The hardest thing for us female entrepreneurs is having to come to terms with the notion that work-life balance is a figment of our imagination. Like a majestic flying unicorn – although fun to imagine, it really doesn’t do much for us.
As entrepreneurs, we shouldn’t be ashamed to say how truly ‘unbalanced’ life is. Sugar-coating work/life on social media, and in conversation with others, can only do us so much good. After a while, it all just catches up with you.
This is why the theory of ‘Leaning In’ – proposed by Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg, which suggests women should lean into leadership roles in order to create greater structural organizational changes to positively impact and improve work-life balance – makes working gals like us shake our heads a little bit. Not because Sandberg’s theory isn’t valuable – but because it’s a theory, and theories don’t always hold up when applied to real-life situations with varying degrees of socio-economic factors.
Real-life disequilibrium is:
- Fluctuating eating schedules tied to your latest project milestones.
- Having virtually non-existent sleeping routines and habits.
- Social outings that are veiled in euphoric desperation.
Add a couple of children / spouses / relatives into the mix, and work-life balance is officially out the window.
As all-round doers, it easy for us to internalize frustration, anxiety, sadness and believe we are not ‘measuring up’. This is why we’re writing you this simple reminder: Do things your way.
Make your own work-life rules and stand by them when family and friends make unwanted suggestions as to how you ‘should’ live your life (whether at work or at home). Be kind with other female entrepreneurs – we might not all face the same struggles and/or barriers to entry, however, we are all willing to incur significant risks, possible rewards and daily setbacks in order for our businesses to stay afloat. That in itself deserves acknowledgement, respect and admiration.
But most importantly, be compassionate with yourself. After all, you’re doing the best you can with the circumstances presented before you – don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. When you acknowledge how far you have come and take pride in your business, you will see that by not succumbing to the pressures of ‘having it all’, you will come out of this process standing tall and proud.
Written by Marisol and Silvia Fornoni, Founders of JDC.
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