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Online Business Lessons From My New Book – Thriving in the Gig Economy — The Bioneer

I am very excited to announce the release of my new book: Thriving in the Gig Economy: Freelancing Online for Tech Professionals and Entrepreneurs. As the title suggests, this is a book about selling services online on a freelance basis but it should also have relevance for anyone who is interested in business, in productivity, […]

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work + life CAN= Balanced Life!

                                              Work + Life = Balanced Life!

Work-life balance when speaking it aloud, hearing it seems like something from a fantasy movie, but it is a challenge that many of us face, including many of us who are becoming entrepreneurs. Knowing what it actually means & how to make it work for you is key.

When people think of an entrepreneur, the image that comes to mind is a super ambitious, Type A personality who works 24/7 to manage every aspect of his/her business. It’s very rare that an entrepreneurs’ personal life is talked about, but they matter.

There is a stigma in the entrepreneurial world that there is no way to maintain a sense of balance while running a business. This isn’t necessarily true. Let’s face it. Being an entrepreneur is no walk in the park. Oftentimes, it can feel like having a life doesn’t come with the territory.

It begs the question… is a  work-life balance even possible for an entrepreneur?

It starts with debunking the work-life balance myth and finding what is it that works for YOU. In the words of Zig Ziglar, “I believe that being successful means having a balance of success stories across the many areas of your life. You can’t truly be considered successful in your business life if your home life is in shambles.”

 

 

                        As an entrepreneur, do you struggle with work-life balance?

 

 

If so, you are not alone – join the club! Here lies the problem. I think people get caught up with the word, balance. In many ways, it feels like an unattainable standard to strive towards. When people can’t achieve it, it can make them feel like a failure.

Everyone secretly craves work-life balance, but not everyone knows what it looks like. It’s important to realize that work-life balance feels and looks different for everyone, based on one’s personality type, commitments, careers, priorities, and goals.

When you are an entrepreneur, it can never feel like there is never enough time in the day to accomplish everything. Research shows that people at all career levels suffer from the emotional and physical damage of workaholic expectations; destructive, stifling management practices; and a lack of sufficient vacation and leisure time — all in the pursuit of “success.” Typically, we frame such damage as products of not having a balance between work and life.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that running a business requires hustle and hard work, but it’s also equally important to take care of yourself.

Gary Keller said it best, “Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls—family, health, friends, integrity—are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.”

The concept of work-balance implies that work is something external to our life. However, when it comes to being an entrepreneur, this is far from true. If you think about balance as a scale, eventually the pendulum needs to swing, and that’s exactly how life works.

When you are first building a business, perfectly balancing every area of your life is not an option. In many ways, you may need to abandon the idea of work-life balance altogether. I remember in the early days of my business. In the early stages of my business, I would work hours on end. I sacrificed time spent with friends and family. I didn’t spend money on going out or buying things for myself. Everything I had was invested in my business.

I knew how much time, effort, persistence and hard work it was going to take in order to achieve success. However, I always knew that it was a short-term sacrifice that I was making, for the long-term vision that I wanted to create in my life. Once my business started to grow, I was able to devote more time to other areas of my life.

It comes down to finding OUR true balance and not feeling like we have to fit into a box of what everyone thinks balance looks like. I think that finding your flow is even more important than work-life balance. The goal of living in a state of flow – whether it’s emotional, mental or physical – is acting in alignment with your true self.

When you find your flow, work-life balance becomes less about getting everything “right”, and more about tapping into your unique rhythm that serves your work and life. By making this simple shift in perspective, I believe that our lives become happier and our businesses flourish.

Let’s face it, we are all just trying to do our best.

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When we put too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect, we get stuck and feel more out of balance. The entrepreneurial journey is one that requires business owners to constantly evaluate and re-evaluate what is best, from one moment to the next. When the world changes, we need to change alongside it.

In his talk, Off Balance On Purpose: The Future of Engagement and Work-Life Balance, Dan Thurmon says that, “We beat ourselves up in the pursuit of this idea of balance, thinking if we work hard enough, or we are smart enough, or long enough, that we can get to this moment where it all evens out.”

Let’s explore 7 ways that you can redefine what work-life balance means to you and find your flow.

 

  1. Determine What Success Means To You

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Have you ever asked yourself what success means to you? If not, now is the time. Make a list of all of the things that make you happy and fulfilled. Success means different things to different people. When it comes to entrepreneurship, it is crucial that you define what is important to you and your business, and then act on it.

Is your work in alignment with your values?

It’s possible that your values may shift over time, but make sure that you are always taking into account what matters to you. I believe that true fulfillment in life is achieved when we make the conscious decision to honor what matters to us and live and work in alignment with that truth.

  1. Find Your Purpose

 

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As challenging and difficult as your entrepreneurial journey may be, it should never feel like work. When you are living ON purpose, you are able to find meaning in everything that you do because you are passionate about it. You have a higher vision for your life, and that is what propels you forward.

Lori Greiner once said that “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours to avoid working 40 hours a week.”She couldn’t be more spot on. As an entrepreneur, I resonate with this message. There were times in my life when family and friends didn’t understand why I was working SO hard at something that I wasn’t making any money from.

My purpose trumped any criticism or judgment because I believed so much in what I was creating. When you make your purpose your profession, you experience the ultimate form of balance. Your work simply becomes a natural part of who you are.

  1. Build A Support Network

 

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As an entrepreneur, it is so important that you have a solid support network, both at work and at home, who is committed the vision that you have for your business and your life. There were many times in my life when I may have derailed if I didn’t have friends and family that there were to lift me up and remind me of my “why.”

This is why I highly recommend that all entrepreneurs find a mentor, a coach, or a mastermind group that can help them navigate the storms that entrepreneurship brings with it.

Business can be a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows. You have to be ready and willing to strap yourself in be prepared for anything and everything. However, when you’ve got a team of people in your corner, cheering you on, it helps the ride feel a lot less bumpy.

  1. Unplug to Unwind

 

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When you are constantly ON, you are never really OFF. It may feel like you are going above and beyond, but making the choice to never unplug from technology could actually be a detriment to your productivity.

Research suggests that being distracted by email and other messaging systems may functionally lower your IQ. Your judgment may become clouded, and you may switch to a more reactive approach to information.

How can you focus on anything else if you are constantly online? You may be sitting there thinking, “Stefan, how do you expect me to remove myself from technology?” As an entrepreneur, I agree that being online is a necessity. However, there comes a point when you need to walk away from it and take a break.

In order to unplug, you need to set boundaries for yourself. Determine how and when you will work and stick to that plan. Doing so will ensure that you live a happier and healthier way of life.

  1. Become A Delegating Master 

 

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Sometimes it can be hard for entrepreneurs to delegate tasks to other people because they get stuck in the story that, “Nobody knows my business better than me.” While this may be true, it’s not a working smart mentality. At all costs, avoid doing everything because it is the surefire way to experience burnout.

You are only setting yourself up for failure if you think that you are the only one that can achieve your business goals. Delegating work can significantly help you work on your business instead of in it. Successful entrepreneurs know what their weaknesses and they delegate accordingly.

When you hire the right people, it allows you to stop wearing so many hats, so that you can focus on what matters most to your business success.

  1. Set Healthy Boundaries 

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When I first started my online business, I thought that success meant that I needed to be available 24/7, and I would feel guilty if I wasn’t. Over time, I started to realize that this wasn’t a healthy way to live.

In order to find your flow, you need to establish healthy boundaries so that you can stay on course with your business, while still feeling like you are taking care of yourself. Sometimes setting boundaries is about saying no when people want you to say yes. It comes down to knowing your limits; deciding what is acceptable for you and your business.

By communicating your boundaries to others, not only will you be respected, but it will also free up your time to do things that matter to you and your business.

  1. Schedule YOU Time

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We live in a world that encourages a work hard attitude, even if that means at a cost to our physical, mental and emotional health. People wake up, slam a coffee, rush to work, check their emails and live and work on autopilot. It has become normal, but it’s killing people.

It may come as no surprise to you, but studies show that entrepreneurs are at high risk for burnout.

Knowing this reality, I promised myself from an early age that I was going to do whatever it took in order to prevent against this, which is where my passion for morning rituals come in. I have been practicing them since I was in high school.

This is my time to find my center and get grounded for the day ahead. It is one of the reasons why I have been able to achieve so much success in my life. Creating a consistent morning routine, like meditating, reciting positive affirmations or going for a walk in nature, will ensure that you start your workday on a high vibe note. Trust me when I say that it works.

Work-life balance is all about finding your flow.

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Instead of obsessing over attaining work-life balance, redefine what balance means to you and your life. What does that look like for you?

 

Here’s to enjoying a Boundaryless Life for 2019 through Balancing Work + Life!

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A Discussion on Transhumanism Through the Lens of Sapiens — The Bioneer

The book Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, describes the ways in which resources, geography, evolution, and economics have shaped societies throughout history. It’s a tragic tale that often show how we have inadvertently conned ourselves into raw deals – allowing countless members of the human race to experience significant hardships not through some grand conspiracy, […]

via A Discussion on Transhumanism Through the Lens of Sapiens — The Bioneer

The Digital Polymath – Absorbing the Web With Accelerated Learning Techniques — The Bioneer

My main argument in this post is that the time is right for the return of the polymath. I believe that the web makes it easier than ever for us to become highly skills in multiple different fields, and that the current jobs market and economy makes this more viable than ever too. 4,122 more…

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