June 06, 2021

10 Things We Learned About Work-Life Balance in Amazon Sellers’ Lives

Amazon sellers mix different roles, managing their cash flows while simultaneously running a family. In addition, they’re doing sports and keeping their minds sane. How do you guys do it?

Recently we conducted a Work-Life Balance Webinar that was more like a therapy session than a webinar. Watch this 1-minute video to get a feel for the atmosphere:

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In this post, we have gathered the main advice our panelists shared based on their life lessons:

1. Be happy with the interruptions.

How often have you found yourself in the middle of an important Zoom call when a child runs into the room, or your dog starts barking loudly at someone ghostlike?

The panelists agreed that this is completely acceptable, with clients commenting positive things like “Oh, that was a nice reprieve,” before the dialogue goes right back to the business matter.

2. Prioritize yourself.

When managing a team, you need to take care of yourself, because nobody wants to work for a Debbie Downer.

Will Haire advises booking time for personal needs when no work things can be scheduled. This is the morning time for him – before his family wakes up, he meditates, does yoga, sets his intentions for the day, looks at his calendar, and that's it.

“The other day I saw something like Elon Musk got asked like, Hey, what, what words of inspiration would you give entrepreneurs if he could? And he said, if entrepreneurs need words of inspiration, don't be an entrepreneur.
So if your family isn't willing to go through turmoil to reach the end goal, don't do it. But if you love getting up every day and deciding, Hey, how can I make the world better? How can I solve somebody's problem today and make money doing it? This is for you.” (Steven Pope)

3. Set up a good workspace for you.

Destaney Wishon shared that when she first started doing business, she didn't think she deserved a full workspace.

When she moved her workplace in the middle of her living room to a more comfortable space, she was surprised at how big a role this separation of work from life played in her overall happiness.

4. Know what you’re optimizing for.

If you're trying to sell a company in three years, your goals are gonna be much different than someone who's just having a steady income.

Define your personal and working goals to figure out what needs to stay in your life and what doesn't need to stay.

“I think the biggest thing that helps entrepreneurs is integrity. Not morality like good or bad at keeping your promises, but honoring your word as yourself.“ (Robyn Johnson)

5. Balance things out with your calendar.

Steven Pope recommends a calendaring system like Calendly to bring more discipline to your routine.

“I sat down and looked at my weekly calendar and figured out how to schedule and things that were important to me. And I got to the point where I would block schedule actual dinner plans with my family. I would block schedule lunch and gym time in because if I didn't, I would never go to the gym. I would just work all day long.” (Destaney Wishon)

6. Know what causes your burnout.

Robyn Johnson notices that when she starts to burn out, she starts to feel anxious even though everything seems to be fine. You need to know what your burnout triggers are and how to balance them.

Ask yourself:

  • When do I hit burnout?
  • What are my weaknesses?
  • Am I operating at maximum efficiency?
“When I started my entrepreneurial journey, I assumed it would just be a steady line of stress. But in reality, it's like zigzags. You wake up and everything's fine, you're super happy, you're signing clients. And then the next day you have a huge fire you have to put out.” (Destaney Wishon)

7. Treat your time as a finite resource, like you do your money.

Instead of doing things automatically, stop and look at the situation strategically. If you know that you’re not good at something, for example, operating systems or accounting, like our panelists, hire someone to fill those roles.

If you do online grocery pickups instead of offline shopping, or if someone cleans your house, don’t think you’re being fancy – you're being analytical and a smart business owner.

Destaney recommends The E-Myth book, which helped her change the paradigm of doing everything by herself and get to the next level. In her opinion, it is probably one of the most fundamental books you can read in terms of growing your company.

8. Make sure the overall picture has balance.

Not every day is going to be perfectly balanced. Some days may be out of balance towards spending time with our families, and others because of working on a big project. The most important thing is to maintain an overall balance throughout your life. Each guest agrees that if their kid wants to cuddle, unless they’re on a call, they're always going to get a cuddle.

“I think there's this myth that you'll get a work-life balance, and then it will stay there. Balance indicates that something's static, and nothing is ever static in e-commerce.” (Robyn Johnson)

9. Bring on the right people.

In this relatively new and changing Amazon industry, it is more important to find people who vibe with your team rather than finding the most extraordinary professionals, because there are so many skills that can be trained.

All experts agreed that they love personality tests like Colby, and find that they are invaluable in terms of hiring the right people.

10. Side hustle until you can't side hustle anymore.

Тo those who are getting started, Steven Pope would recommend side hustle as much as you can. Even when he first started his agency, he hadn't burned his corporate ships yet working on a full-time job and having five clients.

While everybody else is partying on weekends, you're working, and outmaneuvering everybody. Once you build the business that can sustain you, that's when you can burn your ships.

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Read further:

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