For quite a while, I was hyper focused on growing my business and paid very little attention to anything other than work. I thought I had to be working all the time to become a successful freelancer. My business grew, but my personal life suffered. I learned that to be satisfied overall, you have to devote time to both things. Otherwise, you’ll notice stress levels are high and you’re not able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Now I prioritize time outside of work where I can enjoy myself with friends and family. I travel and take breaks from work as much as I can. Doing activities outside of work reduces stress levels and increases creativity and productivity.
Here’s how to maintain a personal life while growing your business:
Say yes to participating in fun trips, activities, or social outings. I realized my life was unbalanced when I noticed how often I was turning down invitations from friends and family. There was always some business-related reason I couldn’t do anything fun.
To break out of isolation, I simply started saying yes to more. This is crucial. Running a business can turn you into a hermit if you’re not careful. Take the time to hangout with friends and discuss things outside of work.
Say no to business projects that don’t pay enough or that stress you out. Freelancers start a business to be autonomous. But you may find yourself dealing with the same frustrations that you had when you worked a traditional job.
Taking on low-paying clients with many demands is draining and will have an impact on your quality of life and health. If you’re not getting paid enough per client, there’s a good chance you’re working an obscene amount of hours per week just to keep the lights on. It’s hard to maintain a personal life when all you can think about is work.
Start raising your rates and saying no to business that makes you dissatisfied. You’ll have more time to practice self care and even more time to come up with a strategy for getting better clients.
Create a Savings Account for Fun
Money may be tight, and that’s the reason your personal life is suffering. Money was definitely tight for me. I didn’t want to spend anything because I was learning how to manage money with a variable income. Starting a separate savings account for fun was life-changing. I began to set aside money I could dip into when I needed a break.
I use Digit for fun and travel savings. Digit is an app that connects to your checking account. It uses an algorithm to determine what money you do and don’t need for bills. Then it makes transfers from your checking account to a savings account. It’s automatic and savings can grow right before your eyes. Use Digit or another savings account to put money aside for fun so you can start prioritizing your personal life.
Your business may be the first thing you think about when you wake up and the last thing you think about when you shut your eyes. Being ambitious is the name of the game. But you also need to take time out for yourself because being focused all the time on your business can be exhausting.