Are You Struggling with Work Life Balance? New Study Suggests Gender is a Factor

As I was reading a paper last week, I came across some very interesting information.

Apparently, gender has a direct affect on the success of your business!

If we take away all situational factors, male and female entrepreneurs are equal. But add in real life…and women struggle.

It was suggested [insert sarcastic sneer] that women would find more success if they had more support at home. Specifically, the “redistribution of work in the house and within the family” (Dıaz-Garcıa & Brush, 2010).

Wow.

I guess we have not thought about this yet. Of course, our lives would be easier if we had more help at home. Our lives would also be easier if we had a clone.

note: I’m holding out for a clone, because I don’t think I’m getting more help at home.

To find some answers, I’ve been looking for helpful words of wisdom. So far, I’m disappointed. Suggestions across the internet include:

  • Ditch chasing work life balance. It doesn’t work.
  • Set work hours
  • Have fun
  • Work at a desk
  • Get dressed (am not kidding)

WTF?

These are not truly helpful suggestions! They are somewhat obvious, but do not solve our problems. So, to begin our quest to find REAL work life balance, I’m starting with a few truths.

Truth #1: Work Life Balance Matters

This study shows that work/life balance truly matters to women entrepreneurs. According to the study, men and women do not find themselves in similar situations. This means that the daily responsibilities of a male entrepreneur and female entrepreneur, who both have families, are not equal.

This is a bit stereotypical, but this can include…carting kids to ball games, cooking dinner, PTO meetings, doctor appointments, hair cuts, grocery shopping, etc……

So if I, as a women, am responsible for the majority of household/family responsibilities, I will not have the same amount of time to devote to my business. This makes perfect sense to me.

My male counterparts, have more time to devote to building their business. And we struggle to keep up.

Bottom Line: This can directly impact the success of your business. It’s a big, big issue. It can sink our business.

Truth #2: We All Have the Same 24 Hours

I can’t change the fact that some families do not have an equal distribution of responsibilities. Some dads do more, and some moms do more. We can’t expect equality across the board.

But…

We all have the same 24 hours a day. No more, no less. The only way to find more time for your business is to take time away from other duties. Therefore, for you to find more time to devote to your business, you need to find ways to organize your day more efficiently.

Maybe we should stop trying to get equal distribution, and start trying to build better management skills. We do not need to be superwomen, but we do have to find a way to be successful at managing two organizations: our family and our business.

Bottom Line: If you are not good at organizing your life, you will struggle at building your business.

Truth #3: Male Bashing is NOT the Answer

Perhaps this rant seems like I’m male bashing. I am not. What I am doing is looking at the facts and trying to understand an incredibly complex situation. It involves very personal issues like marriage/family dynamics, divorce, economic factors, health, children, education, and business management style. Big, huge issues.

But male bashing is not the answer to this question. Complaining, whining, yelling, and crying about men is never a real answer. Venting may make you feel better, but it does not SOLVE your work/life balance issue.

Is it unfair that women (in general) have more responsibility in the household? Sure, but I can’t change that.

Plus, I respect our male counterparts. I do not believe they are doing anything intentionally to undermine our success. It is simply the cultural and traditional structure of our society. Dıaz-Garcıa & Brush state the “business realm is still a masculine environment”. Maybe this seems stereotypical, but that does not mean it’s not true.

The answers lie somewhere in creating a system that allows you time to devote to both your business and your family. Wallowing in negative emotions will never uncover any answers.

Bottom Line: We have to take responsibility for our own lives and business. No one can save your business but you. Stop complaining, and let’s find some solutions.

REAL Work Life Balance

This is one of the most passionate posts I have ever written. I struggle with this issue daily, and I’ve got many friends who struggle with the same things. It’s ongoing, and it’s stressful.

I wish I could level the playing field for everyone. But that’s just not realistic.

My goal for this post, and subsequent posts in this topic, is to try to find REAL solutions to work/life balance issues. Something tangible that you can use.

Because this can be a direct threat to your business. And that makes it an educational issue.

Your Turn!

What tools do you use to help you organize your family and business? What are your helpful hints? Have you used anything that did not help?

Liesha Petrovich is passionate about micro business education. Doesn’t sound sexy does it? But teaching micro business owners how to create success and freedom is. Learn more at Micro Business Essentials and follow her on Twitter

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