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Are your business & personal lives one in the same?

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This week’s question from my portal “The Neagle Code: Directions for Life” comes from Nicole Newsom.  You can find her on the web at http://spiritsensellc.com/.

Question:

Hi David,
As a small business owner, everything is about running and keeping my business afloat. I have not had time for a personal life. When I get with people in my line of business, two things happen 1-they want me to mentor them for free; or 2-they want to sell me their services when all I want is a friend.
How can you separate your business and personal life when they are one in the same?

Answer:

Thank you for the question!

Nicole, the problems you are describing in your question are nothing more than boundary problems.

The fact that you see your business life and personal life as one is a key indicator that you have not set proper boundaries for your life and in your relationships.

Your business life should be your business life, and your personal life should be your personal life.

Here are some suggestions on how to set proper boundaries.

1) Have a set start and end time to your day. Do not let your work invade your personal time. Work will always fill the time you allot it, so you may find that you are much more efficient when you have a limited time to work on your business.

2) Get involved in something outside your business. If you like to sail, join a sailing club. If you like to read, join a book club. If you like to hike, join a hiking club. This will expose you to people who know nothing about your business, but still share the same interests that you do. They won’t want anything from you except your thoughts on your favorite boat, book, or hiking trail.

3) Schedule time with your current friends and gently let them know that you’re not open to a conversation about your business, and you don’t feel you can be their coach and their friend at the same time. You’d much rather be their friend. If you’re worried about what you’ll talk about, think about purchasing a small box of conversation starters. They are great to spark new and interesting conversation.

4) Do some journaling about who you are outside of your business. You need to begin to realize that your business is not your identity.

Keep in mind that as you do this, you may feel a small bit of anxiety. It’s perfect normal as you begin to redefine who you are and what life you most want to live.

“Just Believe”,®

P.S: The Neagle Code: DIRECTIONS for LIFE is a weekly no-cost program that is open to everyone! Each week, I’ll select and personally respond to one question received via the above “The Neagle Code” page that I feel in my heart will help the most people. (You may choose to remain anonymous if you wish, with our full support.) It is my deep, heartfelt intention that ~ in answering your questions ~ I may provide you with the Universal Truths that in committed application, will set you free. Simply submit YOUR burning question at: www.TheNeagleCode.com to participate.

P.P.S.: May I ask you to help me spread the word about this program? Is there someone you care for who is stuck, or struggling, or lost, or unhappy? Because if so, I would very much like to help. No matter their question, no matter their predicament, no matter if they’ve never heard of me before … if they would like to ask for help via www.TheNeagleCode.com, my Team and I will do our very best to provide that help.

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9 comments:

Kathy ScheiernJuly 14, 2012 at 11:51 amReply

I find this really interesting. All I do is work. I thought the idea was that you would and should do “whatever it takes” (which I temper by saying I won’t do anything illegal) to build your business. For me that means 24/7 as much as I can. What happened to the line about how successful entrepreneurs are those who are willing to do what others won’t to have results that others don’t? I am confused by this response.

David NeagleJuly 17, 2012 at 10:59 amReply

Kathy, what you’re talking about is balance. And in truth as you are starting a business there are times when you absolutely must devote more time and energy to your business life rather than your personal life. However, if that is constant for a really extended period, you need to take a look at what specifically you are doing in your business and why it’s not growing. The idea is that you go out of balance to build a business, to then be able to be brought back in balance. Once you’re business is up and running, setting boundaries around your time is crucial.

Kathy ScheiernJuly 28, 2012 at 10:20 amReply

Thank you for the clarification. I didn’t factor in the time component. I was taking the instruction as do whatever it takes for as long as it takes – and if that is years, then it is years. However, what I am hearing is that it shouldn’t take years – so what I should be looking at is why it’s not working / growing. Time to refocus! Thanks again, David.

Angela DurrantJuly 14, 2012 at 11:55 amReply

This question is so relevant, especially to those of us who work from home. I have had boundary issues all my life just didnt realise it until I started my voice coaching business. The next boundary I would love you to answer is how to stop attracting needy clients, or at least why am I drawing them and how do I gently help them without going back to my old habits of giving my free space to the business and not to my family or myself.

David NeagleJuly 19, 2012 at 4:41 pmReply

The only way to stop attracting needy clients Angela is to make sure you don’t say yes when those flags are raised. You can typically tell if this is a person who will be receptive to your services within the first few minutes of having the conversation, or if they are going to be a handful. You can expend a tremendous amount of energy with these time ‘vamps, and it absolutely is not worth it. This is where you have to firm in your boundaries and let them go. Hire slow and fire fast, it makes all the difference.

Lalitha BrahmaJuly 14, 2012 at 12:40 pmReply

A “MUST” Read for every Home based business owner.
Yes, it is the question of setting boundaries and not identifying ourselves with our business. When I was in Corporate America, I was used to identifying myself with my position/title and occupation. It was challenging for me to get out of that thinking, when I transitioned to an entrepreneur. The moment I started detaching my identity with what I do/external qualifications, I felt more connected to my CORE self and was able to run my business by being my authentic self.

David NeagleJuly 20, 2012 at 9:05 amReply

That’s great Lalitha! Thanks for the post and for sharing.

NitsanAugust 4, 2012 at 6:17 pmReply

I have a tendency to invest without boundaries. This is a luxury, Its just putting off a decision to do this, and not that. Its not adult or powerful. I will only solve this problem by working with my subconscious. I have begun visualizing my day the night before and examining my beliefs. I intend to design my beliefs by focusing on them and finding techniques to alter them. And always reminding myself to do it when I fear it.

When I first saw your pages online, David, and you’d say “Just Believe,” I thought that’s crazy and unreal. Now I see how it is effective and I work with myself to adopt your approach.

Lorraine FernandesAugust 7, 2012 at 8:54 amReply

Thanks David I find this a really interesting topic, when you say “absolutely must devote more time and energy to your business life rather than your personal life” when you are starting a business, at what point would you shift the balance back in your opinion? Is this something we should just intuitively know or should there be some external evidence to say it’s time to readjust. I was under the impression that if I don’t make a decision to choose work/life balance now then the time will never come, as I’d only end up getting busier the more the business grows.

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