You’ll often find us discussing the perennial problem that is trying to find balance as a business leader. It’s something we’re extremely passionate about, as so often we’re engaging with leaders who seem resigned to the fact they’ll never achieve true balance between work and family life.
Indeed, in a new poll by Virgin Money, four of the top five challenges of starting a business were related to having a lack of leisure time. Top of the list was ‘Taking time off/holidays’, while ‘Working long hours’, ‘Striking a work-life balance’ and ‘Working weekends’ were second, fourth and fifth respectively.
‘Making a name for yourself and the business’ was down in eighth place.
Nearly one-fifth of the 500 entrepreneurs surveyed said they worked a minimum of 13 hours every day in the first year of setting up their business, with 7% confessing to working 16 hours or more every day.
Other notable challenges include ‘Believing in yourself’ (13th on the list), ‘Finding time for hobbies and other interests’ (16th) and ‘Dating and meeting new people’ (28th). So, there you have it, being a business leader can make it difficult to start a family. We’re pretty sure that’s not what you signed up for when you decided to go it alone.
Despite the majority finding it difficult to live a balanced life as a business leader, almost all the respondents (98%) agreed they enjoy having their own business. Meanwhile, more than eight in 10 said being your own boss is one of the best things about starting your own company.
Commenting on the research, Hugh Chater, chief commercial officer at Virgin Money, said: “From start-up, to scaling up and then staying ahead, there’s nothing easy about running your own business.
“Balancing the books, the relentless admin, sorting problems that come out of left field and finding balance in everyday life – are just some of the challenges. What really shines through from our research, however, is that the freedom and fulfilment of running and growing your own business outweighs any trials and tribulations faced.”
So, is being an entrepreneur and having a social life a bit like having your cake and eating it? We don’t think so. It’s possible to have both if you design your business around the life that you want. To discuss this idea in more detail, get in touch either via the website or LinkedIn.