by Denise Ingabire-Smith | Featured Contributor
One thing that most entrepreneurs tend to have in common is that desire to create livelihood from a passion rather than an obligation. Most entrepreneurs have followed the famous advice of Marc Twain, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Our work, for the most part, is our passion and so then our work doesn’t seem like work to us. One challenge that can come with this blessing of making a living from a passion though is that for some of us work can consume our entire life. We are living our passions and to us it doesn’t seem like work at all. Sometimes this drive and love for what we do can take all of our waking hours and destroy other aspects of our lives. I personally believe that true and complete happiness comes from a good balance of successes in every aspect of my life. A healthy balance of work, family time, leisure, physical and mental health as well as a healthy social life work together to make me a happier entrepreneur. The following steps have helped me purposefully design a life that balances what I truly find important to my happiness and individual success;
It is very important that an individual understands themselves and be very honest with what is important to them. There can be many things that bring joy and happiness to other people that you may find unsatisfying to you as an individual. Making sure that you understand yourself as an individual and that you pinpoint things that you truly value in life will help you save time and energy and claim your place and your form of happiness. I am one of those people who believe that happiness ought to be personalized. There are many times people look at someone’s life and assume from the outside that such and such individual is happy because of what they believe to be the source of happiness, and oftentimes the reality turns out to be the opposite. It is crucial that we, as entrepreneurs who have managed to understand what we love and what we are passionate about, take time to also understand and pursue that which completes our happiness.
The art of prioritizing.
Once an individual has understood and figured out what truly matters in their lives, what they want to accomplish, and what legacy they want to leave behind, then it becomes a matter of prioritizing that list and making sure that the things that fulfills and bring happiness in your life are being incorporated in it. I find that every time I carve time out of my busy work schedule and devote it to something that I truly love and value, it always refreshes my mind and energize me as a person and it always reflects in my work as well. Happy people run happy businesses and produce happy results.
Quality over Quantity.
One thing that is for sure is that most entrepreneurs find themselves very short on time. With so many responsibilities on their plate it is very crucial that any time that we dedicate to anything be maximize and the best way to maximize time is to be completely in the moment. Learning to be selective about what really matter and deserved my time has become my biggest time saver. It has taught me how to say no without regret and how to say yes without reservation.
Being in the Moment.
We all know the picture so well, leaving work with the intention of playing with your toddler or catching up with a friend or doing something completely work unrelated, you sit down to get to your business just in time for that “did I reply to my last email” thought to sneak in. I am guilty of this and it is completely understandable, especially for people who work for themselves, that we live with work at home and we carry the entire future of our businesses on our shoulder. Being in the moment is an act that takes a lot of practice and dedication to master but it is a very beneficial one once you master it. I find that the more I learn to give a 100% of myself to the things that I value the most the happier my life becomes. As an entrepreneur I couldn’t agree more with the words of Wayne Dyer “The more I give myself permission to live in the moment and enjoy it without feeling guilty or judgmental about any other time, the better I feel about the quality of my work”.
Having a Satisfied Spirit/Mindset.
This part is one of the hardest one when it comes to entrepreneurs because we always want to give the best that we know we can give. Having a satisfied spirit in this context means knowing when you have done enough for the day and how to turn off the work mode and focus on the other part of your life. It doesn’t mean that you are not able to do more for the day, it just means that you chose to walk away from that project that you know will give you a few extra dollars and focus on the family or another aspect of your life for the moment. I have observed that people who work for themselves or who run businesses are less likely to take a vacation for example, some of the reasons I have heard are the fear of losing out for the week, but if you look at it, If most entrepreneurs really make their own schedule, they should be the ones able to spare those days without hindrance. Having a satisfied spirit helps you manage to say no to that which would defer or alter your happiness and walk away without regret.
Denise Ingabire-Smith is a clinical scientist and a public health epidemiologist by academic training, an inspirational and motivational speaker from life experience, a freelance writer by opportunity, a lifestyle blogger by passion and the face behind www.myowntotell.com. Denise is an American immigrant from Rwanda, a wife, a mom of one and a small business owner. She uses her own triumphant stories of overcoming life’s adversities to motivate and inspire people to live their lives to the fullest.