Opinion | Aim for work-life integration | Paul Siderovski

People often tell me they started a business to have more free time and have more ‘work-life balance’.

Well, that's not going to happen. It’s like saying you had a child to have more free time.

WORK YOUR PASSION: It will lead to greater balance in your life.

WORK YOUR PASSION: It will lead to greater balance in your life.

I don’t mean to sound depressing, but you will never find ‘balance’ between your business/work and your personal life. The whole premise of work-life balance or business-life balance hinges on this belief that there is a magic formula between life and business, some perfect ratio between time spent on business (and work-like activities, like checking your email) and time spent on everything else (like sleeping, or eating your lunch away from your desk, or helping your kids with their homework).

If your business is your mission and you truly love what you do, then the premise of life-work balance is just a fallacy. What you need is work-life integration.

Instead of trying to completely separate your work week from your weekend, the goal should be to integrate your two worlds with the intent to manage the business in a way that is most comfortable for you. It’s a work in progress, so be prepared to cut yourself some slack and course correct when it makes sense.

Your work and your personal life do not amount to a zero-sum game, where more of one means you’re compromising the other.

If we were to define business-life balance, we’d probably be inclined to say that in order to truly enjoy your life, you should only have to wear your work hat between 9am and 6pm (or whatever combination of eight to 12-hour shift is true for you), forgetting all about your business outside of those hours. 

It is more beneficial to integrate your business into your life and your life into your business IF you have a passion for what you do. If you don’t have that passion, then get out of the business. Otherwise, you will suffer and continue to suffer.

Paul Siderovski is MD of SiDCOR Chartered Accountants