My Struggle to Find Balance: What Keeps a Food Entrepreneur up at Night

If asked, I would say that I’m a proponent of work/life balance.  In my old corporate life, I was relatively successful in achieving this balance; I worked hard during the day, and aside from the occasional project, was able to “turn it off” once I got home at night.

Yeah, this is not the case now.

I think it’s pretty common for small business owners to comingle their work and personal life. Today I’m riddled with a constant stream of work related issues and decisions that seem to be overtaking my life! It’s sad to say, but it’s not uncommon for me to be banging away at this very blog at 11pm on Thursday on my couch.

It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I realized things were so out-of-whack.  I was hanging out with some old work colleagues, having a drink, catching up, etc…  One of them asked me what’s going on outside of work?  And for the first time in a long while, I caught myself without an answer.

Hmmmm.  Red flag.

And the clock strikes midnight

Which brings us back around to “what keeps Jill up at night”.  Here a peek into what runs through my slightly-warped brain as I drift off to sleep (okay, and as I’m waking up in the morning too).

  • How am I going to be able to cook all this food?
  • What if I run out of money before this thing gets off the ground?
  • Do I have too small of a niche market?
  • What will my first day at the farmers market be like?
  • Why did other baby food companies not survive?
  • How can I get the attention of the press/media – and how nervous will I be once I have it?
  • How the heck do you write a HACCP plan?

Please don’t misunderstand; aside from the ever-present money fears, the rest of these thoughts aren’t negative, it’s just the constant “chatter” that goes on in my head.

I think these questions are common for new business owners. In fact, I’d probably be worried if I didn’t take all of these things into account.  I just object to thinking about them every night…and every morning…and all afternoon.

So I appeal to you…my friends, family, clients & supporters.  I know many of you are professionally successful and maintain a balanced work and family life, so please, share your advice!

What do you do to keep a good work/life balance?

Love to hear your suggestions & tips.  Please comment below if you have some advice to share!

Stay tuned…

I’m on vacation next week, so stay tuned for the next blog on Friday, April 1. I’ll have lots to share about farmers market prep, feedback from specialty store buyers, and my first week back in the kitchen.  Busy time as Little City Kitchen Co. gears up to launch at the Burlingame Farmers Market on Sunday, April 3rd.

Happy weekend everyone!

4 Comments to “My Struggle to Find Balance: What Keeps a Food Entrepreneur up at Night”

  1. Wendy says:

    I know what you mean…you speak here what so many are afraid to say :) If I had an answer I would let you know – hence my 30 day yoga challenge!

  2. Emily says:

    Lawyers aren’t exactly known for their work-life balance success, but here’s a little tip someone gave me that I find helpful. When something really has you stressed, stop and ask yourself whether, a year from now, you’ll remember whatever it is that has you in knots now. If the answer is no, then it’s probably not worth an excessive amount of worry now. If the answer is yes, then at least you know you’re worrying over something that’s actually … something.

  3. Leah says:

    Jill, I wish I could tell you that there was something specific that I did to move past that stage you’re in with my business, but it was more of a process, and a mix of results that helped. I hired an outstanding business coach- someone who I thought I couldn’t afford at the time, but whose services were priceless. He kept me moving forward- when I was mired down in the daily details (how to write that HACCP plan!) he kept me looking at the next five weeks, the next five months, the next five years. I found someone who I could talk openly and honestly with about my financial fears- someone who would listen, reassure, question, and not get tired of me. I sat back when I could and looked around, reminding myself of where I was at that moment vs. a year ago. I wrote down five ‘successes’ for each day right before bed- even if they were just taking the dog for a walk or making myself a nice dinner, it cleared my mind to think of all the great things I did instead of all the things I had to do. And every now and then I drank a gorgeous big glass of wine. ;*)

  4. Patty says:

    Remember to schedule time on your calendar for you…even if it’s 30 minutes a day!

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