Our guest blogger today, Susana Fonticoba, is the Coach/Consultant behind Clear Path Strategy LLC. She has owned a business and juggled family life for over 17 years. Clear Path Strategy works with small business owners to improve operations and install processes. Susana guides you to discover your ideal clients and clarify your unique value. Located in Morris County, NJ, Susana has been delivering presentations on business growth topics to many professional associations and events.

The concept of balancing your work life and personal life so that there is enough time for everything is a dream goal which rarely stands the test of reality.

Every human has (at least) 2 sides of their lives they have to pay attention to every day. Some of us are in the sandwich generation so we wind up juggling 3 balls in the air.

You have elderly parents, and spouses, and children and young grandchildren who need your attention. Everyone deserves, wants and needs your attention and you want to give of your heart and your time and your energy and still run a successful business.

You feel you’re not doing a very good job of this but let me stop you right there – it’s impossible to plan out everything perfectly, and therefore, it’s impossible to manage everything. People don’t get ill or have accidents according to a calendar, so dealing with the “situation of the day” is normal. We expect the unexpected.

Work-Life Balance really means choosing who/what to say “no” to that day.

It’s an uncomfortable  feeling having to say ‘no’ to something you want to take care of, but unless you have other-worldly powers, you can’t take care of everything.

Sometimes you have to say no to family because the work situation is critical to the future of your business, and you have to forgive yourself for turning them down, because it was the wise decision to make.

And of course, you have to come to terms with saying no to clients and partners in business because the personal situation is critical and cannot survive without you.

Saying no is a wise choice, however painful, and you must forgive yourself for having to turn someone down.

Saying no sometimes doesn’t let you get a good night’s sleep – but it’s still the best choice. And chances are that the people you say no to are understanding of your plight and don’t harbor ill feelings toward you for it. You’re doing it to yourself.

Be wise. Be strong. Be prepared to weigh which situation will get the yes and which will get the no. And be ready to stand by your choice.

Have you been through some tough decision making? We can seek support from another person who can help us see the situation from the outside-in. Consider working with a therapist, life coach, and business strategist.

As business owners, one of the most important “plan ahead” strategies for us is to add on resources, in anticipation of when (not if) a disruption occurs.

Bring on an admin or operations person, whether employee or VA.

Look at technology that allows you to work wherever you are, or at least check in on your work in tiny pockets of time.

Even setting up your older family members with facetime or zoom and guiding them to practice will help ease your mind.

Bottom line, don’t wait for something to fall apart to wonder what you could have done about it. Think ahead and write even a brief risk management plan in anticipation of disruptions.

If you have a winning tip, I’d love to hear about it!