Work-Life Balance Lessons from Two Entrepreneurs

Work-Life Balance Challenges for EntrepreneursI just watched a video (click above to view it) from MSNBC on two entrepreneurs who were driven to make drastic changes and cuts in their businesses.

Was it the bad economy that led them to cut back?  Or uncertainty about the looming debt crisis in America?

No.  It was the desire to gain more sanity and balance in their personal and professional lives.

In the five-minute video segment, Mary Leonard, owner of Chocolat Celeste, and Dan Wedge, owner of Dove and Hudson Old Books, each came to the point where they needed to reinvent themselves and their businesses.

They realized that they could continue to build and grow their business in the way they had been doing it, but it would come at a great personal cost of them investing more time in their business.  

So they made radical change instead.

For Leonard, it meant completing shutting down her chocolate business, selling off everything, and starting over from scratch.  She got back to her first principles of why she started the business in the first place, and re-made the business the way she wanted it to be.  In spite of all the work that was required for her to start over, she said it was easy for her to retool in order to regain control of her life and business.

Wedge decided to shut down his used bookstore, in Albany, NY, the first week of every month, to give himself for personal time  to do what he enjoys. He had worked 50-60 hours a week in his store for over 20 years, and says has no regrets about making the recent change in his hours. He realized he could have hired more staff to give himself more time off, but then he’d still end up working harder in order to find more books to sell in order to pay for the additional staff.  And that just wasn’t worth it to him.

Why do Small Business Owners Struggle with Work-Life Balance?

It is sadly ironic that many entrepreneurs go into business for themselves so they can create more time and money freedom, but often end up working so much more than they had intended.  Their life becomes their work.

But it’s easy to see how it happens – especially for solopreneurs and start-ups – because small business owners often pour their lives into their businesses to get them off the ground.  And that may be OK for a season.  But if you stay in that mode for too long, it becomes the norm.  You’ve organized your life around your work.

Leonard and Wood decided they wanted to re-tool their lives by re-tooling their businesses.  They went back to their original dreams of why they got into business in their first place.  And they began to think about the unthinkable – making radical change to organize their businesses around the lives they wanted to live.

If you’re a small business owner, how’s it going with your work-life balance?  Did you end up creating a J-O-B for yourself, or have you successfully organized your work around the life you want?

If you’re not happy with the way things are going in your personal and work life, go back to your original goals and dreams – the reasons you started your business to begin with.

Then ask yourself, is what you’re doing today giving you the results you had hoped for?

If not, it may be time to re-tool your life and business to help you organize your work around the life you want.

You might also like:


  1. […] Work-Life Balance Lessons from Two Entrepreneurs (Life Compass Blog) […]

  2. Awesome website……

    […]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[…]………

Speak Your Mind