Doing Business as a Designer: Work & Life Balance

Posted on June 24, 2010

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No, this is not an article on tips about how to maintain a work-life balance. Rather, an examination.

Every designer I’ve met who owns a business has a different stance on the “Work-Life” balance equation. With so many factors, how can a business owner manage?

This was a big deal for me when I was running my first company. Although I love what I’m doing, the world around me was moving fast (like time lapsed photography). The equation looked like this:

Monday to Saturday (6 days a week, for the first 6 months)

Work
======
14 hours

Life
======
2 hours working out
2 hours cooking, eating, cleaning, organizing
6 hours of sleep

Sundays are the “do whatever I want” day. After gaining a partner, running my business got a lot easier.

It wasn’t until I went to an entrepreneur meetup that I started seeing patterns of behavior. The young-single owners spent more time on their business than the older-married owners.

The older-married owners spent about 8 hours working on their business, 5 days a week.

Their top 3 reasons for their work hours:

Commitments to their partner and family

  • Cannot neglect them

Established efficient production methodologies

  • Their services ran like a finely tuned machine

Established lead generation, sales channels, and market share

  • Constant flow of business

The younger-single owners spent about 12 to 16 hours working on their business, 6 to 7 days a week.

Their top 3 reasons for their work hours:

Learning
Knowing more about their market, faster production methodologies, and how to get more business

Sales and Marketing

  • Spending a lot of time finding opportunity, trying to close deals, setting up lead generation systems, and cold calling

Production

  • Most were a one man operation.

Conclusion

There was a stark contrast that was very noticeable. The way I interpreted the pattern was that knowing your business and your market resulted in an easier operation over time.

Resources

Small Business Management Online – Training

Professional Sales – Online Training

Marketing Concept – Online Training

Articles

Doing Business as a Designer: Getting Started

Doing Business as a Designer: The Article Collection at Scribd

Posted via email from Jae Xavier

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