Thursday, November 8, 2012

Do Entrepreneurs Need Work-Life Balance?

Entrepreneurs always talk about the work-life balance, and how to achieve it. As a woman, I have so much respect for those women out there who are successful mothers and entrepreneurs. I mean, being in a happy and healthy marriage is difficult enough. Couple that with raising children and running business? That seems nearly impossible to me. Perhaps that’s why so many women I know choose one over the other.

What We Sacrifice

To build a company from the ground up requires tremendous focus, drive and commitment. For me, it took precedence over the mundane things in life – like coming home early enough to make dinner for my husband, or being “present” while my blackberry was buzzing away with important emails (that of course I had to check immediately!). For the last few years, my business came before my personal life. When we went on vacation, I spent half the time on my laptop and phone, and the other half wondering what I could be accomplishing if I was working. When I made plans with family or friends,  I often bailed last minute because I was either working or too exhausted. When I spent time with my husband, it was usually because I connived him into coming with me to some networking or social event. And starting a family? Unquestionable until I accomplished X, Y and Z.

The irony is, before we got married, my husband and I constantly argued about having kids. I wanted kids right away, while he wanted to wait a few years. Boy, did we argue about it. But as soon as we got married and started our company, the tables suddenly turned. In fact, if my husband ever brought it up, I’d remind him of all the things we need to still accomplish beforehand. Eventually we stopped talking about it. My husband knew that growing the business and building my real estate portfolio were more important to me than anything else.

The Rude Awakening