You Own The Business, The Business Doesn’t Own You

December 4, 2018

You have heard of the saying, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ You may want to listen to this proverb, and find a good balance between work and life! But if you bring your work home, or have business calls coming through on your own time, just know that you are not alone in striking that balance. It is difficult for every business owner! Story from The Hartford.


Here are some tips on how to find that balance:




There is not enough time in the day to complete everything you want to—and have to—do. Really, face this truth now, and do not let that haunt you while being the awesome business owner that you are.


Choose which tasks need to be done on a daily level. If you have a never-ending To-Do List, determining which things are truly in need of completion that day, and completing them, instead of doing every little thing on your list, is critical for your peace of mind. Otherwise, you can get overwhelmed and drained from feeling like you get nowhere. Deciding which things to focus your time and energy into will help you, and completing those prioritized tasks helps keeps you motivated.


Mix it up though. Don’t just work until sundown, get home, and realize you are too tired to even watch television. Successfully getting personal time for yourself, such as jogging before heading into the office, and then finishing up that monthly marketing meeting on time today can be great for motivating you into getting back to it the next day.


Choose four goals for the day, focus on completing those goals, and appreciate that you have reached your goals when they are complete.


Say No


I imagine that as the business owner, you have many people throughout your day gathering around you for your attention, opinion, or for a decision in every matter having to do with the business, along with personal needs and tasks to get to in your day.


Not only are these things taking time from you to get accomplished, but you have clients too, asking for freebies, asking for you to put more effort into the goods or services you are providing them, or they have decided not to communicate with you until things have come to a head, and now you have time only to react to their situation.


But you don’t have the time for everything, like previously mentioned, and so you need to tell some people, ‘no.’ Politely refusing a client or customer is not the end of the world. If you are a total customer focused type of person, you may need some practice, but keep in mind, you are not expected to be available to others 24/7.


Saying to client that, ‘No, we do not do free consultations; No, our store does not provide delivery passed our service area; No, I cannot squeeze you in during lunch for your appointment that you missed earlier in the day,’ is not the end of the world for you!


Figuring out which clients take more resources or time than you have available, you can politely refuse, or refer them elsewhere.




You are but one cog in your personally owned machine. You cannot be everywhere all the time. You might not even have the skillset to even do everything that is required in a day. That is why it is important to hire great employees that can help you and your business.


When you get those employees, prioritize what you, the business owner, can do, and then provide your employees tasks that assist you in completing your huge To-Do List. You can’t do everything all the time, or you will burn out or never have time for yourself.


Delegating jobs, and making sure the best people are doing what they do best, makes the machine work.


Different Spaces For Work and Home


The biggest way to make sure your business is not swallowing you up and taking over your life, is to make sure you have designated work and home spaces. If you must work from home, then do not work in your bed.


If you have a separate office and it is not connected to your home, keep the home out of the office. If you must take work home, do not drop it on the kitchen table. Keeping that line between the two is important for you to stay focused and 'in the moment' wherever you are.


Have a dedicated office space that is completely separate from your home life. Otherwise, work will always be getting in the way of your life. Having separate spaces for each helps you keep them separate in your head.


And rightly so, make sure to keep office stuff in your office, and very few personal things in the office, so that personal life does not get in the way of business. This helps with efficiency and focus.


Baby Steps


If you are a total customer focus type of person, a true workaholic, making these changes will be difficult, if you try to do big changes or do things all at once. Make small changes in your daily life, such as deciding to finish at a set time, so you have time to catch that 5:45pm movie after work, will help in gradually changing and maintaining these changes.


Taking baby steps in changes in your work and personal life will help in establishing a balance between the two, even if it appears to be a daunting task at first. But making these changes will actually end up making you feel much better, about your work and about yourself.


Remember to try these tips if you feel that work is taking over your life, but start small, so you are able to continue making these changes and working towards your goals, both personal and professional.


For more details, please check out the article, ‘5 Ways to Ensure that Your Business Doesn’t Swallow Your Life,’ found here:


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We assist individuals and families with family law issues and other legal concerns in Southern Maryland, Washington DC, and throughout the region.  For more information about how Fanning Law, LLC can help you and your family, contact Bill Fanning at Fanning Law, LLC - The Offices of William C. Fanning, Jr. - 301.934.3620 or at

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