The Life of an Entrepreneur Is Like Picture-In-Picture

On My MindBalance is beautiful.” ~ Miyoko Ohno

I’ve talked about balance before.

It’s crucial to the success of a home-based business.

My friends Ben and Wendy — among others — do a great job of talking about the importance of balance (Wendy’s kitchen picture sums it all up nicely).

Many new entrepreneurs tend to struggle with this a lot. The thing that took me a couple of startups to realize is that balance is not about living two lives.

It’s about focus.

You Can’t Make It Go Away

When you love what you do, and are in the throes of launching a new project, it’s impossible to turn it off. I’ve become more aware of this each time I launch a new venture, and it’s kept me sane through the development of Teaching Sells.

When you’re with your family, playing, watching a move, eating, sleeping, whatever — it’s always there.

That’s not going to change, and that’s okay.

Rather than trying not to think about your work while with your family, for example, you have to shrink the focus of work and embiggen the focus of your family.

Like picture-in-picture, the little picture of your project is there — just smaller and taking up less of your focus.

The same thing happens when you’re working. You’re going to be thinking about your family and the fun they’re having without you.

That’s true balance. Trying to fight to make one leave your brain while you’re focusing on the other just creates more anxiety.

The key is to stay in the moment, focus you what you’re doing right now, and know that the little picture will always be there.

Then you can comfortably swap them, when it’s time to do so.


  1. “…But who needs balance when you are having so much fun?”

    I do, for one. There comes a time when my work seems to get the better of me, especially when I’m excited about a new project and just want to see it done from start to finish, when I know that I should be spending a portion of that time with my family when they needed it most. It’s really a work-in-progress, and perhaps Tony’s example of the picture-in-picture thing can help me cope better next time.

  2. Hmm..

    I think, everybody needs, at one point or other.
    Thanks, Tony! for raising this, sometime we get so involved , we forget the overall goal, that is to cherish all aspects of life.
    Am I right? Cheerful Monk would agree probably:)

  3. When my daughter was little I had to avoid engaging projects that had nothing to do with child raising. I get too involved and would have felt torn apart.

    Thanks for thinking of me, Awanish. You made my day. 🙂

  4. The world has a way of helping you attain what you want. So, when you are in the throngs of a new project it is still important to keep your eyes open and be aware of what’s going on around you. By living in the moment you will be ready to hear new ideas prompted by the here and now, and your new project will take on a freshness and relevancy you might not have otherwise found.

  5. My bad for responding so late 🙂

    It’s much easier to write about balance than it is to actually do it. But every time I write about it, I am pushed to walk my talk just a little bit more.

    Did you see Kelly King Anderson’s post today about how she forced herself to only work 10 hours last week? You will love it – I was really wowed by it.

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