There are many well intentioned work-life balance articles that offer good advice. However, sometimes the writers fail to consider what a mom has to face in the real world of business. Here are 4 business realities that work-life balance articles ignore that you should be aware of:
1. Clients Can Be Flighty
Many work-life balance articles suggest that you set work hours and stick to it, unless you have to deal with a client emergency. However, you risk losing a client to someone else that's more available to them. Your competition may not have set work hours, and are more than ready to scoop up the clients that can't get you on the phone. You have to weigh your family needs and your financial circumstances with the ideal principle of not mixing business hours with family hours. You don't want to put your business before your family, but you may have to get creative with being more available with finicky customers who might quickly leave you, despite a long-term relationship.
2. Hard Economic Times
During hard economic times, it may be impossible to achieve the proper work-life balance. You have to work as much as you can in order to make a living. At the same time, you don't want your children to suffer spiritually, emotionally or physically because you're working all the time. This is a reality that will greatly impact your personal life, and you may not ever feel successful in balancing it all. If you follow the strategies in many work-life balance articles without considering the economic state of the times, you may find yourself struggling financially and considering outside employment, which will thwart your original goal to be available at home to your spouse and children.
3. There's a Learning Curve to Overcome
When you're first starting out in business, you have to overcome the learning curve for making money. You can research and read all the books you want, but you can only acquire some knowledge through trial and error. The problem with a learning curve is that it takes time to overcome it. The more you wait, the longer it seems that you'll gain the experience necessary to actually start making money. It can be time-consuming to go through this learning process. The reality is if you don't spend a lot of time on experimenting and fine tuning your business model, you'll make little money for several months. If you're dependent on income solely from your business this can be financially devastating.
4. Freelance Jobs Can't Wait
If you work as a freelancer or independent contractor, you may have noticed that the availability of some jobs has declined. It's hard to achieve a work-life balance if you have to be the first one to bid on jobs, which requires that you check job postings all day. Freelance jobs are highly competitive, and usually the first ones to submit their resumes online, or submit proposals, get hired. If you wait for your set work hours or day to apply for work, you may not get hired.
Although there are business realities that impact your work-life balance, you still must come up with ways to put your family first. You may have to suffer from a lack of balance in your personal life for some time, which many work-life balance articles don't admit. However, once your business is generating the income you need, you'll have more time for you.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.