There are plenty of articles out there about how running a business can ruin your personal life, but not much about how your personal life can affect your business if you are the entrepreneur. When running a company, it’s especially difficult to find a balance between one’s work and personal life. With all the stress involved with running your own startup, it’s easy to forget that how you act outside the professional space affects how you perform inside the company, as well as the professional image you portray. Being mindful of how you behave outside of the office can greatly benefit you in your startup.
- Your communication skills
Even if you make it a point to use a more “professional” communication strategy in the office, hints of how you communicate with people in your normal life will eventually slip out in the professional sphere. This can be a good thing if you’re a friendly, outgoing person who has no problems expressing opinions or suggestions in a healthy way, but if you’re not, you might need to adjust how you communicate in your personal life if you want to create strong relationships with your clients, partners, and/or employees.
- How you manage problems
If you’re not able to face conflict, sadness, inconveniences, or even sometimes tragedy in your personal life, it will be hard for you to address these at work, too. Being the founder and director of a startup means that you have a very special attachment to the company, and sometimes the habits you have in your life outside of your job will translate to the business world. If you are great at addressing issues and finding a solution, this skill will help you a lot. Hard as it may be, you must also learn to deal with your personal problems outside of work and leave them at the door before starting your work each day.
- Who you surround yourself with
If you surround yourself with people who support you and your goals outside of your business, you will be more likely to hire people who will support your company and be happy to help it grow. Likewise, knowing you have a solid core group in your personal life (it could be just your parents) whom you trust and whom you can always fall back on for some kind of support will allow you to be more motivated to make your vision a reality. If you lack this support, it is easy to get discouraged and give up.
- Your image on social media
This is a tough one. On one hand, the independent, creative, individualistic nature of startups is what makes them so attractive. But on the other hand as the founder of the startup, it is you who is representing the company. If the message you send on one social media platform is wildly different from the one you send on another, all you’ll be communicating is a mixed message. You are an individual human with a personal life, but try to remember that you are the face of the startup and that anything you share online can be viewed by anyone.
- Your connections
This is a no-brainer. If you are great at making friends in your personal life, you have the ability to be great at professional networking. It’s a matter of attending the right events, getting to know the right people, and making the right people think you’re the right person too. And like friendships, professional relationships require care. You wouldn’t make a friend at a party once, never see or talk to them again, and expect them to do something for you later on right? The same thing goes for professional relationships.
- How you manage your time
If your friends or loved ones are always frustrated with you because you can never manage your time well enough to fit them into your busy schedule, you’re going to make the same mistakes with your career. Learn how to manage your time and balance your personal life with your work life. It just takes a little bit of prioritizing and planning. And trust me – the boss with no life is not a fun boss.
- How you manage your personal finances
As the owner, director, founder, etc. of your own startup, you are the one in charge of pretty much everything – finances included. If you have financial troubles in your personal life already, there is no time like the present to go and get a financial advisor. There’s also no better time than now to start saving money – this goes for your personal life and as the owner of a company.
- Who you’ve chosen as a partner
Your partner in your personal life can be a great asset to you as an entrepreneur. Not only can you greatly benefit from the emotional support you get from them, they typically are someone whose opinion you think highly of and can be a great person to ask for advice on some of the ideas you might have.
- The boundaries you set for your personal life and your work life
Although it’s extremely important to have a healthy, happy personal life in order to have the same in the workplace, this doesn’t mean you should give your significant other/best friend/mom 50% of shares in your company. Unless you actually started it together and trust this person as much as you trust yourself (because really, starting a company is like having a baby), leave the people you love outside of the workplace.
Keeping up a healthy personal life while trying to run a successful business is quite a daunting challenge already. Managing your time in and out of the office a difficult task as well, not to mention balancing the variety of relationships you’re bound to have in your life. But if you spend only a little of the amount of energy you spend on your company on improving yourself outside of the company, the improvements will definitely transfer to the workplace, and you’ll be glad you made the effort.
Read more: Starting and Running a Company