Ever felt like work life balance is an impossible ideal? That’s the case for many small business owners. The truth is, equal parts work and play is almost never realistic as your priorities shift in different seasons. This week’s podcast guest Tina Wells offers a fresh approach, opting for work-life “harmony” rather than “balance”.
Tina’s Elevation Approach tosses out the old ‘balance’ playbook and brings in a new approach that embraces life’s natural ebbs and flows.
Picture this: your life is a well-crafted plate of a delicious meal. You have your entree and sides, each dish perfectly complementing the other. Sometimes you might want more entree, so you add less sides to your plate. Other times you would rather fill up on sides, so you make more room by having less entree.
Instead of stacking on more sides to ‘balance’ out the entree, the plate should have enough to fill you up without becoming overwhelming. The same harmonious mentality should be applied to your day to day life.
This concept was born from Tina’s own business burnout experience at 27, a mental health wake-up call that led her to rethink the perpetual loop of preparation and inspiration she was in.
Enter The Elevation Approach, a cycle of four phases: preparation, inspiration, recreation, and transformation. This is a roadmap for entrepreneurs to achieve that elusive work life harmony without sacrificing their sanity.
According to Tina Wells in episode 222 of Cubicle to CEO, preparation is the crucial groundwork before launching any new venture. It involves assessing the feasibility of an idea, organizing thoughts, and crunching numbers.
Tina emphasizes three core principles for immediate improvement. First off: decluttering. And not just cleaning up your physical spaces—but also clearing mental and digital clutter. Creating space allows curiosity to flourish and helps in getting an understanding of the necessary numbers. When there’s room, new ideas have a place to grow.
The preparation phase is setting the foundation for success. It’s the stage where everything gets organized, mental space gets cleared, and a path is paved for new ideas to thrive.
Inspiration, which you can read more about in Tina’s book The Elevation Approach, involves sharing your big idea with those who can genuinely assist in its realization. Tina shares how seeking advice from mentors, experts, owners of other small businesses, and friends with specific knowledge proves to be invaluable.
This isn’t about seeking validation from supporters, but gaining insights from those with relevant experience. It is necessary to absorb perspectives from individuals who’ve walked the same road, as their advice provides a reality check and prompts thoughtful considerations that will help in your execution.
The introduction of “recreation” is a game-changer for business owner burnout. Recreation is about disconnecting and taking breaks—a concept that varies for every founder. Whether it’s a few minutes or a lengthy sabbatical, recreation revitalizes and breeds fresh ideas.
Tina realized that by embracing recreation, her productivity soared. In recognizing the value of taking a pause, this quickly became integrated in her lifestyle—incorporating recreational space in her schedule on a daily basis.
Just like when cooking a meal, letting things slowly simmer will bring out more flavor!
Tina discovered that slowing down led to remarkable outcomes time and time again. In a culture glorifying constant hustle, she initially felt guilt about pausing. However, the quality and intentionality of her work improved significantly, grounding her in a space where productivity and well-being coexist harmoniously.
Transformation signifies the launch phase and a crucial component of this cycle—letting go of what no longer contributes positively. This is an ongoing process rather than a static achievement. The key to maintaining work-life harmony is consistently reassessing and shedding unnecessary elements.
This phase isn’t solely about reaching a goal and making sales; it’s about eliminating unnecessary stress and sustaining success by continuously refining strategies. Seasonal purges, similar to doing routine closet cleanouts, are crucial for discarding activities or approaches that no longer align with the evolving objectives.
Tina candidly shares the experience of pausing her middle-grade book writing to explore a new adult audience—a tough but necessary decision to make room for growth. This decision, although challenging, allowed for growth and the exploration of fresh opportunities, a reminder that letting go can pave the way for new beginnings.
Through this framework, Tina offers a lifeline to entrepreneurs amidst the chaos of business ownership, especially in avoiding the all-too-common trap of business owner burnout.
Give The Elevation Approach a shot, integrating its principles into your entrepreneurial journey. Prepare, seek inspiration, take time for recreation, and embrace transformation. It’s more than a strategy; it’s a mindset shift that promises harmony between your ambitions and your mental well-being. Try it out and witness the difference it can make in your entrepreneurial path.
Want to hear how Tina Wells uses this exact approach seasonally, monthly, and daily to 6X her revenue? Listen to episode 222 of Cubicle to CEO – available everywhere you listen to podcasts!
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