The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
A. Work-Life Balance Isn't Real
Work-life balance is certainly something we all strive for, but when you're first starting out it's a complete myth. There were (and still are) dinners happening while I'm on the phone taking care of work things. I'm blessed to have such a supportive family who understands. Family is incredibly important so always make time. However, being an entrepreneur is a 24/7 job most of the time.
- Parker Powers, Millionaire Network
A. Success Requires Dedication
Starting a new business is hard. That's why you meet a lot more people who have a business plan than people who have a successful business. If you go home at 5:15 and your competitor goes home at 9:30 (and then works until 3 a.m.), you're at a big disadvantage. A 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. job (or even better, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) are the rewards you earn after you've been successful.
- John Rood, Next Step Test Preparation
A. Balance Matters
The work-life balance should always be that: a balance. We all get out of balance at times because situations pull us more in one direction than another, and that's OK. In general however, you should always have a good balance as your personal life has a direct and huge impact on your business when you're starting out. Just know that when you first start, that balance is one-sided towards work.
- Pablo Palatnik, ShadesDaddy.com
A. Your Business Is Your Child
For the first two years of a new company, you need to be able to put 100 percent of your energy into the business. There are statistics that reinforce that splitting your energy between a business and a relationship causes both to suffer and neither to flourish. You need to understand that and build your life around that rule. It isn't permanent, but it is key for startups.
- Roger Bryan, Enfusen Digital Marketing
A. Work-Life Balance Is a Myth
If you're a young and hungry startup founder, and you're spending time thinking about work-life balance, you're not in it to win it. Some say that working smarter is more important than working harder. I'm in the camp that you should be doing both, for at least 12 hours a day.
- Jeff McGregor, Dash
A. Boundaries Help
Yes, it's very important -- and something I still struggle with. You need to have boundaries because it's easy to work all the time when you're passionate about what you do. Force yourself to do something fun with family or friends. Breaks can help clear your mind and give you perspective. Also, don't forget to take care of yourself -- you need to be healthy to run a healthy business!
- Ashley Mady, Brandberry
A. It Is Not Possible at First
The best businesses are marathons, not sprints. That said, there are times when you have to sprint and there aren't any alternatives. In the very beginning, sprinting is essentially a requirement. The first year or two will be very intense, but once the business gets into a groove and consistently hits revenue forecasts, work-life balance is possible and critical for long-term success.
- Luke Skurman, Niche.com
A. A Certain Type of Balance
For startups, I am an advocate of working double time especially in the early years, and interlacing this with retreats where you simply take one or two days of complete holiday (preferably in nature) to refuel your energy and passion for the project.
- Christopher Pruijsen, Sterio.me
A. Strategic Imbalance Is Key
I love Marcus Buckingham's concept of strategic imbalance. Buckingham believes striving for work-life balance causes too much stress. Instead, the focus should be on imbalancing your life (and work) in a way that plays to your strengths and brings you the most joy, while actively removing the most stress-filled activities in your day. Our entrepreneurial lives can be strategically imbalanced too.
- Natalie MacNeil, She Takes on the World
A. Work and Life Are One and the Same
Work-life balance is always important, be it your first venture or last. Luckily for entrepreneurs, their passion is their work. Hence, they tend to mix up the two. An entrepreneur is no different from a musician or a painter in that sense.
- Ashish Rangnekar, BenchPrep
A. Be Present and Congruent
Work-life balance is never attained. There will always be a time when something requires more of your energy, attention and focus. Instead of trying to always be balanced, I prefer to always be 100 percent focused and present in any situation. I make sure to always show up. I am congruent with who I am and what I stand for.
- Matt Shoup, MattShoup.com
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