The Art of Balance

Walking a tightrope is difficult. Living on one is even more difficult.It’s hard to find a sense of balance¹ when teetering between a day job and a side business. When does the work end? Which thing – the job or the business – takes priority? Some people may like their day jobs; others may not. Maybe they like their jobs, but they’re more interested in making their side businesses their full-time ones. Then again, maybe they’re content with having a steady job and splashing in the entrepreneurial waters whenever it suits them.

Nothing is right or wrong with either scenario as long as those people are clear about their intentions. They need to know – if they intend to go full-time with their side businesses – that they will have to make some tough choices. They may have to sacrifice an extra hour of sleep, a latte at Starbucks, or some social activities. If they enjoy their day job, they need to understand that they might be given additional responsibilities. They might have to limit their activities with their side businesses or cut them altogether.

It’s only in recognizing those realities and identifying one’s goals that a person can make the right choices. No, that recognition and identification won’t negate all uncertainty, but it will help in choosing paths that seem to lead in the right direction. It will help in determining action steps and time frames. That recognition and identification will be there when one is surrounded by uncertainty and is unsure of what to do next. Those two things will keep a person committed to the task at hand, whether that be moving forward with a job or a side business. They will help that person to walk the tightrope² that exists when simultaneously employed and self-employed.

The trick, of course, is learning to balance between the two. If you have a side business and a day job, how do you find and maintain your balance?

Photo: frankh (CC BY 2.0)

¹I am not referring to the “balance” found in many work-life articles. I am referring to the balance found in residing between work and life. I am referring to living in a constant state of tension between the two.

²Patrick Rhone uses the tightrope metaphor in his book Enough.


  1. I’m familiar with this one – there is really not a lot of balance. Luckily I do have an hour for lunch where I can get a lot done on the other “stuff.” Return calls, emails, place orders, etc. I try to save one or 2 days a week though to walk at lunch or catch up with a friend.  I do not need a lot of sleep so some mornings I’m up at 3 doing inventory and changes on website, orders, blogs, etc.  I do try to take Friday nights off as it’s a slow time on the internet. Weekends are another time that I spend a lot of it working but in the summer try to some time off. The only time works ends is when I go to bed and shut the volume on the cell phone or if I’m watching a movie on the weekend.