4 Strategies for Creating a Balanced Business Life


Article by Jeannine Chanin Penn
Photo Credit: Spell & the Gypsy Collective
Magazine: Issue #33

I am in the process of looking at High School’s for my son next year. I didn’t grow up in Los Angeles but in suburban NJ where there was one HS for all. In sprawling Los Angeles there are many. On one of the tours of a private HS, the Head of Schools said: “This generation is not just going to have multiple jobs but multiple careers.”

The truth is that doesn’t just apply to the up and coming generation but to anyone these days. A path to a career is great but it often leads to many other things along that path and being open to the possibilities may often bring you to an unexpected and happy place.

A great deal of my life I have been working as a Creative Director | Graphic Designer. But along the way, I have taken what I like to call “entrepreneurial side trips.” I co-created a playspace for familes with young children, worked as an event planner and dabbled in other things. For various reasons, I ultimately came back to Creative Direction as an entrepreneur and it was a very different picture than working for a big company. Here are some of the things I’ve learned in the process:

Know your strengths and weaknesses.

There are a lot of things I’m good at and there are some I’m really not. For me, doing more of what I love and excel at fuel me the most so I try and get help for the rest. The choices are to get better at the things you’re not good at (for me accounting) or build a team and find resources for those things you don’t excel at.

Work. Breathe. Play.

Be prepared to work hard, really hard, but remember to take time to play, meditate, exercise, paint, breathe or whatever will keep you sane and balanced. (see link below and download to help you ‘play’)

Stay informed.

One of the biggest ‘ah-has’ for me is how quickly things change now because of technology, social media and the internet. Make sure you are tapped in, sign-up for webinars, get into groups, attend workshops and keep up with what’s going on.

Know when to walk away.

Are you making money? You may have put a lot of time and energy into a business path that isn’t really a business. At some point, you may just want to cut your losses and rethink your path. Devastating as it may be, staying too long at something that just isn’t working is not only a time suck but life sucking.

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