books, listened to more music, or enjoyed trips to art events like exhibitions or theatre shows. When was the last time you indulged in artistic entertainment purely for the pleasure of it?
In any case, perhaps it is time to make a conscious effort to get back to the things that make you who you are. You might find that by scheduling some downtime doing what you have always loved, you reconnect with your values outside of being a company leader once again.
Ask your closest friends and family for their insights
When you have lost touch with a part of your identity, it can be tricky to self-reflect without hitting a mental wall.
If you are experiencing this, there is an easy solution: open up the floor to close friends and family. Explain this self-reflection exercise, and in doing so, ask them questions about yourself, such as:
- When have you seen me happiest?
- What do you fully trust me with?
- What do you come to me for?
- What is your favourite memory of us together?
- What are my greatest strengths as a friend/family member?
Crucially, while it might be tempting to ask these questions to colleagues and employees, it may be wise to avoid this temptation. While they could have wonderful things to say about who you are at work, it is often those who know you outside of the professional sphere who can offer the most valuable insights.
By having these conversations with those who love you, you could be reminded of your strengths and joys that make you a full, balanced person, not just an entrepreneur.
Imagine a life where balance is restored
Although it may be wonderful to reflect on who you were before you started your business, you may be thinking: what use is that if my life is entirely different now?
The truth is: you are right. No matter how well you remember who you used to be, your company is an intrinsic part of who you are as a person, and takes up much of, if not the majority of, your time.
So, the trick is not to spend your life wishing away your business success, but rather to reimagine a future that balances your life inside and outside of work.
With a little self-reflection and a careful curation of your routine, your future can be a blend of who you were before you became an entrepreneur, and who you are as a business leader.
The result of this reflective work could be that you find a seamless balance between the “old you” and the “new you”. No matter what anyone says, you do not have to choose. It is possible to maintain your identity while delving head-on into entrepreneurial life.
Get in touch
For help aligning your wealth with your most cherished life goals, please do get in touch with us at DBL Asset Management.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01625 529 499 to speak to us today.
This blog is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.