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  • Olga Nesterova

Work-life balance: reality or a myth?

Let’s explore the mindset that'll get you what you want.

As they say, “you can have it all, but not all at once”.

This is my motto when it comes to balance. As an athlete I learned that balance meant “no motion”. Now imagine striving for motionless life or business?

The key to happiness, which I think is the main goal behind striving for “balance”, is to become clear about your priorities. These may change from time to time and so you adjust your focus accordingly. When you build a startup, you knowingly (on unknowingly) invest most of your time into work. Even if you don’t spend long hours being physically at your desk, your brain will spend almost all waking hours thinking about “the next thing” on your agenda.. and there are so many of those! Therefore, striving to be the best friend, partner or spouse at that point is simply unrealistic.

When you know where your main focus lies, you can also communicate it to those around and with you; and if you manage to build a great team around you, they will offer help or a shoulder to lean on. Once you have catapulted your business to an altitude that feels secure, you can shift your focus and dedicate more time towards your family, friends and hobbies.

Although being an entrepreneur is practically running from one “fire” to another hoping to fix everything just in time, there must be some clear non-negotiables - tasks or things that do make you feel balanced as a person. For me it is a daily workout of any kind - from Pilates to barre and yoga, I need to start my day with some movement to connect with myself and get ready to conquer the world. Another is sometimes forcing myself to be social and have fun. As a go-getter and often a workaholic I need to schedule “socializing” and for an introvert this is not an easy task. But, with practice comes confidence and so I make sure to connect with likeminded people. Although I am always very entertaining when I feel comfortable, I know to dedicate some “me time” to recharge. This is important for me to maintain my inner balance and peace.

So all in all, we are all works in progress. We know when something is off and we often know what we need to do to fix it. We just have to do it. Oh, another thing is to drum to your own beat. Welcome advice, but be choosy whom you listen to. Sometimes people shine their own insecurities onto you and adjust their advice accordingly.

There’s no rule on how much work is “normal”, whether you need to have kids, how these should be raised and how your social life should look like - listen to your heartbeat and trust your intuition.
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