Take Time for You
Malene Barnett, WE NYC Mentor

When I started as an entrepreneur, I used to work until the wee hours in the morning. I thought the more time I spent on my business, the more my business would grow. All I ended up achieving was an imbalanced life. I felt tired all the time and couldn’t think about anything but business.

Being an entrepreneur is not easy, especially in the beginning stages when you are constantly juggling so many work-related tasks that you forget to seek outlets to free your mind. But taking time to engage in activities outside of your business is vitally important. It helps create balance in your life, which will clear your mind and help grow your business. Once I decided to focus on activities outside of my business, I found that my clearer mind made room for new ideas to flourish — ideas that could  help support and grow my business.

The more you grow personally, the more your business will grow.

Malene Barnett

Take care of yourself

Exercise is a great way to take time to care for yourself. I understand it can be a challenge trying to fit exercise into your schedule. First make the commitment to be active. Then select the time of day that works best for you. If you need an accountability partner, join a group or find someone to work out with. I prefer to work out in groups or with a buddy because it helps keep me on track. I’ve recently upped my running game and starting training for marathons. Having a goal keeps me motivated and I love the idea of preparing for something. Plus, I use the running time to think about new business ideas as well as share ideas with my fellow runners. There are so many activities to explore, from rock climbing to yoga to tennis. Select an activity you love so it doesn’t feel like a chore. Doing some kind of physical activity regularly will improve your mood,  increase your energy and help clear your mind to tackle all of your business projects.

Explore your creativity

Art is very therapeutic. Maybe you’ve been thinking about enrolling in a dance or pottery class, signing up for a guitar lesson or cooking class or going on a photography tour. The time to sign up is now. Exploring your creativity outside of work can help you become more creative with your business. Even though I’m a creative entrepreneur, I explore crafts outside my specialty to continue to ignite my creativity. I love to cook, so I take time to research recipes and experience different types of cuisine. You never know what crafts you can master!

Expose yourself to different groups

Oprah is a wonderful embodiment of the saying “the more you give, the more you will receive.” Taking the time to lend a hand to others is another great tool to help with your business and with work/life balance. Surrounding yourself with people with different needs than yours will help to ignite business ideas that you never thought about before. I volunteer to speak to and conduct workshops for kids in the arts. This helps me to see the importance of exposure to the next generation and it's rewarding to see young people's eagerness to learn. When did you  last volunteer your time to help others?

Remember that growing your business is not only about creating the best marketing plan or finding the right investor but also about putting time and energy into your personal growth. The more you grow personally, the more your business will grow.Don’t wait to start that new activity you’ve been thinking about. Sign up for a creative class, take a tennis lesson, or volunteer with a local non-profit. Your business — and your inner self — with thank you.