I’ve heard countless business owners say that they’re constantly striving to find work life balance, but what you really need to succeed in business is flexibility. So in episode 10 of the Breakthrough Business Babe Podcast, I’m calling out the myth of work life balance and sharing strategies that will actually help you achieve flexibility in life!
But before we dive right in, let me introduce myself in case this is your first visit. I am your host, Jen Gitomer, creator of Breakthrough Business Babe and author of the best-selling book, Sales in a New York Minute.
And it is time to make massive breakthroughs in YOUR business. With each episode, you are going to move past your fears of asking for the sale, learn to build deep connections that lead to meaningful business results, and master sales strategies that will help you grow and scale your business. Each week, I will be providing you with tips to avoid common mistakes in your business, teach hacks to help you grow and scale faster, and teach you to ALWAYS ask for the sale with confidence.
It is time for you, the Breakthrough Business Babe, to create more sales, income and connections in your business. Let’s get started!
In this episode, I’m sharing how flexibility – not balance – is key to juggling life and work. And for even more juicy details, listen to ALL of episode 10 of the Breakthrough Business Babe Podcast on your fave streaming platform.
Today’s episode is all about balance or the flexibility that you’re trying to create in your business. And here’s the thing: so many entrepreneurs I speak with are seeking balance. But I want to challenge that because by seeking balance, that’s actually throwing you off balance. I don’t believe that there’s any such thing as balance in work and life context. Now there are moments of balance and actions that require balance, like when you’re riding a bike or doing yoga. But I don’t think there is balance 100% of the time.
This leads to the problem of chasing balance. What I often see happen is people seek balance so much and get so distraught that they don’t have it, it throws them off balance. Now, I see work and life as a kind of seesaw. Sometimes work is higher up and you spend more time on it. Other times, life fills up your schedule more. This seesaw is constantly changing, and you just need to go with the flow that.
And the perks of an entrepreneur is that if you build a scalable business that can function without you being present 100 percent of the time, you can take time off on those family-focused weeks. Then other weeks, when there’s lots of work, you may need to spend more time selling and putting systems in place and all that. And if you can figure out how to go with the ebb and flow of life and work and be flexible with it, you are going to have so much more fun as an entrepreneur. After all, you got into this game of entrepreneurship to create time freedom. And that’s what can happen if you stop chasing balance and start embracing flexibility.
Being totally candid, this topic of balance and flexibility hit close to home for me recently. Last week, I was at the beach with Jeffrey and my 11-year-old stepdaughter, Gabrielle. I freaking love her and I love hanging out with her, and this beach week, she required more attention than ever. So I gave it to her. But I went into the week thinking we were going on a writing retreat at the beach and that Gabrielle would entertain herself for the most part. Meanwhile, my husband and I would get all of our content creation done, followed by great family dinners and extra family time together.
You’re probably like, “Yeah, Jen, wishful thinking and poor planning,” and you’re right. By the end of the week, I realized that my expectations going into the week had actually set me up for a balance failure. Because I expected to get all this work done and it didn’t happen, I basically beat myself up each night for everything I didn’t get done. I was mad at myself, thinking I was failing myself in my business.
But if I had gone into that beach trip thinking “I’m hanging out with Gabrielle and Jeffrey all week,” I wouldn’t have been upset. Any work I did get done would be gravy, so the 20-to-30 minutes of work I did get done each day would’ve been worth celebrating.
Now, it’s your turn to consider how “balanced” you are. Have you ever felt guilty for not working when you’re hanging out with your kids or your friends or family or spouse? And then you feel that same amount of guilt when you’re not hanging out with them and you’re working?
It’s like a double-edged sword and we beat ourselves up so easily in our mind. I know that so many people do that because even in my free Facebook group, people have asked me, “How do you not get upset each night about what you didn’t accomplish?” And what I tell my clients is to focus on what they did accomplish. Set your expectations in a way that’s going to set you up for success.
Because getting mad at yourself doesn’t help you. It doesn’t serve you. It doesn’t serve your customers. It doesn’t help your business. It doesn’t help your growth. It doesn’t help you.
Jen Gitomer gained her prowess in NYC as both a salesperson and award-winning sales leader for a Fortune 500 company. She left corporate America to fulfill her entrepreneurial dream. Jennifer helps entrepreneurs increase their revenue and profit through her proven sales strategies. In addition to the Breakthrough Business Babe Podcast, Jennifer co-hosts the Sell or Die podcast with her husband, Jeffrey.
She is the best-selling Author of Sales in a New York Minute – 212 Pages of Real-World, Easy to Implement Sales Strategies to Make More Sales, Build Loyal Relationships and Make More Money, the CEO and Founder of Breakthrough Business Babe and a master business growth coach. When she’s not working, you’ll find Jen planning her next Paris trip, taking a yoga class, playing tennis, or hanging out with her family and Cavalier King Charles fur babies.
Now, this is a bit of tangent, but it’s an important one. I’m guessing part of the reason you’re building a business is to build flexibility and create time freedom. And so you need to ask yourself:
If you’re realizing you’re too integral to your business right now, know that I was in that same position about a year and a half ago. Back then, Jeffrey and I had to take a month off from work, and if we didn’t have a system or team in place, I can guarantee everything would have fallen apart.
And so the question you really need to ask yourself is, “Am I creating a business that is in balance without me? Is it actually scalable?” Because at the time, part of my husband’s business model was that he would go and give talks all over the country and the same thing for me. But that model required one or both of us to be traveling and giving talks all the time, and that didn’t feel right at this new stage in our life when we had dogs and Gabrielle and all that.
We needed to be home to change the course of the business, and truthfully, we needed to be home more for our sanity. So I made a new business model that involved selling courses online, delivering information online, doing group coaching programs and stuff like that. And if you realize that your business right now isn’t scalable, I encourage you to work on creating a system that runs like a well-oiled machine even when you’re away.
Because I’ve spoken to way too many business owners who feel like they can never take time off. Just like I’ve spoken to a TON of momentrepreneurs who feel guilty for not doing enough work or for not having enough family time. The secret to winning and overcoming that #momguilt is setting realistic expectations for yourself. Set your own outcome expectations first so that you are always winning in your mind before the event or actions even take place.
Once guilt sneaks in, you can’t be best for yourself, for your family or for your business. And so you need to overcome this before that guilt even sets in. You need to be intentionally having thoughts that set you up for success every single day. And you can do that by setting the right outcome expectations for yourself.
So here’s your breakthrough game plan: I want you to set the right expectations for yourself and for your time and set your business up for success. Before you take action, set yourself up for success in your mind, and remember that flexibility beats “work life balance” every single time!
To hear even more about all three of the points mentioned above, don’t forget to tune in to episode 10 of the Breakthrough Business Babe Podcast. And if you love this episode, don’t forget to take a screenshot, share it on your Instagram stories and tag me @jengitomer so that we can spread this important message to even more entrepreneurs and biz babes!