The reality is that we all got into business because we needed something: more time, more money, more flexibility, more control, more (you fill in the blank). And when you’re first getting started, you’re in the hustle and grind mode to make that “more” happen.

As a new business owner, you’re burning the midnight oil, thinking about business about 110 percent of the time because you’re trying to get established. I don’t think I need to tell you that this isn’t really sustainable in the long-term.

If you’re growing a side business and planning to keep your day job, time and flexibility are likely more important than replacing a full time salary. You probably find it easier to turn off the business brain and turn on to your family and self-care, because you’re not motivated by money.

But if you’re a full-time business owner (or aspire to be), I’m talking to you. You need to design your business to fit your life and not the other way around.

Why you need to design your business around your life (and not the other way around)

Full time biz owners: Design your business to fit your life, not the other way around.Click To Tweet

What are the most important roles in your life? What is it you want to be known for when you’re gone? For me, those big roles are mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend and business owner. That’s a lot of hats to wear!

When I first started my business, I had a conversation with my husband about what it would look like. I told him I was going to do the best I could as a business owner for two years. I let him know that during that time, I may not be the greatest wife I could possibly be and I asked for his support and buy-in. Because of this conversation (and because my hubby is so incredibly supportive), we made it work.

But make no mistake: I put my business before my life. That was the sacrifice I made so I could make the money I want to make.

Now I’m reversing that. I’m on the right path and where I want to be, so I’m putting my life first–all those other hats that I wear. Now my life indicates my business path.

Being more in charge of your life and putting your life first allows you to prioritize the people that matter most (including yourself). And that’s what fills up your life and your heart the most.

That’s not to say that you can’t put your business first for a time, like I did, but have an exit strategy in place so you can get back to life. Because life truly can come first and you don’t have to be a slave to your business.

Put your biz first for a time, but have an exit strategy so you don’t become a slave to your business.Click To Tweet

So how do you start to step away a bit, while still meeting those financial goals you set out to make?

  • First, prioritize your personal roles in your calendar. I start by blocking time for my kids and their activities, date nights, wellness activities, family and friends. Only then do I see where I can fit in work. And I promise, there’s still plenty of room!
  • Then, I identify how many clients I can work with during the time I have left. This helps me determine whether I can still meet my financial goals where I am or if I need to raise my prices.

Doing this allows me to structure my days, weeks and months to fit my needs and the needs of my business. If I have a big launch coming up, I know I’m going to have to scale back on something personally or cut back on my 1:1 client work.

I’ve also found that when you have a robust financial goal and your life is also robust (taxi mom, anyone?), having team members on hand to implement and execute for you is huge. It helps keep you sane and focused on the things that you want to be remembered for. And I’ll bet you don’t want to be remembered for the person who slaved over her business every day!

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