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Work-Life Balance for Founders: 3 Tips to Help You Manage It All

Hear from three founders who offer up their best advice for balancing your personal wellbeing with the demands of a growing business.

Blog Author - Justworks
Justworks
Jun 19, 20233 minutes
Blog Author - Justworks
Justworks

Justworks is a technology company that levels the playing field for all small businesses. Through our software and as a partner, we help our customers take care of their teams, streamline their operations, and navigate the complex aspects of managing a workforce with confidence.

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JuneteenthPanel

A founder’s journey can feel like a lonely road. But when founders come together and share their experiences, that's when the magic happens. In honor of Juneteenth, we gathered together a stellar group of Black founders (and Justworks customers) to join Milestones: A Founder Roundtable, and share their stories.

Founding a business is full of unique challenges. One common challenge that any founder can relate to is carving out time for mental health while also managing the huge demands of a growing business or startup. We posed this question, among others, to Joseph Ifiegbu (Co-founder/CEO, eqtble), Denise Umubyeyi (Co-founder/COO, Five to Nine), and Jill Johnson (Co-founder/CEO, IFEL).

These founders offered some helpful advice for finding that elusive work-life balance. Take a look at their top three tips.

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1. Lean On Your Co-founders

Joseph founded his company with two other technical co-founders. He believes that going through the journey of founding a business with other people has been key to their success — and key for Joseph's own balance.

"I would say it helps that I have co-founders. I've seen some companies that are run by solo founders, I think that's incredibly hard," he said. "I think there are moments where if one of us is weak, the other is stronger. We lean on each other and support each other … I feel like that has really helped us."

2. Build a Strong Support Network

Denise has three "prescriptions" she recommends all founders should have. The first prescription is therapy, and the second is an executive coach. These two professionals help with both sides of life. While a therapist can help with mental and emotional health, an executive coach can help to amplify your work self. Denise finds her executive coach can be the meter she needs to know when she's pushing herself too hard at work.

The third prescription? Community. Many founders know the value of building an inclusive network of people at all stages of their career. For Denise, it's crucial.

"Family has gotten me through so much as a founder," she said. "But also being around and hearing other founders and their experiences so that you know that you are not alone. The fact that you went through 100 no's, that's fine — you're not a failure because you had 100 no's! That one yes is coming around the corner."

3. Set Your Own Framework for Success

Having started her organization, the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL), more than 20 years ago, Jill is farther along on her founder journey than the other folks at the table. She spoke about how her passion for the organization's mission of increasing access to capital for other minority businesses drives her and keeps her going. But it took time to figure out how to balance work with life and family.

Her biggest piece of advice? Shift your perspective.

"So much of it is how you frame the situation that helps to alleviate the stress and bring balance," Jill said. "I don't think of things really as sacrifice, or like I'm giving something up." For example, she might decide to pull an all-nighter to catch up on work so she can make it to her son's baseball game. Making deliberate choices about how to allocate your time can be a helpful strategy for founders seeking balance.

"Create your business in the way that you feel is best for your life," Jill said. "I think it's a big thing when, as a founder, you can make the decision for yourself what success means."

Watch the Full Conversation

This is only a small part of the roundtable discussion between Joseph, Denise, and Jill. Their conversation covered a range of topics, from the moment that led them to start a business, to the biggest milestones along their journey, and more. To hear more from these founders, watch the full video from Milestones: A Founder Roundtable below.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.
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Written By
Blog Author - Justworks
Justworks
Jun 19, 20233 minutes

Justworks is a technology company that levels the playing field for all small businesses. Through our software and as a partner, we help our customers take care of their teams, streamline their operations, and navigate the complex aspects of managing a workforce with confidence.

Learn more with Justworks’ Resources

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