Coaches: How to Create Work-Life Balance When You Love Your Job! | By Ruby McGuire

3 Things Every Coach Needs to Create Work Life BalanceRuby McGuire

Before I start talking about work-life balance, I just want to say that I'm not entirely convinced there is such a thing - not when you love what you do...

However, I still have the idea of work-life balance in the back of my mind when I'm planning, even though it's a challenge for me to step back.

And when I talk to my clients, they also say that they love what they do - and that because they're so passionate about helping people the lines get seriously blurred. Sound familiar?

So, How Can Coaches Create Work-Life Balance? Here are 3 Ways:

FIRST: It's your business, choose your hours, run it your way

When you're super passionate about what you do, it's really easy to allow your business to take over your life. You've left the "9-5" or equivalent, set up your own business, and now you're spending every minute under the sun trying to bring in clients.

Here's what I've learned in 6 years of running my own business: The more you push in your business, the fewer clients come your way, the more tired you become and you have less energy to give your clients.

So what to do instead?

Well, "Parkinson's Law" is the saying that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion".

So, CREATE the hours in your business that you want to work.

Because if your working days are long, then guess what – you're going to fill those hours with work. But when you reduce your hours, you may miraculously manage to achieve a lot more in those short hours...

Here are some work-life balance ideas for coaches to manage their working hours:

  • Don't want to work evenings? Set a boundary with yourself that you only work in the day time. Communicate your new hours to your clients. You may be surprised at how well they take it, and those that don't – ask yourself if they're really your dreamie clients?
  • Don't want to work weekends? Clear your diary and make you/your family/friends a priority. Make time and space to create memories. Your business will still be waiting for you when you get back to work on Monday - feeling fully recharged and revitalized.
  • Don't want to be a slave to social media? You don't have to be. You get to choose how and when you show up (more on that next).
  • Don't want to burn the candle at both ends? Learn how to work smarter, not harder. Working harder may get you nearer to burnout than great results. Working smarter is the way to go!

At first, this might feel a bit nerve-wracking. Won't you lose clients this way?

No. What tends to happen is you get creative with the hours/ways that you can work with people. Instead of stopping ALL evening clients, maybe you'll choose to work with just 1-2 clients over a month in the evenings - it's just that evenings aren't your norm. Or perhaps you'll only work weekends if you're running a workshop or event, and the rest of the time the weekends are yours.

Because I'm guessing that your plan when you set up in business wasn't to double the hours you worked! Your business can easily take up every single minute of every single day, IF you let it.

Create your business how you want it to be, so that it gives you the freedom you really desired when you left that employed world. Ruby McGuire

SECOND: Get ahead of the 'dreaded social media'

Let's be honest, social media can be a time and energy drainer. We either get overwhelmed with how much content we need to 'put out there', or we end up being distracted by shiny new courses, the latest 5-minute hacks or cute animal videos.

You can easily become a slave to it. Yes, it's important to engage and connect when people comment, but there's also nothing wrong with scheduling your posts ahead of time, so you can drop in and reply to people at a time that works for you.

Also, it's easy to spend hours and hours coming up with new content. You just don't need to. So, if you take one nugget away from this post today, make it this: Repurpose, expand or chunk down content that you already have!

Here are 7 ideas to get you started re-purposing content you already have:

  1. Expand a Facebook post into a blog post.
  2. Turn a 3-tips video you made into a 3-part video series.
  3. Turn a tweet into a longer post, explaining why you loved that quote.
  4. Break down workshop content into several or a series of social media posts.
  5. Turn a 7-tips blog post into 7 Facebook "Lives" or an infographic.
  6. Turn those Facebook "Lives" into trainings that you could share in a newsletter or as a podcast.
  7. Go through old blog post articles and use the same topic but with a different twist.

Remember, your lovely dreamie clients will always want to hear from you. Sometimes you'll be sharing something that they need reminding of. Maybe they haven't seen your post before (due to when it went out), and as we know, sometimes we need to read/hear something a few times before it actually sinks in, so keep going and get creative!

THIRD and FINALLY: Change your mindset and create a plan to have a break!

We tend to think that taking a step back from our business is a bad thing. But according to neuroscience it's these breaks that get our creative juices flowing.

What if you were to create a big chunk of work-life balance, so that life comes first?

For example, I'm currently in the process of moving up to Scotland from England. It's a huge upheaval including moving into a rental for a few months while the sale goes through on our new property. It's a complete lifestyle change - 8 hours drive from where we currently live, with a different climate, different culture and we're going to be living in a rural area which means community will be a big part of where we are. I knew that because of the move, and because my daughter is taking a gap year before going to university, I wanted to take the whole summer off! A few years ago I wouldn't have dreamed of doing that because it might mean 'my business would fall apart'. Now, I know that for anything like this, you just need a solid plan.

So here are some tips to enable you to take a complete break from your business, and still bring in money:

  1. Block out time in your week - well in advance - to do the pre-work below.
  2. Write all your blog posts in advance and schedule them.
  3. Write all of your newsletters in advance, schedule them to go out regularly too.
  4. Pull together a social media plan (eg. one post a day), and schedule ahead of time.
  5. Let all your clients know that you're not going to be around - offer to work with them in a slightly different way.
  6. Set up an "out of office" email responder - worded in a coach-like and inspiring positive way - that lets people know when you will be available again.
  7. Create digital content that people can buy while you're not there, promote it on social media and in your newsletter!
  8. Sign up clients prior to going off on your break so that there is regular income coming in.
  9. Assign any other tasks to others where possible.

What kind of reaction have I had to my complete break? People have said things like, "Wow, I love that you're doing this, it really inspires me to think how I can take a break too!"

Now, you might not want to take it quite to the extreme that I have, but it does go to show that with a bit of planning you can create that work-life balance that you desire.

Wrap-up

Which one of these areas could you play around with to create a better work-life balance?

  1. Run your business your way - choose the hours that suit you and give you freedom.
  2. Pre-schedule and repurpose your social media so that it goes out while you're having fun doing other things.
  3. Create a plan to give yourself a break from your business (and maybe have some wonderful new ideas!)

Whichever you choose, remember this quote from Gary Keller's book, The One Thing:

"Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls - family, health, friends, integrity - are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered."

Ruby McGuireContributing Author: Ruby McGuire, Visibility Diva, aka Queen of Connection is a mum, wife, cappuccino lover and introvert. She helps unseen solopreneurs step up and shine on/offline so they can make money doing what they love. She's an Accredited Senior Coach, a Co-Author of Awaken Your True Potential, a Trainer, NLP and EFT Practitioner, writes for International Coaching News and heads up Business Support for IIC&M's Invenio Magazine. If you liked this article you might like her podcast show, Rock Your Fabulous Biz. Find Ruby at her pretty online home www.rubymcguire.com or on Facebook. Failing that she may be satisfying her pinning obsession on Pinterest!

If you want to rock your visibility and have a life, check out her monthly programme, Rock Your Visibility (with a cherry on top) where she helps you create business growth through being visible, or check out her Visibility Quiz, where you can find out just how visible you really are!

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