The Myth of Work-Life Balance

I don’t know any women business owners who can fit their lives neatly into two buckets, “work” and “life.”

Do you?

Rather than seeking “balance,” most women entrepreneurs I know are trying to keep multiple balls in the air at once.

If you have children, you already understand.

If you are the health manager for a family, you get it.

If you have aging parents, you may feel like your life is Freaky Friday.

If you have kids AND parents, you may feel like you’re being squeezed from all sides, not living between two buckets.

Add a business onto any one of these and attempting to reach “work-life balance nirvana” is liable to throw you into overwhelm.

The term “work-life balance” first appeared in the U.S. literature around 1986. Isn’t it about time we retire it, when it comes to the American businesswoman?


Too many of my clients (and, dare i say I myself at times) have this tendency to strive for perfection in what we do, including our business. And I think it’s directly related to being set up to fail because we cannot achieve the unrealistic goal of “work-life balance.’

Seeking perfection is a killer for women. Not only is it an impossible standard but sooner or later, it wears us down.

Have you read the research that shows that women apply for jobs only when they have 100% of the requirements? (Men, on the other hand, are fine with just 60%…)

Another way to look at this is women’s “fear of failure” that holds too many women back from achieving their version of success. As entrepreneurs, we must learn to understand and embrace failure. It’s another word for “learning” and we all must continue to learn to grow.

A strategy that can help this feeling of being “not good enough” is to focus on priorities. We need to get clear on what is important in each our lives, and what is less important. It’s not only unique for every woman, it shifts from day-to-day and even hour-to-hour. (Maybe it’s why we’re SO good at multitasking?)

As the Notorious RBG
(Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg) says:
“You can have everything. Just not all at the same time.”

Interested in more? Grab this free e-book, “Is Time on Your Side: A Guide for (TOO) Busy Business Owners”